With the announcement of the formation of the World Freight Alliance (WFA), U.S.-based Pilot Air Freight has claimed access to 10,000 global markets.
The WFA — a strategic partnership of leading freight forwarders — provides a network spanning North America, South America, Europe, Asia, Africa and Australia.
Demand for global networks has continued to grow, according to Pilot executives, and shippers increasingly are looking for a single source to provide that access. Pilot has seized on an opportunity created when Danzas/DHL acquired Airborne Express. U.S.-based Airborne had a network of international agents who were not retained by the new DHL organization. As the contracts with various agents expired, those agents joined together to look for a new strategic partner in the U.S., according to Frank Perri, executive vice president of sales and marketing for Pilot.
Each of the forwarders is well established in its home market, says Perri, and they retain their identities even after the affiliation with the World Freight Alliance. Joining the WFA and spearheading the U.S. integration with the network was just the business decision that could propel Pilot to the next level in international logistics, Perri notes.
Pilot delivers size and scope in the U.S. market and established relationships with Fortune 500 companies that the WFA forwarders found attractive. Since the effort began to bring the network together, Pilot has spoken with many of the foreign-flag airlines in their home countries and with U.S. majors. Perri reports they are cooperative and very interested in working with Pilot and the WFA.
Just weeks before the WFA announcement, Pilot Air Freight announced record financial results for the fourth quarter of 2003. Revenue was $66.7 million, up 9.9% from 2002 on an increase of 22% for shipments and 3% in tonnage handled.
Annual revenues for 2003 grew 15.3%. Pilot delivered 829,423 shipments for the year, up 26% from 2002 and accounting for $250.2 million in revenues. Shipment volume in 2002 was 658,317, 10% ahead of the prior year.