AMI Interview with Air Cargo News
Air Menzies International News Bulletin
AirCargoNews.net interviewed Air Menzies International UK Vice President, Sharon Wright.
“Various ways have been suggested over the years to give small to medium forwarders the tools to compete with the larger players.
One that has been a big success in the UK market — and which is spreading its model globally — turns 40 this year.
AMI these days stands for Air Menzies International, but when it was founded in 1976 it was Air Marketing International. Founder Tony Realff in fact bought the name from an airfreight group which had operated charters to Nigeria. Realff had a completely different idea — to set up an air cargo wholesaler.
Sharon Wright, the company’s current vice president Europe, who has been with AMI since its inception, points out that the world was very different in those days. The IATA rate ruled — and could be changed only at 30-days’ notice.
“The IATA rate was what you paid and there was a big fat minimum weight,” she recalls. This was a big disadvantage for smaller forwarders, whose shipments came under the minimum. “It is amazing to recall now, but they could end up paying up to £7 a kilo [$12-$13 at the time].”