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Strategic Moves

Logistics companies adapt and specialize to meet changing transportation needs



Never before has the quality of work in moving cargo been more critical

As transport by ground, air and sea grows exponentially, logistics companies adapt and specialize to suit all needs

Globally, the cargo and logistics industry is in a state of flux. Growth in air, ground and sea transport is testing the already strained budgets of shippers. Capacity continues to shrink and policy changes in global trade are complicating the movement of freight even further.

Never before has the quality of work in moving cargo been more critical, especially considering that new technologies are acting as disruptors in the transportation scene, such as Uber Freight, which is essentially an app for freight that operates like Uber’s ride-sharing service (Convoy and Amazon have similar apps as well).

Air Canada meets shipping needs

No single transportation specialist is more aware of the need for quality service than Air Canada Cargo, which provides direct cargo service to more than 150 cities and global coverage to an additional 450 via interline partnerships and a vast trucking network.

Air Canada Cargo has leveraged its extensive infrastructure to meet a huge range of cargo shipment needs: general shipping; AC Cool Chain (for temperature sensitive shipments); AC DGR (special handling for dangerous goods); AC Secure (for shipment of high-value items); and many more options.

And if numbers count for anything, Air Canada Cargo is doing things right. “We’ve enjoyed 24 percent revenue growth so far this year, and year over year growth has been consistently high,” says strategic account manager Scott Burtney. “This is significant because we are meeting shippers’ needs without a freighter and instead using our passenger planes.”

Much of Burtney’s time is spent co-ordinating perishable shipments: “It’s our bread and butter,” he says of cargo such as live and fresh seafood, local berries, vegetables, mushrooms and Okanagan cherries that are all shipped out of Vancouver to Asia, Europe, South America and within North America on a daily basis. And this particular service has benefitted from the inclusion of new routes. 

“This year, Air Canada added flights from Vancouver directly to Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris, France, directly to Zurich, Switzerland, and year round to Delhi, India,” he says.

In addition to perishables reaching these destinations and their intended recipients much faster, Air Canada is collecting textiles from Asia, processing them at its Vancouver hub, then sending them to Zurich; and in Delhi the shipments include safety and industrial equipment along with perishables. 

“Given the growth in size and importance of B.C.’s tech trade, I think tech will likely be the next commodity to add to our routes,” says Burtney.

Another big plus in Air Canada’s strength in the cargo services realm is the fact that it is expanding its fleet. 

“We’re increasing the number of 787s, 777s, and 330s currently in service, and this will consolidate our capabilities as the global demand for air freight continues to grow.”

Expansion mode for C&D Logistics

C&D Logistics Ltd. was launched in 1999 by Bruce Matheson, a transportation logistics specialist, and his son Dana, who grew up in the industry; together they have the expertise to excel with their goal of moving less than load (LTL) and full-load freight by rail and road.

C&D specializes in moving all types of freight on all types of equipment throughout North America and abroad. They represent both large multi-national carriers and small transport companies that meet all government regulations; they also have excellent safety records and maintain a fleet of a minimum of 10 trucks.

Dana Matheson, co-founder of C&D Logistics Ltd., says: “Typically we’ve been growing our business annually by 15 to 20 percent, but this year our growth increased by almost 100 percent, which we attribute to many elements, including a robust economy and customer retention.” C&D also benefits from being internationally certified, which has resulted in the company achieving a completion rate in excess of 5,000 customers and 100,000 shipments.

Unsurprisingly, C&D is currently in expansion mode, having recently opened new sales offices in Toronto and Scottsdale, Arizona. 

“There’s lots more to come, but we’re always mindful that it’s the people behind the businesses we serve who’ve made us a success, and therefore we refuse to expand in anything but a methodical fashion, so as not to compromise our focus on service in any way,” he says. 

Internationally certified, Langley-based C&D provides a wide range of services that constantly evolve to meet operational needs with complete specialization in logistics, international freight and special projects. But above all else, Matheson says service is what makes the company stand out as customization in numerous forms of transport allows the company to be not only responsive, but to deal with any issues quickly and effectively.