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Cargo Chat: Mike Dezenski

By Adina Solomon on January 31, 2014

Mike Dezenski has worked as international purchasing specialist for Chrysler in Detroit since April 2012. He handles finished vehicle air cargo and deals with international air and oceanfreight. Dezenski began his logistics career in 2002 as a contractor for air and ocean operations. He has worked with Chrysler since December 2010. Dezenski spoke with Air Cargo World about how Chrysler uses air cargo for its cars and in what ways the industry can advance.

 

What is your outlook for the airfreight industry's future?

From a Chrysler perspective, I believe on the finished vehicle side, we’ll be utilizing more of it. Tight timing on programs and production constraints, etc., kind of drive us to use international airfreight for finished vehicles more frequently than we would like. It’s kind of a necessary evil for us. Obviously, it’s much more expensive than what we can secure to bring a vehicle in via ocean. But the program timing and management and requests and testing, etc., those are what drive our demand for international airfreight.

 

What are some trends going on with air cargo and cars right now?

It seems to be growing. Not so much for us on the shows and events side, and I think that’s just the result of our product line up at the moment. But as we bring new vehicles for testing and evaluation, both private and public, we see a large demand based on the type of products they are, whether they be fragile or sensitive based on the makeup of the product itself or if it’s a foreign event and there’s a very strict timeframe. So we do find that while it’s growing on the product testing and evaluations side, we’ll probably see a resurgence in the marketing side as well as we introduce new products to the consumers.

 

Is there a certain type of vehicle that uses air cargo more frequently?

No, it’s really driven by the program life cycle, so at certain stages in production and development, we’ll see a surge in using airfreight for delivery of these vehicles. Our ultimate goal, of course, is to maintain an effective timeframe to bring those in via normal mode via ocean, but as demands and schedules change, we have to adjust accordingly and at that point, we deem airfreight as the most effective way to bring those vehicles to meet that schedule.

 

Where does this airfreight originate?

We’re global right now. Our main production facilities are located in Europe, United States, Mexico and Canada, so there’s a lot of traffic between those points. But most of our testing and development is done here in the Midwest, so we see a lot of cargo coming into airports that are able to handle that type of aircraft, such as Chicago or New York. And we’re looking at some other airports as well as the industry develops.

 

What airports are you considering?

For example, Cincinnati is one that has shown up on our radar as of late. It really is kind of driven by the cost and where the aircraft are located, so we look at the whole package, which also includes inland transportation, both in origin and destination countries, to determine the best package for total door-to-door delivery.

 

In what ways do you think the airfreight industry needs to improve?

For my perspective, it would be reporting and accuracy of intel on where the vehicles are in shipment. There’s not a real good tracking system for our shipments that we’ve been able to utilize to determine exact location in the order-to-delivery segment. We seem to always run into a little bit of a roadblock in knowing wheels up, wheels down. It’s a very manual process. There’s not a real good electronic tracking system like you would see from a UPS package delivery standpoint. So we work real closely with our forwarders to make sure that we get that information relayed, but it would be really beneficial for us to see a more effective way of tracking these shipments.

 

What percentage of the time do you use air cargo?

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