Southwest Airlines (SWA) Cargo’s vision and commitment to quality customer service hasn’t changed over the years, but nearly everything else about the operation has. Its technology, service areas and shipping capacity have all adjusted and expanded to serve a customer base that has also changed right along with everything else. Vice President of SWA Cargo and Charters, Matt Buckley, recalls serving a very different customer when the company began operating in the early 1970s. Back then it was primarily small packages, photo films waiting to be developed and canceled checks. But with the advent of the fax machine and industries going digital, shipments today look vastly different.

When the city of big shoulders decided to expand its air cargo facilities at O’Hare International airport in 2012, it chose Aeroterm to develop the 840,000-square-foot project. Aeroterm, headquartered in Annapolis, Md., is the leading specialist in airport real estate investment, development, leasing and management in North America, with more than 20 years of experience in its field.

O’Hare’s centralized location in the United States enables cargo to reach more than 200 cities non-stop nationally and internationally. The airport ranks among the top 10 airports in North America and the top 25 in the world in annual air cargo volume.

Though the economy has lagged, CEO Beti Ward of Pacific Air Cargo (PAC) explains that her company’s success has come from servicing a real industry need. After working in the air cargo business for eight years, Ward launched her own company in 1989, American International Corp., to serve a niche market.

From its beginnings in 1989 as a small trucking company overseen by a husband-and-wife team running mail routes through southern Georgia, J&P Hall Express has developed into one of the leading air cargo and expedited transportation providers in the Southeast. In fact, last year the company was named trucker of the year by the Atlanta Air Cargo Association and Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport.

Ben Bauman, CEO of Bolt Express, considers his company culture to be one of its biggest competitive advantages. The Bolt management team has embraced a servant leadership style that focuses on the growth and development of its employees as a way to ensure an overwhelmingly positive experience for the company’s customers.

No traveler wants to have a bad in-flight experience. Instead, they want to feel safe with a crew that is ready to meet their needs.

Robb Bergeson says Edward Jet Center’s understanding of this need has kept it successful over the last 63 years. “We are very fortunate to have a great core group of employees,” the general manager says. “[They] really understand that our business is based on safety and service.”

As Milwaukee-based Derco Aerospace, Inc. approaches its 30th year within the industry, the aircraft supply chain company’s business model continues to develop. The logistics and solutions provider is a subsidiary of Sikorsky Aircraft Corp., which is owned by United Technologies Corp. of Hartford, Conn.

Commitment is a commodity that a business cannot run without. The commitment to invest in new manufacturing equipment that will enable a company to excel was necessary for BMT Aerospace USA Inc. to accelerate its growth, and for its vice president of sales and marketing, Bryan Barlow, to execute a successful revenue growth strategy.

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