Ironically, the Covid pandemic accomplished what years of public awareness campaigns failed to do: bring supply chain management out of the shadows and into the spotlight. Now, several market players are hoping to leverage the newfound interest in the field for recruitment purposes.
Qatar Airways Cargo, aviation services specialist Swissport, and freight forwarder JAS Worldwide recently invited students from Alabama’s Auburn University to tour freight facilities at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, saying the event could open the doors to the next generation of aviation and aircargo managers.
During their March visit, the students toured the Swissport warehouse and then were taken airside to witness the arrival of Qatar Airways Cargo flight QR8141 from Doha, Qatar, and its subsequent offloading and reloading. In smaller groups of five, the students took turns visiting the main deck, observing the main deck high-loader in operation, and learning how the Swissport warehouse operates from cargo buildup to breakdown, along with the ins and outs of flight planning and preparation.
“If there is one silver lining to the pandemic, then it is that logistics has been catapulted into the spotlight as a possible career field,” Matthias Frey, global VP airfreight operations at JAS, said in a release. “The importance of logistics became very visible over the past two years, whereas in the past, our industry was very much the silent strongman in the background and we struggled to attract the aircargo managers of tomorrow. I am delighted that we have now been able to set up this [event in] cooperation with Auburn University.”
Tour organizers say they plan to make the tour a twice-syearly event, with a second one already planned for this fall.