Local is nice, global is better.
Growth to be further supported by modern management, a focus on quality and international alignment – a tour of Shanghai Pudong International Airport Cargo Terminal.
Shanghai 1999. The city and region flourish following the start of the wide-ranging economic reforms at the beginning of the 1990s. Perfectly located at the Yangtze River Delta, Shanghai grows as a result of huge investments by the central government to become one of Asia’s economic centers of worldwide renown. A second Chinese mega-metropolis in addition to Hong Kong is created.
Sea and air traffic operations grow and in a few years the Port of Shanghai becomes the world’s largest transshipment point for sea freight – and they never lose that status. Now, in 1999, the Shanghai Hongqiao Airport, which is showing signs of its age, is reaching its limits due to the rapid growth. A second international airport, Shanghai Pudong, is opened.
At the end of the 1990s, the air freight industry had also identified the potentials of the two conurbations. A state-of-the-art air freight terminal at the new airport was needed. Lufthansa Cargo didn’t need to think twice about this – and in a joint venture with the Shanghai Airport Group and JHJ Logistics Management made the vision a reality in the form of Shanghai Pudong International Airport Cargo Terminal (PACTL).
And the vision met with expectations. Today, 17 years after its inception, PACTL is seen in the air freight industry as a benchmark for warehouse logistics. It is no surprise then that in the meantime more than 50 customers have chosen PACTL as a partner. On board from the outset: Steven Shi. Today, Marketing Manager. Shi learnt the business from scratch before taking up his current position. In 1999 he started in Handling as the Manager on Duty, subsequently became Process Manager and was promoted to the position of Production Manager. “The good location in the metropolis region on the Yangtze River is the basis of our success but we are not resting our laurels. Ultimately, we face strong competition in the form of China Eastern’s very good freight terminal. Everyone lends a hand at our company. And we have a great management structure.
Open doors, open dialogue and the best possible collaboration – and that’s the norm for us.”
In all of this we attach prime importance to customer orientation. “Before we say no to a customer inquiry, we consider in detail whether or not it is actually viable,” says Shi. Although Lufthansa Cargo is a joint owner of PACTL, Air China is the largest customer and AirBridgeCargo from Russia are close, each customer is treated in an equally courteous manner. “We have attached great importance to neutrality,” confirms Lutz Grzegorz, who has held the position of Vice President Production, IT, Sales & Marketing at PACTL for eight years.
In addition to good employee morale, team spirit and neutrality, the hard factors have also contributed to PACTL’s success: investment in state-of-the-art technology, well trained warehouse employees and a first-class handling system. The company has repeatedly called itself into question over the years and at all times further developed processes and systems to maintain the role of China’s leading supplier.
Steven Shi takes great pride in his “baby.” From the first drawing to the go live, he had it entirely under his wing – the PACTL Cool Center that was inaugurated in April this year. “I knew that such first-class infrastructure would make us significantly more interesting for the customers,” says Shi. “It is a real quality upgrade. Pharmaceutical export consignments at PACTL have increased by 700 percent since the Cool Center was put into operation. Import consignments saw a solid increase of around 21 percent. “The best possible quality is the foundation for the best possible growth,” says Shi.
PACTL has been the number one in China for some time. Worldwide recognition is reflected in various certificates and awards. That, however, is not enough: Steven Shi: “We are in discussion with other airports to set up successful handling logistics based on our expertise at other locations. Local is nice, but global is better.”
At almost 3.3 million tons of freight handled in 2015, Shanghai Pudong ranks among the world’s top cargo airports
Experienced PACTL managers:
Lutz Grzegorz (r.), Vice President Production, IT, Sales & Marketing, and Steven Shi.