Behind the scenes with air freight forwarder Kenneth
28 February 2022
Below the smoky skies of Amsterdam, you can find the office of Ritra Cargo Schiphol. With a direct view of the landing strip, you can immediately tell what this place is all about: air freight. Kenneth has been one of the permanent members of our team for 9 years. In this interview, he will offer you a look behind the scenes. Will you read along?
Organising air freight from A to Z
When asked why he likes his job so much, Kenneth’s got his answer ready: “the diversity. As an air freight forwarder, no two days are the same”. He explains by giving us a few examples.
For instance, he always starts his day by checking departures. Are all the planned shipments on their way? The lines of communication between Ritra Cargo and the air freight traders are short. Similarly, the warehouse area on the ground floor of the building at the Fokkerweg contributes to that same, efficient way of working. “You can simply drop by quickly. That’s convenient, because we’re always in a rush here.”
They also process the customs clearance procedures themselves in Amsterdam, and the fiscal component is handled on the spot. As Kenneth explains: “we do everything here, except flying”.
Working under time constraints comes easy to him. He doesn’t know any better. Contrary to the weeks of transit time for railway and sea freight shipments, air freight needs to be processed in a matter of days.
Prioritising happy customers
In addition to the standard, everyday activities, we receive requests from (potential) customers every day. Many of those questions concern dangerous goods, and for a good reason, too. Shipping so-called ‘dangerous goods’ has become one of the areas of expertise of the Schiphol colleagues.
Advising the customers and helping them find solutions is something that makes Kenneth proud: “In this market, we are known for our honesty and speed.” Thanks to years of experience in developing reliable contacts, the air freight department knows exactly where they can get the best air freight rates. This allows us to present customers with competitive quotes. The many repeated requests and bookings are a clear sign of the customers’ appreciation.
Sustainability and ICT
The developments in the area of sustainability and ICT have not left the air freight sector unaffected. Kenneth has noticed this, too: “Customers increasingly ask us for detailed information. The CO2 emissions have become even more important these days.”
Kenneth also explains that he currently also frequently cooperates with his colleagues in the ICT department. Together, they’re looking for ways to use the online supply chain platform TRACOS more and more for air freight shipments. In the future, this will ensure more available data and time savings for all parties involved.
When we ask Kenneth about the cooperation between the Rotterdam and Amsterdam Offices, it turns out that efficient communication is not limited to the offices internally. For example, colleague Peter van Herk recently procured Kenneth’s help for a project of one of his customers.
While this customer normally transports metal resources by sea, 5 shipments to Kuwait of 10 10,000-kilogram pallets each had a particularly tight deadline. Within a week, Kenneth managed to get the shipments to their destination. What a lovely bit of of teamwork!
Kenneth was born and raised in Amsterdam. He got his first logistics job during his Air Freight Logistics Intermediate Vocational Education programme. He worked as a warehouse employee for the Wilson forwarding company.
An old classmate got him into contact with Ritra Cargo. At the time, there was a vacancy for an air freight forwarder position. Kenneth was hired and soon felt right at home among the other five men of the Schiphol team. By now, he has worked here for over nine happy years.
His direct colleagues Jean, John, Mike, Rob and Jessey describe him as a cheerful, involved and helpful team player. He likes a joke now and then, but will always get back to work afterwards. He happily helps out during holidays. Whether it’s in import or export. “That’s simply what you do in a small team,” Kenneth says.
Are you curious about our other colleagues? Have a look at our team page!
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