Aviation Logistics Knowledge Lecture – Different Positions of an Forwarding Agent

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Aviation Logistics Knowledge Lecture – Different Positions of an Forwarding Agent

Hello everyone, today we will talk about the functions and responsibilities of several important positions in the air freight forwarding company. Why say this? Because some small partners may have just entered the industry and do not know much about the division of labor, they will spend some time communicating on the work process. These communications are time consuming and result in low productivity. Therefore, it is very necessary for us to clarify the responsibilities and division of labor of each position with you, so that when you have questions, you can find the right person as soon as possible and get a satisfactory answer. Of course, this article is for newcomers. Some mature companies already have a very clear job division. This is just a general situation, and it cannot be said that every company is necessarily the same. But in general there won’t be much difference. If you have different opinions, please put them forward.


What we are talking about now is the most important output positions, excluding non-front-line executive units such as finance and personnel. Therefore, this article is more practical (as if my articles are more practical than theoretical…). Then the positions we are going to talk about this time mainly include: sales, airline, customer service, and operation.


Well, without further ado, let’s take a look at the first post to talk about.



As the first step of the whole air freight process, the role of TA is crucial. Because in addition to old customers, the company’s new customer source development, and even new routes, new co-loader, can be led by sales. The new routes and new co-loaders mentioned here are all due to the market demand, and sales are just on the front line of the market. We often say that market demand is everything. Therefore, sales, as the frontline personnel of the company, should be very sensitive to the market sense. He should react differently according to market changes, customer psychology, etc. At the same time, these market information should be timely fed back to the management of the company and the hands of the airline.


Yes, the sales position is not only responsible for receiving goods, but also needs to collect market information to feed back to relevant colleagues, and then help the company formulate a new round of market strategies. Of course, not every customer will be willing to tell the truth to the salesperson, and sometimes exaggerate because they want to lower prices or other reasons. At this time, sales need to preliminarily judge the accuracy and authenticity of market information according to the context at that time. However, since the sale is only to this one customer, the basis and standard of its judgment may not be completely accurate. At this time, another position is needed to conduct in-depth analysis and judgment. This position is the airline. We will talk about this position below.


Of course, the main responsibility of sales is to receive goods. We’ve covered some general aspects of receipts before. In general, the sales strategy for receiving goods should be to receive everything that is available. But if the company is large and the number of sales staff is sufficient, the sales strategy should actually be subdivided. The most common practice is that sales A is responsible for certain points, and sales B is responsible for certain points; or sales A is responsible for a certain area, and sales B is responsible for a certain area; or, sales A is responsible for direct customers, and sales B is responsible for expert. and so on. The advantage of subdividing the scope of work is that each sales can be specialized in the specialization he is responsible for, so the specialization of the sales may not be broad enough, but deep enough. For example: If I was in charge of FRA, I would know about the number of customers doing FRA in the market now, where they are located, and their respective needs are different. Where, what are the requirements for the goods, what special regulations are there for customs clearance at the destination, etc. When it comes to FRA, I can go on and on. This kind of sales, to customers, is very professional. No one can lie to you in the FRA market. So it will increase the success rate of winning bkd. why? What do customers care about most? Can someone help me deliver the goods to the destination in the safest way and at the lowest cost in the shortest time. These questions, only professional sales can answer to the point, in order to increase the customer’s trust in you. At the same time, these three are very interesting questions. Let’s analyze it one by one.


Shortest time: Air freight is inherently faster than sea freight. So what the customer asks is not simply a question of shipping time. It’s the time of the entire airfreight process. From the moment he delivers it, when will the consignee get the goods. In this case, it is necessary for the seller to be very familiar with the airline. Once the goods are ready for carriage, we can arrange a series of actions such as pick-up, warehousing, customs declaration, board making, and boarding. Of course, our partnership with airlines is also crucial. But how can guests gain confidence? It depends on strength – the strength of channels/resources, and the strength of sales.


The safest way: what the customer said is, is there a high probability of the goods being damaged during transportation? Is it possible to effectively protect his goods? At this time, sales need to give customers confidence, for example, you can list some successful cases in the past (if there is a project case, it is better). It is possible to enumerate the safety data of the airline (such as the list of safest airlines published by IATA). At the same time, we know what the customer is worried about, and whether there has been any damage to the goods before? Analyze customer concerns and provide targeted explanations.


Lowest cost: Well…this is the most interesting topic. Every guest wants to get their freight to their destination without spending any money. But it’s practically impossible. From the company’s standpoint, not only do you not want to lose money, but you also want to earn more. I believe that the sales point of view is aligned with the company’s point of view. Because the sales are high, the commission is high. So how to sell high? The current market is so transparent, others may be able to grab the goods at a price of 0.1/kg. If we blindly rely on price to win the hearts of customers, then this relationship is very fragile. So, what we should be fighting for is service. Impeccable service. Care about the needs of the customer, think about the customer as much as possible, and help the customer deal with the matter before the customer asks (these services may be charged extra). All the customer has to do is deliver on time. Let customers develop a dependence on themselves. Just like finding a boyfriend/girlfriend, if the guy/girlfriend is lazy by your support, the opportunity cost of TA leaving you will be very high. Let me share a case with you: after the customer delivered the goods, they sent it to the warehouse and found that the packaging was damaged. Then the salesman called the customer and said that such packaging is not only prohibited from entering the warehouse, but also has a very high probability of damage to the goods even if it is smuggled into the warehouse. It just so happens that we have a packaging machine in our warehouse. Do you want us to help you repackage or reinforce the packaging of the goods? Since you are our high-quality customer, we specially apply to the company for a special price to give you a preferential price for xx/pallet. What do you think? When the customer heard this, not only did they not refuse the sales package fee, but they were also very grateful that the sales were so considerate. Since then has been a loyal customer of this sale. This example tells us that as long as the service is in place, customers will buy it. Of course, there will also be unreasonable customers. If you tell him this, he will probably ask you in turn: Did you break my packaging when picking up the goods? For this kind of customer, we also need to be wary. The best way is to take pictures when picking up the goods. If the packaging is found to be damaged when picking up the goods, then communicate with the customer immediately. Because the effect of communication before the event is definitely better than the effect of communication after the event. And after the communication, there will be the situation just now, and no one can tell where the package was broken.


At the same time, sales have another responsibility, that is, after-sales tracking. The so-called non-tracking of sales came to nothing in the end. I’m sure many of you have heard of it? If in doubt, or out of luck, and something goes wrong with the item, the customer goes to the sale. Sales are dealt with. So sales have to be patient. Of course, the premise is that the sales person is very familiar with the business process and can solve the customer’s problems professionally. This is a qualified sale.


Routing Management

Airline is also a very important post. This position is responsible for collecting and analyzing market information, and maintaining close communication with airlines and experts. And it is necessary to transmit important industry information, airline news, customer feedback, etc. back to various departments in a timely manner. So the route is also indispensable.


Generally speaking, the airline is mainly responsible for sorting out the channels and resources of each airline in the market. Different companies have different divisions of labor. By route, or by airline. There are both approaches. Their advantages and disadvantages are also very obvious, and it is necessary to decide which method to adopt according to the different development stages of the company.


By route: The advantage of this is to be able to have a lateral understanding of a specific route. For example, the same is HKG-FRA, TK has, LH has, CX has. So, which airline is better? What are their characteristics? With such a horizontal comparison, customers can be better analyzed and given multiple choices.


By airline: one route to one airline. Airlines have a window to communicate more efficiently. It is also easier to communicate with airlines in depth. And this route is solely responsible for docking with the airline, so I have a better understanding of the airline’s latest information, policies, trends, etc. It is very clear about its network.


This does not say which method is the best, only the suitable is the best. If a company is not very large and only signs one airline, then the route may only be for this airline. If a company mainly co-loads out, then the route is mainly for connoisseurs. Therefore, it is necessary to find the most suitable method to formulate the division of labor for this position. Of course, from the perspective of the airline, it is more inclined to a window. Because the airline is responsible for sending bkd to the airline, communicating position status, price changes, airline promotion plans and many other information, if the airline has to think about which route this information should be sent to every time, it will definitely be a headache.


As I said at the beginning, in addition to communicating with airlines/experts, airlines also have a very important responsibility, which is to collect and analyze different market information, and then revise/formulate market strategies. This is a bit similar to sales, but different from sales, because many people provide market information to airlines from different channels, so although airlines are not on the front line, they receive a large amount of market information. What’s the benefit of this? We can’t compare the small amount, but the large amount is fine. For example, in the same LAX, a customer said that the port of Messiah has been closed. How do we deal with this information? Look at other customers doing LAX, whether there is such a situation. If this is the case, it can prove that a customer is telling the truth. If only this customer said, either he has some exclusive information, he knows it in advance, or he has other purposes. Therefore, after the airline has such a large amount of information, the information can be analyzed and utilized, and the analyzed information can be sorted out and given to colleagues in sales or other positions. Therefore, the analytical ability of the route is very important. This position must be carefully and comprehensively considered. Otherwise, it is possible to publish the wrong information and lead to the deviation of the company’s strategy.


Customer Service

You must be familiar with the position of customer service, but it sounds like a position with a lot of things to do. What about the facts? That’s true. Because after the sales get the bkd back, it will be handed over to the customer service to follow up. The sales are purely responsible for getting the goods, and the process after getting the goods is followed up by the customer service. For example, pick up – where to pick up? What time are you going to pick it up? Arrange 3T car or 5T car? If I have to wait, what should I do if the truck driver says I need to pay more? For example, warehousing – what flight number to catch? Is it possible to get in early? Standby position or confirm position? Is it DG? Do you want to do magnetic inspection or inspection? Have you prepared the required certificates for warehousing in advance? etc. After getting on the plane, prepare the actual flight information to the customer. When arriving at the destination, customers should be notified in time. If there is any problem, please report it to the sales in time.


The job of customer service is usually held by girls, why? Because girls are more considerate than boys, they can give customers the feeling of being at home. Taking care of all aspects and making customers feel the level of service is a successful customer service.


Another very important quality is that customer service needs to know which information to tell customers immediately and which information to tell sales immediately. For example, when you know that the position is standby, you must notify the sales first and let the sales decide how to tell the customer. Unless you are a very experienced customer service, otherwise, it may lead to serious consequences.


Generally speaking, after the customer service has followed a shipment, they have to do filing, which is to organize the relevant information of the shipment into a folder. The advantage of this is that it is more convenient to find the information of the goods when checking the records later. Therefore, if the same customer gives a ticket today and a ticket tomorrow, then the same customer service will usually follow up. The same is true for the relationship between airlines and airlines. Because of the long-term contact, everyone has a tacit understanding, and many things are self-evident. This not only saves time and effort, but also makes it easier to create a loyal customer.


There are also many cases, that is, an old customer, who has not ordered for a period of time, suddenly a bkd came today, then this old customer is likely to directly order customer service instead of sales. Because the old customers are already very familiar with the customer service, they can proceed smoothly without the need for sales to worry about. Of course, this is what everyone likes to see.


Operation (On Site)

Unconsciously, I have written more than 4,000 words… But in order to let everyone enjoy it at one time, let’s insist on finishing this post on-site operation.


This position is the last process in the origin, but this step is not at all easy. I still remember a sentence my boss taught me at the time: All the problems of air freight happen on the spot, and the most important thing is to hit the board. Of course, if it is the on-site operation of the agent, there is generally very little opportunity to enter the scene to play the board. Unless a powerful agent like China X Yun has his own board team, he can make his own board. General agents do not have such manpower, nor are they qualified to enter the freight station to play boards. Therefore, the on-site operation here is more about the scene before the goods are put into the warehouse.


Generally speaking, after the goods arrive, it is necessary to pick up the goods, check the packaging, check the number of pieces, and check the documents. Arrange to enter the warehouse or put it in the second-level warehouse first. After entering the warehouse, there is accurate data and report it to the customer service. After the customer service confirms with the customer, the customs declaration begins, and so on. It’s easy to say, but there can be a lot of surprises in doing it. For example, the customer concealed the report, clearly had the battery, let alone the fact that it was discovered when the plane was over, and was rejected, and the agent was even allowed to enter the cargo terminal blacklist. Or, in the case of customer self-reporting, the docking customs broker has been unable to contact, and the order is about to be cut off, but the order has not been delivered. At this time, the on-site operation must be timely feedback to customer service and sales, so that customers can deal with the situation in a timely manner. Therefore, the sensitivity of on-site operations, especially the sensitivity to cargo safety and accuracy, is very important.


If the field operations are smart enough, he knows the importance of planning. Ask the customer service about the warehousing plan every day to see what goods are available today and when will they be warehousing. What is expected to be shipped, what documents are required or what additional checks are required. Although planning is not as fast as changing, it is always better to have a plan than no plan. Otherwise, he will be busy all day. Speaking of which, you may be a small partner at the scene. Do you think that you will not be busy if you make a plan? It is true that the on-site operation is exposed to the sun and rain every day. It is very hard to run around, go through commodity inspections, customs, and freight stations for a while. This requires every previous step, including possible preparations from the beginning of the sale. Reduce the cost of on-site communication. As soon as the goods arrive, you can proceed to the next step in an orderly manner.


In this article, we talked about several important positions of freight forwarders, hoping to help those who have just entered the industry. can enter the state more quickly. If you have any questions, please send me a private message. That’s it for today’s content, see you next time.


NB: Karron is the owner of the :”NatureCalls” Wechat Official Account.

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