AMI pioneered the neutral, trade-only airfreight wholesale concept in 1976. Its early years were spent in developing relationships with numerous carriers, in order to provide its agent customers with a single source of capacity for all their traffic: a “one-stop- shop”. On many destinations, customers were given a choice of service levels, often based on direct or (slower) transhipment services, which were rated accordingly.
Neutrality – in other words, the deliberate distancing from any commercial dealings with shippers – has always been the core ethic of AMI, and a very strong selling point. From its beginning, when AMI first entered the market, a number of full-service freight forwarders have offered “co-load” services to smaller agents. But the underlying potential threat of an agent’s customer being approached by its supplier who was also a competitor has led many agents to give greater support to AMI.
Today, in a market which is dominated by spot-rating, AMI has strengthened its competitive position through a combination of convenience (the ability of an agent to book a large proportion of all his global traffic with a single call or internet booking, and deliver to a single drop-off point), pricing (like airlines, AMI also now spot rates for larger shipments), attractively-priced added-value services (such as receiving and trucking, and security scanning) and practical experience (for example, AMI will not support carriers or routings which – based on its vast experience – are known to present potential problems).
AMI was acquired by publicly-quoted John Menzies plc in 1993, following which it was re-branded Air Menzies International. The addition of express services to the AMI product group (now operating as a separate division, AMI Express) has broadened AMI’s appeal to freight agents, who were previously compelled to support the services of integrators offering inadequate margins and presenting the potential threat of customer poaching. AMI Express has also given AMI access to a totally new market – domestic couriers and parcel companies with occasional international needs.
AMI is continuing on a programme of international development, aimed at building a web of sales and operational bases each of which then feeds the others. In 2004 it opened an operation in Germany and this was followed, in 2007, by the acquisition of its former service partner UAC – a well-established and complementary trade-only freight wholesaler with extensive operations in Australia, New Zealand and the USA, plus joint-ventures in China and Hong Kong. All operations were re-branded with the AMI identity at the beginning of 2008, and the renowned AMI global tariff format and product range are being introduced to each location to complement the services already offered.
In March 2008 AMI acquired MMA, its former service partner in South Africa, giving it three more locations and a leading position in one of its historically most important markets. With the subsequent openings of further offices including The Netherlands and India (Mumbai), AMI is now present at 27 core locations and continues to explore opportunities for further development. AMI also operates a network of service partners in over 120 global markets, whose role is to break-bulk, clear customs and (if required), deliver to destination.
AMI provides wholesale Airfreight and Express services exclusively to freight forwarders, packaging companies, customs brokers and courier agents only.
To deliver service excellence to our clients whilst offering our range of competitive and neutral wholesale services. Our client, supplier and employee partnerships are built on trust to allow all stakeholders the opportunity for growth.
Airlines work with us to tap into the wider freight forwarder community more cost effectively and at lower risk than they can do themselves.