Having officially launched the Augmented GSSA concept along with the new, streamlined ECS Group branding in October 2021, the company focus this year has been on service awareness, the implementation of the individual Augmented GSSA four-pillar strategies, and geographical expansion in line with its commercial DNA – particularly across the Far East. Indeed, 2022 saw the opening of new offices in Japan and Korea, with the addition of Global Air Cargo branches in Tokyo and Seoul to serve key Asian customers. Hence, group employee numbers also grew in 2022, from 1,360 to 1,432 dedicated air cargo professionals.
“On behalf of the Board, my sincere thanks go to all our customers for your continued faith in our services. And particular thanks go to each and every ECS Group employee for your professionalism, efficiency, and flexibility in what has been another incredibly challenging year. You are the drivers of our Augmented GSSA strategy, and the prime reason for its success.” Robert Van de Weg, ECS Group Chief Commercial Officer states.
All ten Abilities were introduced over the course of the year, some of them becoming an overnight success. Alongside familiar Total Cargo Management solutions such as “All-In”, ECS Group also offers a wide range of modules that set it aside from its peers by their specificity and relevance in today’s market: “Brainflow” consultancy services, “Spotlight” for comprehensive marketing concepts, or “ECS Inside” which supports with staffing requirements at a time where the industry is ramping up to full operations and struggling to find appropriate local talent.
Adrien Thominet, Executive Chairman of ECS Group confirms, “Our Augmented GSSA vision is starting to physically shape our business. ECS is increasingly developing into a Key Account Management matrix structure where activities are centered around customers. And those customers are becoming more heterogenous, too, with the emergence of the new air-sea shipping clients.” The strong increase in demand for ECS Group’s Total Cargo Expertise (TCE) services, where ECS Group supplies outsourced operations, is confirmation that the Abilities service module approach offers the required flexibility to newcomers to the air cargo industry, and airlines that are building back after the pandemic. A flexibility and agility that will be all the more necessary in 2023, which will bring its own new challenges. Indeed, the transformation of the industry leads ECS Group to strengthen its commercial DNA while deploying a hybrid GSSA model through the development of new skills that cater for customers’ every needs.
“It is also very encouraging to see that the digital transformation in our industry is gathering pace,” Adrien Thominet continues, “and ECS Group is clearly assisting this acceleration. Cargo Digital Factory, our own incubator, is already offering various tools such as Quantum, Apollo and Pathfinder. But the challenge of digitalization has led us to go further. To help accelerate the development of solutions for our industry, Cargo Digital Factory joined CargoTech early last year, enabling ECS Group to benefit from new solutions and create new synergies.”
As a further step in the digitalization of ECS Group, the GSSA’s online presence has also been modernized in line with its new brand image.
Summing up 2022, Robert Van de Weg describes it as “Four seasons in one day. We enjoyed a very strong first half year; however, the second half has been more challenging given a flatter market compared to the summer, with falling yields and volumes, particularly out of Asia. An unusual situation for this time of year, and one that will likely remain so for the first half of 2023,” he predicts. “We expect Asian exports to pick up again in the second half the of the year, when the US and Europe begin restocking once more.”
The year 2023 promises to be full of challenges. Challenges that ECS Group is ready to meet thanks to the continuous diversification of its services and digitalization. Those two factors coupled with the determination and keen business acumen that characterize its members, stand ECS Group in good stead to face this new environment.
About ECS Group
ECS Group is the world leader in GSSA business, serving airlines. Representing hundreds of companies in over 50 countries through its 173 offices, ECS Group knows it can count on its 1,400+ employees around the world to offer high-quality service tailored to each of its partners. Thanks to this ever-increasing network, ECS Group contributes to the growth and development of the airlines it represents on the international stage in the air cargo sector. ECS Group has received many awards from its peers and is the favored partner and go-to GSSA in the cargo industry.