Turkish Cargo – Leading from the Heart
As one of the fastest growing successful air cargo carriers today, Turkish Cargo, a division of Turkish Airlines, is flourishing. The company extends its services to over 260 destinations in over 108 countries. Furthermore, its fleet comprising of about 255 planes and 9 freighters makes it one of the youngest in the skies. A truly unique fusion of east meets west, Turkish Cargo’s meteoric rise makes for a fascinating case study.
AFL met one of the most senior figures of the company at an event held in Bangkok. The gentleman was no other than Mr. Serdar Demir, acting Vice President for Cargo Operations. Mr. Demir was kind to grant us an interview with him. This exclusive AFL feature will explore Turkish Cargo’s philosophy. In addition, through Mr. Demir, readers will learn of Turkish Cargo’s prized assets.
During the initial sit down, Mr. Demir started off by introducing himself and giving us a glimpse into his background. He began: “I have been working for Turkish Cargo for over six years. I took the lead as VP for Cargo Operations for the last four years. My responsibilities include Turkish Cargo operations worldwide. I also oversee procurements, and contracts. I keep track of quality management and standard operations. Security management also falls within the operations umbrella”
When questioned in regards to the complexities involved in the cargo industry, Mr. Demir elaborated: “Firstly, I would like to point out the obvious and say that logistics is a highly specialized industry. Secondly, this industry demands efficiency which would see things get through with the utmost proficiency. Another key challenge facing the industry concerns the fact that clients come to carriers and merely glance at prices; as they do not take into account, the whole supply chain and the immense cost of transporting cargo, along with the level of quality provided by the company. Ultimately, from the customer’s point of view, carriers are setting high prices. Our clients do pay more compared to other transportation modes to have their cargo carried. However we offer a premium service. And with this service, high quality is absolutely guaranteed.”
… clients come to carriers and merely glance at prices; as they do not take into account, the whole supply chain and the immense cost of transporting cargo, along with the level of quality provided by the company.
Mr. Demir further illustrated this point: “Pricing structures vary from carrier to carrier. But as I said earlier, quality is a crucial factor for us. We are responsible for transporting cargo to its destination in the exact time and in excellent condition. With this, Turkish Cargo injects quality, performance, and raises the overall service to a different level.”
Mr. Demir discussed the company’s impressive growth in recent years which saw Turkish Cargo achieve 18 percent growth on tonnage alone and operating extensive frequencies to numerous destinations worldwide, thereby becoming one of the fastest growing air cargo carriers in the industry, Mr. Demir said: “In the last five years, we grew by over twenty percent. We have since built latest state-of-the-art facilities in Istanbul to further expand this regional hub and to accommodate our future ventures.”
Reflecting on the various paths to achievement pursued by the company, Mr. Demir observed: “Turkish Cargo pursued three elements which led to our success. First we invested in well-equipped infrastructures and equipment. We imported world class technology and built high grade infrastructure such as our warehouses. We are currently in the process of building a high capacity cargo center as well. Second, we actively invest in Information Technology to facilitate maximum efficiency with cargo operations as we seek to integrate the requirements of freighters, ground handlers, carriers, and terminal operators in a seamless and effective manner. Third would be our people, who we consider important above everything else. They are valuable assets of Turkish Cargo.”
Turkish Cargo stands dedicated and committed towards its customers and employees alike. “The adage which we go by is: head, hand, and heart,” Mr. Demir said.
We recruit dedicated and motivated people who are passionate about the air cargo industry. We provide them with excellent training workshops and programs ensuring their professionalism with their responsibilities.
“We feel that the level of excellence possessed by each single individual cannot be replaced easily. Therefore, we must provide them with the best training programs to motivate and challenge them. This essentially translates into fostering a warm and friendly atmosphere in the workplace. Our environment is family oriented here, and our people are wonderful as they communicate and help each other.”
“In terms of recruiting quality people, we do admit that this depletes us of our time and resources. Nevertheless, the ultimate benefit is to foster and create exceptional employees with strong work ethic who love what they do. So far, we have achieved just that.”
The growth experienced by Turkish Cargo and Turkey itself, is also attributed to the country’s strong government. “The confidence gained from a strong government and the stability it brings, directly contributes to the country’s immense growth.”
Nevertheless, managerial decisions within Turkish Cargo as well as the success enjoyed by Turkish Airlines pushed the company forward and made its presence felt worldwide. “Our growth also stems from the brave decisions and investments undertaken by our top men. When I say brave decisions, I am referring to the investments made into creating state-of –the-art facilities and establishing robust networks and destinations. Another huge influence behind our rapid success is the growth enjoyed by Turkish Airlines. Like I said, providing high quality service and recruiting the right people also complements the company immensely.”
Turkish Cargo strives to make Istanbul a logistics hub and seeks to provide excellent cargo services between its expanding destinations.
Istanbul enjoys the best of both worlds and location is our greatest advantage. Geographically, it straddles Europe and Asia and links Africa and North America eastwards. You can see that by glancing at a map. You can reach over fifty countries and destinations in a three hour flight.
“Still, we need to make our presence felt and that means adding more connection points. Presently, we are witnessing the trends shift from west to east in terms of network growth and extensive freighter services. Currently the air freight industry is seeing competitive companies in the east emerge such as various air cargo carriers in the Middle East region. I would attribute this shift to the rise in innovation and investments made by the respective carriers. Also, cost-effective rates provided with outstanding quality coupled with reliability further strengthened this trend.”
Mr. Demir concluded: “Turkish Cargo has proved itself exceptionally resourceful in enhancing its geographic advantage and resourcefully investing in new people and infrastructure. We are constantly looking for ways to increase our network. Now, we seek to increase our cargo delivery capacity by operating our freighters to far reaching destinations, capitalizing on Turkish Airlines’ success as well. We harness our strengths and foster new ways to service our customers efficiently. With that said, we actively seek to make Istanbul the logistics hub for of air cargo and provide our potential clients with all the finest and versatile services that can be offered”