Turkish Cargo Marches to the Beat of their Own Drum
Turkey has for centuries been a veritable melting pot, linking Asia and Europe like no other country can. Through the years, the country has taken the best aspects and ideas from the cultures that have crossed through their borders and has given the Turkish people a unique cultural identity and world view.
Their trade-oriented mindset has given rise to a strong air freight industry within the country. However, those in the industry know that striving for success amongst the competition can be a fleeting endeavor. Staying on top means continuously investing and innovating in terms of both technology and the people that work for your business.
Thanks in part to their excellent location and management, Turkey has transformed into a modern-day hub for transportation and air freight logistics. To continue building on the momentum, the country is investing into a new airport that will soon be finished and play host to the country’s flagship carrier Turkish Airlines.
For a deeper look into the company and the smart moves that have kept the front of the pack, we spoke with Mr. Hüseyin Ceyhan, Cargo Regional Director, Asia Pacific at Turkish Airlines, who explained further the relationships the company is looking to foster and the growth expectations for the future.
Blazing a Trail
AFL: “Mr. Ceyhan thank you for taking the time to speak with us. Could you please begin by telling us a bit about your background?”
Mr. Ceyhan: “I’ve had many experiences both within and outside the airline industry. I first joined Turkish Airlines in 2008 as General Manager for Hong Kong, Taiwan, and the Philippines. Since then, I’ve worked my way through the company becoming a regional director for the Asia Pacific region.”จำภูมิภาคเอเชียแปซิฟิก”
AFL: “How has working outside the industry influenced you and what does it bring to current role?”
Mr. Ceyhan: “I’ve worked with various modes of freight transportation, such as such as road freight, sea freight, rail, roro, intermodal and air freight, mainly in the business development and sales and marketing field. This allowed me to develop a spirit of openness to anything that would help our relationships with customers. I find this is something that is prevalent throughout the Turkish Airlines Group. Cultivating individuals with unique perspectives strengthens our company by giving us first-hand experience of what the real needs of clients are and what makes an airline particularly attractive to them. The ability to see things from both sides of the table is very valuable.”
AFL: “Increasingly we’re seeing more and more emphasis being placed on process and procedures. You’re saying that Turkish Airlines has a different focus?”
Mr. Ceyhan: “The rapid development of new technologies in the air cargo sector is forcing carriers to find new products and new solutions to meet the evolving needs in the industry. Moreover, the impact of technological developments in the air cargo sector has already been apparent and is expected to become an even more pressing issue in the next few years.
In this way, carriers need to develop business processes with digitalization and innovative ideas in order to fully meet customer demand, catch up with the competition, reduce costs and increase operational capabilities. In recent years, Turkish Cargo, have accelerated achieving technological infrastructure in line with the carrier’s strategic goals. In addition, İstanbul New Airport, which is expected to start operations in October, 2018; will take its position as the logistics center of Istanbul and the region offering high-end services to the airline industry for both passengers and cargo segments.”
This being said, the approach you take to customers and the ability to meet their needs with effective human resources may precisely be a means to differenciate the company in the market. İn this sense, Turkish Cargo strives to develop close cooperation and actions benefiting all partners.
AFL: “Beyond understanding the needs and desires of customers, having the right equipment and training in place is still key. One of the more recent additions to your fleet are three Boeing 777 Freighters that are scheduled to be delivered this year, I believe. Could you speak further about your investments and how they impact your business?”
Mr. Ceyhan: “We’re excited that due to increasing customer demand, we’re able to expand our fleet of freighters. This freighter order is helping us to attain a young and efficient cargo fleet, and the additional flexibility that the aircraft offers will allow us to serve more destinations as we continue to develop and expand our reach for global airfreight services. These freighters are currently scheduled to be used for American destinations, and their advantage is that they are very flexible and able to be used on any routes needed in the future. Specially, in Asia we are already servicing almost 20 freighter destinations now and trends show that this number will increase.”
AFL: “Many airlines are looking at certain verticals to increase revenue. Turkish Airlines recently received IATA CEIV Pharma certification as proof of your commitment to pharma cargo. What other verticals is Turkish Cargo focused on?”
Mr. Ceyhan: “To maximize profit margins, airlines need to diversify their product in order to fill up space and grow. Within this scope, Turkish Cargo has also been focusing on special cargo and special solutions; like e-commerce, mail, pharma, healthcare, valuables, and several customer specific solutions.
“Last year, Turkish Cargo received IATA CEIV certification for our Istanbul hub, proving our commitment to pharma and healthcare products and storage that’s in line with expectations of pharma manufacturers. The company is focusing more on actively communicating innovative solutions when working with customers. This helps to position Turkish Airlines as a preferred pharma air carrier in the market.”
“Beyond pharma, we are well versed in other special cargo and solutions, but for every shipment, we must take into consideration very specific aspects for each customer. Doing this takes skilled staff to custom make solutions that fit to each specific requirement. The training we provide enables our staff to make a true difference in the level of service that we can offer. This business revolves around our customers, and a Turkish Cargo we will always keep them in the spotlight as our true focus.”