Spotlight on… Richard Stevenson, cargo.one PR & Communications Lead

CargoForwarder Global’s ‘Spotlight On…’ takes a look at the many different people and functions that make up the air cargo industry. Communication plays a major part in the industry’s perceived image and success, as well as in education, safety, promotion, collaboration, and customer relationships. So, this week, we get a dynamic insight into what Richard Stevenson (RS) does in his role as PR & Communications Lead at cargo.one, and how he feels about our industry.

Collaboration is key for air cargo industry success. Image: Richard Stevenson

CFG: What is your current function and company? And what are your responsibilities?

RS: Hello Mrs! [cheeky smile]. My name is Richard Stevenson, and I’m PR & Communications Lead at the leading air freight platform, cargo.one. I head up cargo.one’s corporate and marketing content, communications and global PR. It happens to be a great gig, because there are so many success stories from our global community to share.

I am indeed very British…I know, you can hardly tell from my BBC News voice…I’m based in London although I travel quite a lot due to the global nature of our business. We are currently available in 116 markets, so it gets busy.

I have been in technology PR for 22 years now, but we’ll move swiftly on from the age topic! It does always feel rather strange to be the interviewee myself – I much prefer being ‘off camera’, usually pacing up and down, clutching my phone and chewing my lip.

CFG: What does a normal day look like for you? (Or is there such a thing?)

RS: That’s a great question. Well, at times I do need to be flexible depending on the time zones we’re doing activities in, such as Asia and the Americas. That’s one of the special characteristics of air cargo – you get to work with colleagues, customers and partners in all corners of the world.

In the morning, we will post our social posts and send out texts or publish online whatever was planned. The rest of the day is typically spent writing long form copy, interviewing internally and externally, a lot of coordination for industry events, webinars and meetings, and of course liaising with our stellar air cargo media.

CFG: How long have you been in the air cargo industry, and what brought you to it?

RS: I’m pretty new to air freight, I’m of course still learning the ropes after only about two and a half years. But I do have the advantage of being a HUGE aviation geek. That’s how I spend most Saturdays. In previous roles, I loved PRing supply chain management, but the addition of aviation into the mix is a dream mission for me.

I’ve worked across a super wide range of SaaS sectors, but the air transportation industry is truly global and also plucks at my heartstrings like nothing before. It wasn’t long before I had a few moments when I realized I’ve arrived in the industry in which I properly belong.

CFG: What do you enjoy most about your job?

RS: So, I have zero poker-face, when I’m happy you know about it. Since joining air cargo, I have never been prouder about the industry and company I belong to – it’s vital to society and our work delivering digital superpowers to freight forwarders and airlines is a cause worth living and breathing every day.

I think it’s the people in our industry that make all the early mornings and long flights worthwhile. I was just in Louisville at Air Cargo 2024 and the community was so warm, collaborative and impressive in many ways. Only my feet were tired, the rest of me was energized by them!

Just last week, cargo.one won the ‘Air Cargo Marketing Award’ at AirCargoIndia, which meant the world to our team. Our campaigns are educative in nature, and so it’s a great feeling to see that we’re helping to inspire and deliver digitalization gains. There’s nothing more satisfying than sitting inside a forwarding branch, watching all the action around shipments, and knowing that what we do is making a substantial difference.

CFG: Where do you see the greatest challenges in our industry?

RS: Well, that’s a huge question, but my back-yard surrounds digital adoption. Air cargo is an industry powered by expertise and trusted human connections, and we must ensure that all technology delivers as a key enabler of these. Digital must elevate all our teams to enable the maximum value from their talents.

Widespread and meaningful digitalization progress on all levels of the industry does require a laser focus on maximizing user value and user experiences. Digital methods of working must outshine the past as the most secure, productive and enjoyable methods for the entire community. This challenge is so exciting to be involved in daily.

CFG: What advice would you give to people looking to get into the air cargo industry? Any particular training they should aim for?

RS: Absolutely do it! You’ll work probably the hardest you’ve ever worked, but you’ll love it. There are so many ways to meet impressive people and grow. For example, there are excellent logistics bodies in all corners of the globe, and often community groups located around hub airports.

CFG: If the air cargo industry were a film/book, what would its title be?

RS: Is this where I plug my autobiography? [laughs]. I would call it, ‘You, me, and us’… because collaboration really is the process that transforms the future of our industry. At cargo.one, we often call it ‘the coalition of the willing’, and when we make coordinated progress together it can be a valuable step-change for the entire ecosystem, and personally super rewarding to be part of.

Thank you, Richard, for taking us behind the scenes!

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