I joined Hassett Air Express in July, 2001. Though I had already spent 15 years in transportation and logistics, it was my first experience with air freight. I was excited to learn how we moved freight on airplanes and how the business needs of an airfreight forwarder differed from my former 3PL companies.
In two short months, the world changed and so did the air freight industry. Following 9/11, our country had to come to grips with unthinkable. There was a deep sense of fear, distrust and sadness. As we dealt with the sorrow of so many innocent lives lost, including many first responders, we also began to realize that our world had changed. Our sense of safety and invulnerability was no longer a given and soon a new normal began to emerge. It affected not only travel but also large gatherings. Eventually we adjusted to new rules and processes and began to feel safe again. Nearly 20 years later, memories fade and we have a whole generation who doesn’t remember that time. For those of us old enough to remember, and certainly for families who lost someone – either that day, during the ensuing war, or later to disease due to exposure as a first responder – we’ll never forget the shock and helplessness of our world being turned upside down.
And here we are in 2020, with a new enemy – this time a disease – that has once again changed our world and created fear, distrust, and sadness.
Why am I writing about this? It’s not to focus on the sadness and fear; each of us must find our own ways in which to deal with these feelings. Rather, as we deal with the consequences of the pandemic – social restrictions, industries experiencing crushing declines and massive unemployment – I am reminded that we are resilient. The constant stream of bad news can make it difficult to believe there is also good news. But there is. Stories of people helping others. Companies finding ways to support their teams and communities or finding creative ways to stay viable.
At Hassett we are privileged to work with many wonderful companies. I want to share a few stories about the good things they are doing. Though our world has changed once again, the strength, compassion and resourcefulness of its people hasn’t.