Inventing and Reinventing Supply Chains

Todd Wallace Central At ACE

Alaskan residents are overwhelmingly dependent on air cargo service and Todd exemplifies concern about those people and his role as an extension of their family, as well as their economic network. As the Director of Sales and Customer Service for ACE, Todd contributes greatly to creating and sharing the company philosophy. Todd, definitely has a lot to share. In his 29 years in the air transport and cargo business in Alaska, Todd knows that people and companies are counting on the commitments made by their carrier. Todd’s mantra is that “there is not one solution for all customers, that customers are real people depending on the consideration and service of those in the air cargo industry”. He tirelessly works with the ACE staff and station agents to keep this foremost in everyone’s minds each and every day.

Another reason that Todd stands out from the crowd is that he associates himself with people and ideas that are outside of the norm. He welcomes new people, new companies and new ideas. He reaches out to develop new approaches to providing better quality service for his customers and his customers, customer. Todd has always seen his role as part of the supply chain of food as demonstrated by his participation in discussions with food producers in topics that ranged from packaging to co-ops to infrastructure expansion to provide Alaskan’s with better options to compete during the mid and late 90’s. Yet, this was not a new journey for Todd.

Todd learned the industry, the markets, customer and markets through experience.

He has a 29 year career in air cargo in Alaska. Originally, a graduate of the University of Washington, Todd began his career with Alaska Airlines. Working in Seattle, Anchorage and Fairbanks, Todd enjoyed the full gambit of experiences from working on the ramp, loading freight, customer service, fleet service, operations, catering and ticketing. In 1978, Todd began work on passenger sales that included contracts with the seafood industry, as well as government contracts. He later moved to cargo when there was a big time of change and advancement in air cargo. It was the beginning of the 737 cargo business for Alaska Airlines through the operation of combi-aircraft that serving Anchorage, Fairbanks, Nome, Kotzebue, Barrow and locations in Southeast Alaska. In 1994, Todd moved to Northern Air Cargo, where he served as Vice President of Cargo Sales.

Now at ACE for the past two years, Todd works with a carrier that operates a fleet of B1900C pressurized turboprop aircraft, serving over 50 Alaskan communities with daily air cargo scheduled flights to and from Anchorage. They transport everything from fresh seafood to priority repair parts, documents and time-sensitive packaging and products to support the supply chain of food. As a relatively young company and one that remains close to its customers, ACE has the flexibility to offer flag-stops and charters and be responsive to the market. It is a new innovation of Alaska's supply chain by adding smaller, fuel efficient aircraft for frequent regularly scheduled service dedicated 100% to air cargo. This has been a signficant boost to options for harvesters and processors in both Western Alaska and along the Aleutian Chain.

Where does Todd see opportunities for collaborating with others?

Todd sees three important milestones in his 29 years in air cargo, as it relates to perishable products, which were all born out of collaboration.

The first is the change in policy for the harvest of halibut through the Individual Fishing Quota (IFQ). This took a bottlenecked handling and distribution of halibut to a nearly year-round harvest and distribution that has provided end users with a higher quality product, but also provided the supply chain systems with a realistic and predictable infrastructure.

The second milestone has been growth in international and domestic airline traffic at the Ted Stevens International Airport. This growth has provided customers with so many more choices for routing outbound product all over the world, as well as routing equipment, packaging, ingredients and more in-bound.

The third significant milestone was the development of companies within Anchorage that facilitate the transport of perishable products. At the beginning, Todd recalls a large of inquiries seeking independent quotes and requesting unique handling services for product in transit at Anchorage. He specifically points to his collaboration with Movers, Inc. and Airland to create a facilitation mechanism in Anchorage for the consolidation, handling and transport of perishable product. Through the development of these experienced, professional forwarders the customers are getting a better price for shipping, better transportation and handling, as well as visibility in the supply chain that never existed before.

Todd is optimistic that there are many new opportunities for collaboration to create more efficiencies throughout the supply chain including increased reliable lift to growing domestic markets.

In the meantime, it is important for those who are doing business in Alaska or for those wanting to do business in Alaska to consider contacting Todd as they are making plans for a reliable and efficient supply chain where the 3 c’s of commitment, collaboration and caring are the daily fare.

Of course, It would not be a complete picture of Todd Wallace without mentioning his wife, Janet Wallace who Todd met in his early years with Alaska Airlines. Most know Janet, recently retired, from her 30 years of service with Alaska Airlines at the Alaska Airlines ticket counters. Todd and Janet are nearly as involved in the hockey circuit, as they are in the airline industry. Their son, Tim, currently attends Notre Dame University where he was recruited to play Hockey.