Atlas and Polar Make Connections at Air Cargo Americas 

Atlas employees at conference

Vincent (Vince) Ryan, Polar’s Senior Director, Global Key Accounts, kicking off the general session.

Atlas and Polar leaders took center stage last week at The Air Cargo Americas & Supply Chain Americas Show and Conference in Miami. 

 Vincent (Vince) Ryan, Polar’s Senior Director, Global Key Accounts, kicked off the general session, welcoming attendees to the conference and highlighting the importance of connecting with each other during the event. 

“Making Connections is Polar’s purpose,” said Vince. “Connecting our customers’ cargo with its destination, of course, but equally important to us is connecting with each other… with our peers, our partners, and our customers. Today we are proud to continue to make connections with all of you.” 


Polar’s booth, complete with a coffee cart to encourage connections at the conference.

Vince invited attendees to join him and his colleagues at the Polar booth, which was designed as a coffee bar for attendees to connect with each other while enjoying a hot beverage.  

Atlas’ Richard Broekman, Chief Commercial Officer and Head of Sustainability, followed Vince with a captivating keynote that emphasized the role air cargo plays in keeping global supply chains moving. 

“While only about 1% of global trade volume goes by air, airfreight represents 35% of global trade value,” said Richard. “That is almost $7 trillion of value. Air cargo is a powerful enabler of international trade.  It provides fast and efficient access to global markets.  And it is driving increased innovation and efficiency in supply chains.“ 

Atlas employees on stage

Richard Broekman (far right) speaking on his panel Embracing Sustainability in Freight Transportation: Overcoming Challenges and Driving Change.

Richard highlighted Atlas operations and touched on global industry topics including historic cargo growth, freighter retirements, production, passenger demand, digitization and sustainability. 

“While airfreight provides a lot of value and is critical to the global economy, it is also an emissions intensive industry,” said Richard. “Transporting freight over long distances, requires a lot of energy and energy dense fuel which makes ours a hard to abate industry. We need to take our collective responsibility and work together on reducing supply chain emissions for our end customers.” 


Milind (far right) with his fellow panelists after their panel “Cargo Platforms Ascend: Unveiling the Trends in Online Cargo Booking”

On the second day of the conference, Polar’s Milind Shah, Director, Technology & Business Solutions, joined the “Cargo Platforms Ascend: Unveiling the Trends in Online Cargo Booking” panel. Brandon Fried, Executive Director of The Airforwarders Association, moderated the panel, which focused on the transformation of the logistics industry with the advent of online cargo booking platforms. 

Joining Milind on stage were Tristan Koch, Chief Commercial Officer, Awery Aviation Software; Chris Mazzeo, VP Global Operations, Amerijet International Airlines; Olivier Houri, Executive VP & Chief Revenue Officer, SmartKargo; and Edip Pektas, Founder, AirBlox. The panel explored how real-time demand governs operations and the cutting-edge portals that are revolutionizing the global forwarding community, as well as the transformative power of digital solutions to reshape the traditional logistics landscape. 

Atlas employees

Prior to the start of the conference  Atlas’ Luis Fernando del Valle, Richard Broekman and Frank Diaz met with the teams from Kuehne +Nagel and Elite Flowers at the Elite Warehouse. Elite Flowers is the the largest exporter of flowers in Colombia and globally.

In support of digitization, Milind highlighted transparency as a benefit to customers and the industry overall, “We should not shy away from sharing information, transparency benefits us all – customers, partners & employees alike.” 

On the third and final day of the conference, Richard Broekman returned to the stage and joined Juan Carlos Liscano, Vice President for Miami, the Caribbean & Latin America, American; Bruce Brecheisen, Executive Vice President, Seaboard Marine and Cristina Oñate Vice President, Marketing & Product Development, LATAM Cargo for the “Embracing Sustainability in Freight Transportation: Overcoming Challenges and Driving Change” panel. 

Moderated  by Mark Szakonyi, Director & Executive Editor, Journal of Commerce, the panel discussed the challenges to achieve a path to sustainability in the freight transportation industry. The session shed light on how transportation and logistics providers are proactively responding to government regulations, environmental concerns, and shifting industry trends. By reevaluating their operations and embracing innovative approaches, these providers are paving the way for a greener and more sustainable future. 

“We can only decarbonize by closely working together with all stakeholders in the supply chain,” explained Richard. “Our customers look to us for solutions to help them reduce their scope 3 emissions related to their supply chain/logistics. We need to develop service offerings that address that need.”