Amerijet International Inc.
Amerijet provides seamless transportation and logistics services around the world.
By Alan Dorich
Amerijet International Inc. has spent four decades developing an environment where people truly care. “Everyone cares about each other and the service we provide to our customers,” Senior Vice President of Business Development Pamela Rollins asserts. “We all work hard and we have a can-do attitude.”
Based in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., Amerijet is an all-cargo air carrier that handles shipments that range from commercial freight to personal items on pallets or skids, in containers, crates or consolidations. When the company was established in 1974, it provided passenger and cargo services between the United States and the Bahamas, Rollins says.
In 1982, Amerijet became a freight-only carrier and provided contract services for many of the overnight courier companies. Five years later, the company started providing its own scheduled air-cargo services to Mexico and the Caribbean.
Today, Rollins says, Amerijet operates a fleet of Boeing 767 and 727 aircraft from the Miami International Airport and a regional hub in Port of Spain, Trinidad. The company has more than 50 flights weekly that serve the Caribbean, Mexico, and Central and South America.
“We have 25 offices in the United States and over 130 offices worldwide, providing customers with seamless transportation and logistics solutions for freight of any size or commodity to destinations throughout the world,” Rollins says, noting that Amerijet is a market leader in 81 percent of the destinations it serves. Its clients include integrators, forwarders, other airlines, emerging businesses and Fortune 500 companies. “Today’s customers want transparent, seamless transportation solutions,” she says.
She adds that the company has earned a reputation for service, reliability and solutions to its clients’ transportation challenges. “Amerijet also provides service to more destinations with more frequencies than any other all-cargo operator in its service region,” Rollins states.
“As a dedicated cargo operator, Amerijet has extensive experience in transporting heavy freight and shipments which require special handling, such as high-value, dangerous goods, live animals and temperature-controlled shipments,” Rollins says.
Global logistics require Amerijet to provide integrated, multi-modal transportation solutions that appear effortless to the customer, Rollins says. “Amerijet has focused on building a global network so that it can quickly respond to any request to any destination, worldwide,” she says.
“Customers today want to be information rich, and as an industry we have to continue to integrate our data services,” Rollins says. “Being able to know exactly where a shipment is and being able to track or monitor a shipment on a smartphone, or via any logistics tracking platform is critical to the next generation of services.”
The company also has partnered with firms such as Starcom Worldwide to provide GPS tracking for high-value, temperature-controlled and time-critical shipments. “We will continue to invest in cutting-edge technology and customized services to meet our customers’ needs both now and into the future,” she says.
Amerijet regularly customizes its services in response to customer feedback. “The company has developed services such as door-pickup and delivery, cross-border trucking solutions, and packing and crating services, etc., to provide integrated, value-added solutions,” Rollins says.
She recalls one example where one of its direct clients was located on an island where it could not land its aircraft. “They needed to transport regular shipments of perishable foodstuff by air for their high-end resort.”
But Amerijet, which was providing scheduled services to a neighboring island, partnered with the customer to engineer specialized transportation dollies. These could be used to move perishable containers that would be locked securely on a truck after being unloaded from Amerijet’s aircraft.
They were transported from the truck to a seaport. “At the seaport, we worked with a local barge to load these containers for transfer to the destination island, and then arranged for a local service to deliver them door to door,” Rollins recalls. “We have been serving this customer now for over 20 years.”
Amerijet, she adds, also has developed pickup and delivery services throughout most of its service region. “This allows all of our forwarders and direct customers to provide these services as an extension of their own service,” she says.
Aiming to Win
Rollins joined Amerijet in 1979 and has held several roles at the company. “In the early years, I was accounting, sales and operations rolled into one,” she recalls, noting that she served as director of operations. “I also filled the role of vice president of strategic planning before serving in my current capacity.”
She is proud of Amerijet’s staff and culture. “We have major tenure throughout the organization with our own employees and our agent partners. We also have a value system and vision that everyone lives each and every day.”
Amerijet’s culture and team relationships help promote ethics and accountability. “The company’s customized internal training programs enforce Amerijet’s values, which insist on high moral and ethical standards,” she says.
The values also include evolving with the market. “We understand that change is inevitable,” Rollins says. “It’s important to stay abreast of what is happening not only within our industry, but where we do business.”
She also advises her industry peers to listen to their employees and customers. “Make sure everyone is on the same page and collaborate throughout your organization,” Rollins says. “Live by the golden rule and create a business where everyone wins.”
Ready to Grow
In the last fiscal year, Amerijet transported 300 million pounds of freight. “This fiscal year, we are forecasting a 10 percent growth,” Rollins says, but asserts that the company is planning to grow carefully.
“In the past, Amerijet had several acquisitions from airlines to ocean and trucking providers,” she says. “At this time, the company plans to add two B767-300 aircraft in 2017 and more to come in 2018, which will increase its operations and efficiencies.”
The company also is in the process of becoming CEIV certified, Rollins adds. “These types of cutting-edge moves demonstrate Amerijet’s commitment to service levels, which are only just becoming a recognized standard in the industry,” she says.
Amerijet International has won praise from other firms including Seabury Group LLC. “They are [a] very unique service provider in their segment and a high-quality operator,” Managing Director of Investment Banking Brian Karpiel says.
This includes oversized bulk cargo, as well as goods that require temperature control. “Anything that’s outside of your standard of cargo is really their specialty,” he continues. “They’re well known for high value items and very competitive in that market for that kind of service.”
Karpiel, who helped facilitate ZS Fund L.P.’s acquisition of Amerijet, enjoyed working with the firm. “They have an excellent management team,” he raves. “It was a key sales point for the buyer in terms of bringing on a team that is well respected and certainly highly experienced.”
Robert Villamizar, the head of air product capacity management-Latin America for DHL Global Forwarding, also praised Amerijet. “Amerijet has been evolving and growing their network in the last few years and this has enabled DHL Global Forwarding to offer more services and destinations to our customers,” he said.
“Amerijet has been a reliable partner for DHL Global Forwarding, and we feel confident using their services across the network,” he said. “Amerijet has been able to provide reliable services in niche markets in the Caribbean, where many others have come and gone in a flash.”
He predicts the partnership will continue. “Air freight transportation is a very dynamic business and if you were able to adapt and remain competitive in the market with all the challenges the industry faces, then you will continue to be an important key player and provider for the region. At DHL Global Forwarding, we make decisions based on long-term growth and sustainability.”