Dutch airfreight specialist starts wholesale business at Schiphol

Wholesale by Vels will focus on outbound services to Asia Pacific and the Americas and inbound capacity from Asia and the US.


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Ricardo Vels, managing director of Wholesale by Vels, spent over 20 years in key positions with forwarders, cargo handlers, aviation truckers and a major wholesaler.

Dutch cargo company—Wholesale by Vels—has officially launched operations at Schiphol airport, Europe’s fourth largest air cargo hub, as it looks to provide air cargo capacity as a wholesaler at a time when capacity is hard to come by.

The “full-service cargo wholesale company” is targeting forwarders without IATA licenses, as well as courier and trucking companies and e-commerce and digital forwarders, saying it is “strictly neutral and will only deal with transport intermediaries.”

Also read: UK digital freight forwarder Beacon closes $15 million Series A fundraise, with investment from Jeff Bezos

Owner Rinaldo Vels, a 20-year veteran and well-known in the Dutch airfreight circuit, believes that the way of making deals in the industry is still very much a matter of contacts, reputation and trust, but he also thinks customers want some transparency when it comes to buying rates and airfreight costs. And this is where marrying both traditional and digital comes in.

“Wholesale by Vels complements and supports today’s digital systems and front ends, with the equally important practical knowledge of which routes and carriers work best, and how you can still achieve viable buying rates that win business and leave room for profit,” he added.

Whist Vels sees his company’s appeal to be initially for freight agents with no IATA accreditation and for overseas-based forwarders (e-commerce and digital alike) who have no operation in Amsterdam, consolidation will play an important role in its business, especially for those looking for a cost advantage and are unable to access such services in their own right.

The initial focus of Wholesale by Vels is on outbound services to Asia Pacific, Latin America and the US, and inbound capacity from Asia and the US.

Despite tight capacity and costly rates in some key trade routes brought about by the pandemic, Vels said they managed to secure airfreight capacity for one its customers. “We had operated three full charters out of China, even before we received our IATA accreditation,” he added.

The Dutch airfreight specialist is already thinking beyond Amsterdam for the future of his new business.

“I am currently working on a few projects that must remain confidential for now, but I admit I am very keen to expand wherever it makes sense. It would not surprise me if the Wholesale by Vels brand soon goes beyond The Netherlands –perhaps as part of a joint venture, or possibly through franchising,” he added.



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