Wednesday, August 27, 2014
Shipping into and out of Africa presents a number of unique challenges that we and our partners have to work through to make sure we can deliver the great quality service that our customers expect. Some of these issues include political unrest, a lack of infrastructure, equipment that doesn’t work, and airports that can close on a moment’s notice. It’s this new set of challenges that really tests what we’re good at, which is being flexible.
To give you an example, we recently had a 747 full of military freight going into Africa. To unload a 747 is no ordinary task—it requires a device called a K-Loader, along with about seven trucks that can then unload cargo once it’s on the tarmac. Plus, as I mentioned, it’s not uncommon for the airports in Africa to have issues with their equipment. In this case, we found out at the last possible minute that the K-Loader at the airport that we had chosen as our destination was broken. We had to quickly re-route to fly into a different airport, find a K-Loader that did work, make sure the runway could hold the weight, and find seven trucks that could unload the cargo and transport it down to the airport of the original destination. All of that happened in about an hour and a half.
This is the kind of situation that continues to set us apart. There will always be challenges, and as long as there are, Pilot will continue to find ways to overcome them.