Spotlight on… Ray Wood, Head of GCM, Cencora

CargoForwarder Global’s ‘Spotlight On…’ series illustrates the many and very different jobs in the air cargo industry by talking to individuals in those functions. Much goes on behind the scenes to ensure that cargo flies from A to B safely, efficiently, and on time. This week, Ray Wood (RW), Head of Global Carrier Management (GCM) at Cencora World Courier takes us through his daily business, tells us how he got involved in our industry, and gives solid advice to those considering a career in air cargo.

Watch and listen! We know what we’re talking about. Image: Ray Wood

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

RW: I am Head of Global Carrier Management at Cencora World Courier. The GCM responsibilities extend to maintaining and developing carrier relationships, including but not limited to: Service, Quality, Network & Innovation. Also, the delivery of initiatives back to our Global Operations to support shipment integrity under stringent regulation & customer expectation.

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

RW: Normal doesn’t come into it, that’s what makes it exciting. The plethora of challenges, support requests & solution discovery, keeps my passion at its highest level. Ultimately, having the knowledge of knowing what you do makes a massive difference – especially working with life changing/saving consignments.

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

RW: I am now in my 37th year in the industry. Whilst as a 16-year-old, there were multiple choices for a vocational direction, living under the flightpath at Heathrow truly influenced my direction to aviation, ultimately air cargo.

CFG: What do you enjoy most about your job?

RW: Knowing that what you do really does have a consequence. Keeping your awareness heightened, ensuring a cancer patient receives their Autologous treatment. Or navigating an end-to-end solution between obscure origins & destinations.

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

RW: The industry continues to overcome its biggest challenge with the Global Pandemic. All involved in this gloriously merciless but so rewarding industry, can hold their heads high with how we navigated our way through. The pandemic’s positive effect on the industry is the speed of change that is now happening – long overdue and a kick in the pants that was required. Greater & greater regulation ensues, and keeping ahead of the curve can be a challenge.

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

RW: I sincerely hope people are interested to get into this industry. I’d advise that this isn’t just a job, it’s a way of life.

Remember that whilst over the years, the industry has gained a brain, the balance with heart is so important. We are a people industry despite automation & digitization.

Make sure time is well spent in all aspects of what we do.

Academic qualification is important, equal to experience & knowledge. Watch & listen to the ‘old timers’, as we know what we’re talking about! [Laughs]

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

RW: Against All Odds – speaks for itself really. Full of romance, jeopardy, risk & reward. A great soundtrack too

Thanks for all these insights, Ray!

If you would like to share your personal air cargo story with our CargoForwarder Global readers, feel free to send your answers to the above questions to cargoforwarderglobal@kopfpilot.at We look forward to shining a spotlight on your job area, views, and experiences.

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