Exclusive – Unilode restructures business and reshuffles leadership team

The ULD manager is streamlining its business model, exiting its geographic setup and implementing a product and service driven organization instead. Changes that have a significant impact
on the management level of the company, as some members of the Executive Leadership Team have lost their job.

A glance at the organizational chart of the company shows the changes at the top management level, which have been online there for a few days but weren’t officially announced by Unilode’s
Zurich-based HQ. According to the new org structure, the Executive Leadership Team (ELT) was downsized from formerly ten to seven members. Out are former CIO Floris Kleijn, Managing Director APAC
Adrian Loretz, and Managing Director ULD Leasing – Mario Holzer.

Concentrating on three business units
The changes, explains spokesperson Melinda Ferreira, are based on the decision to concentrate on three distinct Business Units, namely ULD Solutions, MRO Solutions and Digital Solutions.
The new composition of the Executive Leadership Team reflects the restructured model put in place, she adds.
For specs pls view: https://www.unilode.com/about-us/executive-leadership-team/
As a result of the realignment, there have also been some shifts in competence within the current seven-member management team. This is exemplified by Don Jacobs, for instance, who, since moving
from Jettainer to Unilode in 2015, was first Chief Commercial Officer, then appointed MD The Americas and has now become MD of Unilode’s Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) biz.

Back to the roots
The structure that has now been decided upon, which is oriented towards products and service and replaces the previous business model that was focused on a strong regional presence, turns out
when taking a closer look – sloppily said – to be old wine in new bottles. Because until 2018, products had top priority in decisions made by the ULD manager. However, driven by the ambition to
increasingly smarten containers and other load devices, the decentralized approach gained priority. Hence, the number of managing directors responsible for regions such as APAC, The Americas etc.
Now the U-turn – putting products back on top. 
Whether this decision is the result of strategic considerations by those responsible at the Zurich headquarters or if the Stockholm-based owner EQT has put its foot down, can only be guessed, as
both remain tight lipped.

Well positioned
The reorganization now implemented was overdue because it reflects the customer structure and its needs, said a market expert when asked for a comment. He believes that Unilode is quite well
positioned to master Covid-19 with manageable wounds and gets back to old strengths once aviation is back on track. This is demonstrated by the wide range of the customer spectrum, which not only
includes two leading cargo airlines: Cargolux and AirBridgeCargo, but is rounded off by renowned combination carriers such Cathay Pacific, Korean Air, and LATAM and is completed by passenger
airlines like Air Canada, SAS, TAP Portugal and others that need ULDs to transport cargo in their holds. This broad spectrum secures healthy cash flows even in pandemic times enabling the ULD
manager to keep its head well above the water.

Heiner Siegmund

Last Monday (22JUN20 Cargolux and Unilode announced that they have renewed and extended their cooperation.
The release reads:
Cargolux Airlines International and Unilode Aviation Solutions are proud to announce they have further extended their partnership. This new agreement broadens the scope of cooperation to
ensure air cargo customers have access to premium transport and handling solutions to match their requirements.

In addition to the current provision of ULDs and related repair and maintenance services, Unilode and Cargolux are now going one step further in the digitalisation process. After equipping
its units with Bluetooth tracking tags, Unilode is also installing Bluetooth readers at all warehouses operated by its customers.

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Source: Cargoforwarder

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