Meet Pat Gibbs, Peters & May’s Airfreight Operations Team leader. Pat may have only been with Peters & May for 5 years but with 30+ years’ experience in Airfreight Export, she certainly knows her stuff! Overseeing the Airfreight Operations division of Peters & May, Pat has a wealth of knowledge that makes her your lady if you are looking to transport your cargo from A to B.
Arranging the safe export of anything from truffles to yachting spares and parts such as an 8m long yacht foil; every day is an adventure for Pat and her team. We caught up with Pat to talk about all things Freight Forwarding and hear her highlights, working in such a fast-paced environment over the last 5 years.
What is the biggest challenge you face?
“I think it has to be the competition out there. We have a strong reputation in the market as a global freight forwarder, but customers have so much choice these days. It keeps us on our toes though, so it’s no bad thing! What sets us apart in this competitive market is our commitment to providing a first-class customer service, something our team have become renowned for within the industry. As a team, we have to be able to make decisions quickly, knowing our customer and their expectations in terms of timings and budgets to ensure we select the best service tailored to the customers’ requirements”.
What is the strangest shipment request you have had?
“That’s a tricky one, we export some weird and wonderful cargo. A few that stick in my mind are the transportation of fresh fish to the Caribbean, as well truffles worth thousands. These types of shipments obviously require careful handling, temperature regulation and the appropriate paperwork to ensure customs clearance. On the other hand, we have a lot of involvement with the Marine side of Peters & May; transporting yachting spares and parts for individuals and dealers such as Sunseeker. We work closely with Peters & May Racing, moving parts such as an 8m long yacht foil for competitors including the British Sailing Team”.
Could you choose a few highlights from your time at Peters & May?
“Last year was a great year for me. The Airfreight division has been making positive growth and it was amazing in December looking back on all that we have achieved. My personal highlight has got to be winning the CEO Award at this years Employee Awards Ceremony. It’s great for my work to be recognised and rewarded by our CEO himself – a real boost and though there may be days that I barely have time to stop and breathe, it makes it all worthwhile!”
What would you say is key to success in Airfreight Export?
“This business is all about cooperation and collaboration. We work with a range of airlines and agents, but at the end of the day we need to know that shipments are going to get to their final destination safely and on time. We work hard to build relationships with trusted airlines, all together meaning we can offer a first-class service door to door”.
Having been in the industry for over 30 years, what has changed?
“Automation of processes has made a massive difference to the speed at which we can work, everything used to be done by carbon paper technology – I used to return home at the end of the day with black fingers from the carbon paper I used to use. Another trend I have noticed is the decline in airlines operating due to strong competition. Despite that Airfreight is increasingly popular. In this busy day and age everything needs to be at its destination yesterday, meaning Airfreight is the best option for those working to tight timeframes”.
After a busy start to 2019, Pat and her dedicated team will continue working closely with Peters & May’s Sea Freight, Road Freight, Imports, Customs and Marine teams to meet the logistics needs of our customers worldwide. Find more about our freight forwarding services here.