The ACL Airshop has been a pleasure to work with. They ordered logo ties for the Grand Opening of their new factory. We spoke with the CEO of ACL Airshop, Steve Townes, to learn more.
Tell us more about ACL Airshop.
ACL Airshop is a steadily growing company that makes, sells, leases, and repairs Cargo Control products worldwide such as pallets, containers, straps, and nets primarily for the Air Cargo sector. We have service operations at 52 of the world’s Top 100 airports, plus manufacturing and supply chain resources in South Carolina, Germany, China, and Taiwan.
How did you get into the business of air cargo?
ACL Airshop started 36 years ago when the original Founder figured a way to transport expensive thoroughbred horses by air for races and horse shows. We still provide the equipment for horse transport today, along with all forms of just-in-time cargo around the world. From manufactured goods to shipments like Amazon boxes. Cargo is not allowed to shift or move in-flight, that’s very dangerous. Hence, you cannot fly the cargo plane if you don’t have enough pallets, containers, straps, and nets. Voila, our sustainable business model!
What has been your most memorable accomplishment with your business?
We have more than DOUBLED our global network in the past 36 months, while staying in smooth control on all fronts. And we also built a magnificent new ultra-modern factory in South Carolina. It’s likely we will stay on this fast-track in the years ahead. That’s an amazing accomplishment by our entire team on 6 continents! (see New Factory photos enclosed).
What is the most intriguing thing you’ve shipped?
Aha! Fun Fact: we actually don’t ship ANYTHING. We simply facilitate the air cargo shipments for over 200 airlines who are our clients, with our fleet of over 50,000 “ULD’s” (Unit Load Devices, such as Pallets and Containers). So what’s intriguing about ACL Airshop is the unique little niche where we operate as the “Largest & Best in the World for Short-Term Leasing of ULD’s when you really need us in a pinch.” We’ve all rented a U-Haul truck—right? Would you toss your Mom’s best china in the back and hope for the best? Heck no! At the U-Haul check-out desk, you can also buy padding blankets, boxes, twine, bubble wrap, and duct tape. That’s us at the end of the runway at over half of the world’s big airports!
I saw in 1979 the company started shipping horses by air. Tell us a little more about that. After this, did you think the ‘sky is the limit’ with shipping?
If you had a $5 Million race horse, would you put it on a slow-boat or rumbling train to its next big race, or a fancy jumping champion to its next elegant dressage competition? For owners of those types of horses, we provide the ultimate “First Class Air” accommodations. Since those early days, the company has grown EVERY YEAR. We have a great reputation for customer service, and our mantra is “GROW THE NETWORK.” Today we have true network power, and the bigger we make our global footprint, the more convenient we are to our airlines customers. Plus, we’ve invested in new logistics technologies and even Bluetooth tracking to give customers even greater efficiencies and cost-effectiveness with all those ULD’s out there.