Chicago is not New York. Evidently. Take their hot dogs for example. The typical New York hot dog comes with a soft bun, an all-beef sausage, sauerkraut (or sautéed onions if you prefer) and spicy brown mustard. New Yorkers love their dog. With the Chicago dog, the all-beef sausage is accompanied by lots of toppings and served in a poppy seed bun. The result: a hot dog that is unique to Chicago.
Last year, when Panalpina decided to serve its JFK air freight customers from its Chicago office, it created a bit of a stir. Paul Calame, Panalpina’s manager responsible for forwarding services in the New York area, recalls: "People asked us: Are you shutting everything down at JFK? Will you do no more air freight out of New York? Well, five months down the road, quite the opposite is the case. We have seen an increase of volumes and operations are running smoothly.”
Panalpina’s new local subcontractor is MSS Transportation Inc., a Joseph Sarcona company. MSS Transportation now handles the cargo of Panalpina’s customers in the JFK area. “They are our trusted third-party service provider on site,” says Paul. “They operate under our service standards and provide anything from warehousing and local delivery to value-added services to support our business units and customers.”
For one customer, MSS Transportation provides a so called white glove service for RGX containers. These are special protective containers that ensure safe transport conditions for demanding shipments such as shock- and temperature-sensitive photolithography systems for the semiconductor industry. As part of the service, MSS Transportation makes sure that the containers keep cooling while they are not in flight. For quality assurance, MSS Transportation employees also download monitoring data from the containers via laptop and take photos of truck and plane loading and unloading operations. Incidents are immediately escalated to Panalpina and the customer, regardless of the time or day.
The overall responsibility and coordination of all JFK shipments now lie with the air freight specialists of Panalpina’s large Chicago office. Panalpina manages roughly twice as many import as export shipments at JFK, but in terms of volumes, imports and exports are roughly the same. The Netherlands top the list for both import and export shipments. Korea and China rank second and third for exports, and France and Taiwan second and third for imports. “Most of the JFK cargo still comes from fashion, high-tech as well as consumer and retail customers,” explains Joe Torelli, business unit manager in Chicago. “We continue to offer them the full scope of air freight services through the JFK airport.”
In other words, when you book air freight with Panalpina out of New York, for example, we still serve you a New York hot dog. It is physically prepared at JFK and it takes to the sky in New York. Well, before it does, we maybe add a little bit of green relish or a dash of celery salt – or some pickles for good measure. But hey, that only makes it tastier, no?