Payload Asia honours excellence in the air cargo supply chain

This year saw 90 nominations vying for the 20 awards categories where our customer choice awards received more than 31,500 online votes in the Customer Choice Awards.

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In the closely fought, highly coveted category of Overall Carrier of the Year at the 5th annual Payload Asia Awards 2016 held on 29 Oct, it was the Gulf carriers who walked away with top honours for both the Customer Choice Award which went to Qatar Airways Cargo and the Industry Choice Award which was awarded to Emirates SkyCargo.

For Emirates this is a repeat performance in this category while Qatar Cargo took home the award for the first time at the Gala Awards Dinner held in Hong Kong for the first time, at the SkyCity Marriott hotel. The Rising Star category also saw a new name, with flydubai picking up the award in the Customer Choice section while Ethiopian Cargo pulled off a repeat performance by winning the Industry Choice section.


Confronting and overcoming the manifold challenges in the air cargo sector by creating innovative products and services and delivering real value to customers is the hallmark of those companies excelling in this industry. The perseverance, innovative strategies and many successes of the air cargo community in the face of unprecedented market conditions and ongoing economic uncertainty were celebrated last night at the Payload Asia Awards 2016.

The awards seek to honour the very best in the industry with some 90 nominations at a spectacular gala dinner and awards ceremony held at the SkyCity Marriott hotel in Hong Kong. Guest of honour at the event was Brian Wu, Vice Chairman, Hong Kong Association of Freight Forwarding and Logistics (HAFFA).

This year saw 90 nominations vying for the 20 awards categories where our customer choice awards received more than 31,500 online votes in the Customer Choice Awards. This represents a substantial increase from the 16,000 votes cast last year for the 76 nominations in 20 awards categories. All results – both Customer Choice and Industry Choice – were audited by independent auditing firm HLB Atrede.

Other carriers picking up awards include: AirBridgeCargo Airlines, All Nippon Airways, Singapore Airlines Cargo, Hong Kong Airlines, United Cargo, AirAsia Cargo, Atlas Air and Volga-Dnepr Airlines.

Hong Kong International Airport and Singapore Changi Airport once again took top honours in the Asia Pacific Airport of the Year category. And so too for the ground handling awards with Singapore and Hong Kong dominating with Hong Kong Air Cargo Terminals Limited (Hactl) and SATS taking home the top prize in this category. Brussels Airport and Amsterdam Schiphol Airport meanwhile, were the winners in the European Airport of the Year category.

The Charter Broker of the Year category saw a fierce battle with Air Charter Service and Chapman Freeborn Airchartering emerging victorious. So too in the GSA/GSSA of the Year category which has seen a long running contest since the Payload Awards inception, between the Air Logistics Group and the ECS Group with each taking home a trophy in this category.

Among the 23 awards given out was a special Editor’s Choice Award – the Lifetime Achievement Award – which honours a recently retired industry veteran who made an extensive and invaluable contribution to the air cargo sector over many years. This award went to James Edgar who, before he retired at the end of last year, was Regional Director Cargo Marketing at Boeing Commercial Airplanes. Jim spent nearly 40 years associated with the air transportation industry – 30 of which were with Boeing.

Other highlights saw All Nippon Airways (ANA) and Brussels Airport both winning X-Factor Awards for their unique and highly successful business strategies. Only three companies this year managed to pull off ‘clean sweeps’ in both the Industry and Customer Choice categories. These include: DHL Express Asia Pacific (Global Express Provider of the Year), AirAsia Cargo (Low Cost Carrier of the Year) and Atlas Air (Leasing Provider of the Year).

New entrants taking home awards in their first appearance include: Wipro (IT Provider of the Year) and flyDubai.

Payload Asia, the respected industry publication for the air cargo sector, now publishing for more than 30 years, continued its unique awards approach which was kicked off two years ago, with a second parallel set of awards, meaning for each category there are two awards: The Customer Choice Awards and the Industry Choice Awards. “In this way we can highlight two equally important, but slightly different views of excellence – one based on popular vote and the other based on a detailed assessment by senior industry executives drawn from across the industry,” said Payload Asia Editor, Donald Urquhart.

The Customer Choice Awards carry on the previous years’ online voting system by customers and Payload Asia readers, with all results officially audited as testimony to their legitimacy. The Industry Choice Awards on the other hand, are determined by a senior level industry panel of 17 judges drawn from across the industry and assessed via a points system based on the published criteria with the process and results also audited. A full list of awards and winners can be found below.

The awards were presented during a gala dinner attended by more than 250 members of the air cargo fraternity from around the globe and hosted by Payload Asia, part of the Contineo Media group.

The Gala Awards Dinner was preceded by a two-day conference programme and both will return again next year. It is anticipated this event will continue to be an important highlight on the air cargo industry’s calendar.


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