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GAC Services (UK) Ltd - Interview with Chris Stedman

1:54am on Tuesday 14th May 2019



Logistics is all about deadlines. Customers want their goods yesterday. Delivering them in good shape, on time and on a budget is what GAC Services (UK) Ltd always does. Global reach, expertise, experience and a deep understanding of their customers’ business is their winning strategy.  

Spanning the world's major trade lanes, their integrated network provides efficient multi-modal solutions with access to modern storage and transport facilities in key locations. All backed by robust technology from warehouse management to track & trace.

Their flexible and far-reaching logistics portfolio gives its customers the strategic advantage in today's intensely competitive global marketplace. Let’s get to know more about GAC through their Business Development Manager, Chris Stedman.


How does the current climate affect you as a logistics company in terms of politics?

CS - Brexit has undoubtedly created uncertainty which we see in business trends to, from and through Europe.  We speak to customers on a daily basis with regards to Brexit and its potential impact on their business.

To support our customers we have a dedicated Customs & Fiscal team that has over 30 years of combined experience in customs clearances and can assist with importation, exportation, taxation and clearance procedures, helping to ensure that consignments clear customs swiftly and efficiently. 

We are approved as an Authorised Economic Operator - AEO (C) by HM Revenue & Customs. This internationally recognized quality mark shows we are a trusted Customs clearance service provider offering fast, efficient support, thanks to our lower risk score within Customs risk management.


Can you please share a memorable critical shipment and let us know how you handle it with the fast & right solution?

CS – 15:00 GAC get a call for a small AOG to Frankfurt, looking at various cargo solutions via air/road we found nothing available to meet the deadline. So I personally carried the cargo as luggage on the last available flight that day. We delivered the cargo in advance of the customer deadline meaning they were able to maintain schedule integrity and avoid several thousands of £££ in passenger compensation costs.


What are your contingencies if anything went out of the plan?

CS - As standard we prepare a primary and secondary option for all time-critical movements and should the unexpected happen we have a team of specialists on-hand 24/7/365 to intercept a situation prior to it becoming a problem.

  

What industry sector are you servicing the most? Have you seen a shift in industries requiring time critical logistics services?

CS - GAC Time Critical Services is an evolution of our longstanding service and support to the aviation industry. GAC has been a recognized and trusted partner to many major airlines and MRO’s for over 20 years. Using that same level of proactive and responsive service critical to our work in the aviation sector has seen us apply the same high standards in other similarly critical verticals such as automotive, pharma & life-sciences, temperature-sensitive perishables and livestock.


How many staff you have? Do you have an on-board courier? Or do you hire people on a specific shipment?

CS - GAC UK is part of the GAC Group which employs over 9000 specialists in 300 offices in 50 countries. Our OBC network is comprised of GAC staff and thoroughly vetted external specialists. Our OBC network is 24/7 and holds VISAs into all territories meaning we can get critical cargos where they are wanted … before they are needed!
  

What makes your time critical services stand out from the rest?

CS - Our experience in the sensitive and expedient handling of critical cargos across a range of industry verticals for over 20 years.

Whether your requirement is the urgent deployment of parts for a grounded aircraft, critical ships spare or vital life-saving medical equipment we have the muscle and know-how to get the job done … yesterday


Kindly share where is GAC Services came from and how this business started?

CS - The GAC story started in 1956 when Swedish entrepreneur Bengt Lindwall signed an agreement with two Kuwaiti businessmen to form Gulf Agency Company to provide professional ship agency services in the country. Today, Kuwait’s Shipping License “No.1” is proudly displayed at GAC Kuwait’s office in Farwaniya.


What made you choose logistics as a career and how long you’ve been in this industry?

CS - I am extremely solutions-oriented and thrive on pressure … there is no better environment than Logistics to practice and experience both.  I have been in the industry for 14 years

  

How do you maintain relationships with your clients & partners?

CS – GAC is more than just a service provider … we consider ourselves a partner to our customers

The key to developing strong relationships with customers is to listen to their requirements. To have a deep understanding of their business needs … and of course to deliver exceptional service and value

Recently GAC Time critical services supported a client with a complete aircraft rebuild in Kuwait after the aircraft in question was damaged from debris. This involved engine and cowl movements within a very short period to avoid additional delays/costs to the airline



Andrew Grima
ICAL International Customs and Logistics PTY LTD.
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