New charter alliance combines scale with service

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hree cargo charter brokers have joined forces to launch the Global Charter Alliance – the world’s first consortium of independent air charter brokers. Their aim is to continue providing highly-personalised service, but with the benefits of a network behind them.

The three founder members of the Global Charter Alliance (GCA) – Pacific Airlift of Singapore, The Charter Store of the USA, and recently-formed NEO Air Charter of Germany – will work closely together to exploit operational efficiencies, share contacts, market intelligence and other information, leverage collective buying power and benefit from economies of scale.

Owners of the three companies have spent many years working together in their existing and previous companies, but GCA brings new levels of organisation and commitment to their collaboration.

Explains Andrew Sim, Director of Pacific Airlift: “We know each other very well, and have successfully worked together on many projects. The recent launch of NEO by our old friends Adnan Duran and Stefan Kohlmann acted as a catalyst for the creation of GCA, and a way of building our cooperation to the next level.”

Adds Harry Steiner, Senior partner and co-founder of The Charter Store: “Success in charter broking is all about people, their knowledge and their contacts. GCA starts life with an impressive pool of extremely experienced and capable people who are highly effective as individuals, and will now be even more so as part of a larger team.”

Stefan Kohlmann, now joint Managing Partner of Frankfurt-based NEO, says: “GCA retains the unparalleled dedication and commitment that you only get from people who own their own businesses. It combines this with the benefits of regional coverage and scale that the multi-nationals enjoy.”

GCA members will enjoy greater efficiency, stronger marketing and reduced costs, while customers will benefit from faster responses, more localised presence at origin and destination, and potential opportunities to reduce costs through sharing of capacity and better use of empty legs.

The current membership of GCA provides it with solid coverage of the USA, Asia Pacific and Europe, supplemented by service partners in other parts of the world that enables it to conduct charters to or from any location. GCA plans to expand its membership further, but will do so in a carefully-controlled manner, adds Sim: “We all enforce high standards and enjoy excellent reputations, and we are not willing to compromise these by admitting new members who do not meet our strict criteria. Quality is GCA’s first priority, and expansion comes second.”

As with NEO, GCA has pledged always to respect existing relationships between freight forwarders and their shipper clients. Says Steiner: “The larger brokers increasingly conduct business with shippers and government entities directly, and so directly compete with freight forwarders. We take a different view: freight agents play a vital role in the supply chain, which we absolutely respect. So we work with them, not against them.”

Concludes Kohlmann: “The charter market has become dominated by a small number of major players, and we believe this has been detrimental to service standards and competition; neither carriers nor shippers have benefitted. The Global Charter Alliance aims to provide an alternative model, in which size and infrastructure do not replace customer focus, fair deals and competitive pricing.”

The Global Charter Alliance ("GCA") is a premier affiliation of independent air charter broker firms. GCA member firms maintain their name, autonomy and independence and are responsible for their own client arrangements, delivery of services and maintenance of client relationships. Each member company is a separate and independent legal entity and as such has no liability for the acts or omissions of any other member firm. Global Charter Alliance ("GCA") provides no services to clients and has no liability for the acts or omissions of any member firm.