Ground handling agents and companies play an essential role in the airfreight process. In the past, these agents and companies were primarily little more than a second thought to freight forwarders shipping freight via air. Labor shortages that are limiting the ability of these ground handling companies to perform their roles efficiently, though, are now creating a mountain of delays and hassles for freight forwarders and BCOs alike.
Thankfully, working with an experienced expedited air cargo recovery company such as Carrier911 helps freight forwarders fill in the gaps and eliminate the numerous issues caused by labor shortages in the ground handling industry.
This article covers everything you need to know about ground handling agents—their role regarding airfreight, how the challenges impacting ground handling companies affect airfreight efficiency, and how partnering with the right air cargo recovery company can help.
What Are Ground Handling Agents or Companies?
Airlines are accountable for getting cargo from one airport to another. However, it is usually someone other than the airline’s employees responsible for unloading baggage and cargo from a plane that has landed at the airport. So, airlines hire ground-handling companies to fulfill this role. These companies are usually based within the airport and operate independently.
What is Their Typical Role Regarding Airfreight?
Loading and unloading cargo and baggage is the primary role that ground handling agents perform. In addition to this responsibility, though, is a ground handling agency that performs, on behalf of an operator, the service of accepting, handling, loading, unloading, transferring, or otherwise processing cargo, passengers, or baggage.
Since ground handling companies are responsible for unloading and storing airfreight, it is these companies that forwarders are required to work with when they arrive at the airport to pick up their cargo. And with labor shortages impacting the ground handling industry especially hard, this creates several challenges.
The Challenges Faced by Ground Handling Agents Impacting Cargo Efficiency
Last July, German national air carrier Lufthansa announced that it would cancel most of its flights to Germany due to a labor strike that reportedly involved 20,000 employees in ground freight handling. This is just one example of how strikes and labor shortages in the ground handling industry impact airfreight efficiency.
When freight forwarders show up at an airport looking for their freight, they often need help to reach the ground handling agents who know where it is. Ground handling companies close their doors as early as 8 p.m., even when they are open. These labor shortages create delays and hassles for freight forwarders and beneficial cargo owners.
Compounding this issue is the fact that forwarders are required to attend to a lot of details before they can pick up their cargo. So, for example, if a driver shows up without the appropriate paperwork, the ground handling company isn’t going to turn over the cargo to them — assuming that a ground handling agent is available to assist them in the first place. For reasons such as these, more and more forwarders are turning to air cargo recovery companies to help fill the labor and details gap.
How an Air Cargo Recovery Company Helps Fill the Labor & Details Gap
Air cargo recovery companies such as Carrier911 work to help freight forwarders overcome the challenges created by labor shortages in the ground handling industry through a combination of industry connections and deep experience with the airfreight process. At Carrier 911, we leverage our unmatched expertise and relationships to locate and procure your freight regardless of issues with ground handling companies. So no matter the time of day or night, the airport where your freight is located, and how understaffed the ground handling companies at that airport happen to be, we can guarantee swift recovery of your airfreight no matter the situation circumstances.
Partnering with an experienced airfreight recovery company also ensures that the driver who arrives to pick up your cargo will have all of the necessary paperwork in hand. Many documents are required, from delivery orders to customs clearance documents to the terminal handling payment receipt, before a ground handling company will hand over freight to a driver. We work meticulously to ensure that these critical documents are properly prepared and made available.
Ensuring On-Time Delivery of Your Airfreight With Help From Carrier911
If labor shortages in the ground handling industry are creating nightmares for your freight forwarding company, Carrier911 can help! To learn more about how Carrier911 can help you fill the labor and details gap and ensure that all of your airfreight is delivered to the customer in whole and on time, be sure to contact us today.