Wednesday, July 24, 2024
New era for industry awards

New era for industry awards

The 2024 Air Cargo Week World Air Cargo Awards (WACA) will be held at the Shanghai New International Expo Centre on Wednesday 26th June 2024, recognising excellence across the airfreight industry.

For the first time, Air Cargo Week has introduced a supervisory panel  to ensure the industry can be confident integrity and neutrality are at the heart of the Awards.

Norman Bamford, former Managing Director of Azura International, Mike Duggan, Principal of Maeshe Aviation Services, Brigitte Gledhill, Chief Correspondent of CargoForwarder Global, and Alina Fetisova, Trade Facilitation Programme Officer at the International Trade Centre, will all oversee the external handling of the Awards. 

“Having been involved in the Air Cargo Week World Air Cargo Awards since the very first ceremony in Munich in 2007, it gives me great pleasure to see how they have evolved and grown in popularity over the years,” Kim Smith, Director of Operations at Azura International, explained.

“The Awards generate a massive amount of interest throughout the industry and although there have been a few occasions where it has been suggested the Awards are not always seen as neutral and can be “bought” by sponsors and advertisers – this is a perception we want to refute and dispel.

“We believe this new independent Supervisory Panel underscores our commitment to ensuring the Air Cargo Week World Air Cargo Awards are meaningful and are an achievement to be proud of. We have purposely selected a panel that we know will test us and we are totally open to their recommendations and views to make the Awards bigger and better going into the future,” Smith stated.

“As a journalist, when it comes to awards, I want to see tangible, credible results. Why does a company deserve to win? How is it being judged? Does every company within the air cargo industry have the same, fair access to the competition? Many awards ceremonies these days – and there are far too many out there, in my view – are purely commercial affairs: exclusive and nebulous in their process, often with major sponsors winning the main prizes,” Gledhill said. 

“I believe that awards should be given based on true merit, not marketing budget. They should be open to everyone, and the judging method should be transparent and free of manipulation or bias. I am happy to have been asked to be a Supervisory Panel member and look forward to overseeing the process and delivering input on how I feel the World Air Cargo Awards can be improved to become a true industry standard, going forward,” she continued.

Truly impartial

Considered to be the global air cargo industry’s most prestigious recognition of excellence, winning an award is a sign of being a market leader and recognises the hard work of team members, helping to inspire future performance. 

“The new Supervisory Panel, none of whom have a vested interest in any of the categories, will help to maintain the integrity of the Awards and, through their knowledge and experience, monitor and enhance the event for the future,” Bamford explained.

“In my trade work, I always champion the power of transparency in trade facilitation reforms—a sunlight cutting through uncertainty, fostering trust, and enabling successful implementation,” Fetisova added. “Extending this principle to oversee the 2024 Air Cargo Week World Air Cargo Awards is both an honour and a responsibility. These awards aren’t just about winning, they symbolise our shared commitment to excellence and trust-building in the industry. I’m excited to be part of the Supervisory Panel  and contribute to recognising hard work and bright achievements for inspiring the future of the air cargo community.”

“I was passionate about working with the World Air Cargo Awards because I recognised the importance of building a truly impartial awards for the airfreight sector,” Duggan stated. 

“Traditionally, industry awards have been, or appeared to be, tied to sponsorship and I felt it was critical to have an event that genuinely acknowledged the strength and success of the airfreight sector. As WACA returns in Shanghai in June, I am excited to show these awards are an important event in the calendar that shines a light on those in our industry who are truly deserving of recognition.” Duggan concluded. 

Vote now

Voting is open now across the 10 categories: Airfreight Forwarder of the Year, Air Cargo Handling Agent of the Year, Air Cargo Charter Broker of the Year, Airport of the Year, Air Cargo General Sales Agent of the Year, Air Cargo Industry Customer Care Award, Air Cargo Industry Achievement Award, Information Technology for the Air Cargo Industry Award, Air Cargo Industry Marketing & Promotional Campaign Award, and Cargo Airline of the Year.

“Having been associated with the Air Cargo Week World Air Cargo Awards since their inception in 2007 I am delighted to be able to assist the new Supervisory Panel,” Bamford stated. “These Awards are so important to our industry inasmuch as they represent the quality, expertise and achievements of those who work within it. Their success and increasing popularity over the years is due largely to the fact that votes are cast only by the nominees’ peers within the industry; nobody else,” Bamford concluded

“The Awards are held every year in conjunction with the hugely successful Messe Munchen exhibitions – air cargo Europe and air cargo China – two of the biggest shows in the global airfreight calendar – an association Azura International is proud to have held since 2003. This year’s Awards will be held during air cargo China on Wednesday 26th June and we look forward to welcoming you there,” Smith added. 

Picture of James Graham

James Graham

James Graham is an award-winning transport media journalist with a long background in the commercial freight sector, including commercial aviation and the aviation supply chain. He was the initial Air Cargo Week journalist and retuned later for a stint as editor. He continues his association as editor of the monthly supplements. He has reported for the newspaper from global locations as well as the UK.

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