Ironically, the Covid pandemic has accomplished what years of public awareness campaigns have failed to do: bring supply chain management out of the shadows and into the spotlight. Now, several market players are hoping to capitalize on the new interest in the field for recruitment purposes.
Qatar Airways Cargo, aviation services specialist Swissport and freight forwarder JAS Worldwide recently invited students from Auburn University in Alabama to tour cargo facilities at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, saying the event could open doors for the next generation of aviation and air cargo managers.
During their visit in March, the students toured the Swissport warehouse, then were taken airside to witness the arrival of Qatar Airways Cargo flight QR8141 from Doha, Qatar, and its unloading and subsequent reloads. In small groups of five, the students took turns touring the main deck, observing the operation of the main deck high loader and learning how the Swissport warehouse operated, from accumulating cargo to breaking down, as well as the ins and outs of flight planning and preparation.
“If there’s a silver lining to the pandemic, it’s that logistics has been catapulted into the spotlight as a possible career field,” said Matthias Frey, global vice president of air cargo operations at JAS. , in a press release. “The importance of logistics has become very visible over the past two years, whereas before our industry was rather the silent strongman in the background and we struggled to attract the air cargo managers of tomorrow. I’m glad we were able to put this together. [event in] cooperation with Auburn University.
Tour organizers say they plan to make the tour a biannual event, with a second already planned for this fall.