Meet the Elite: Able Freight’s Orlando Wong

The CEO of Able Freight gives his take on fruit season and the team he's grown up with

How did you get into the business?

I have been in the perishable logistics business for more than 30 years. I fell into it by chance after graduating.

I started out in the ocean department at a freight forwarder and found it quite dull. But then someone in the air department left, I took their seat and knew at once that this was what I wanted to do for the rest of my life.

Tell me about your business

At Able Freight, our business is 99.9 per cent temperature sensitive – produce, fish, meat, and pharma, but the core items are fruits and vegetables. We work with producers from Mexico to British Columbia. Our head office is in California, so our peak runs from mid-April to October with the summer fruit season. It’s a great niche – everyone needs to eat.

What are the challenges/opportunities?

Our biggest challenge is the weather since products, such as berries, are dependent on weather. They can’t have too much water or too little water, nor can it be too hot or too cold. But when products are too delicate to travel by ocean they need to go by air. There is also a real opportunity to modernise the industry with innovation and technology. I think there are exciting times ahead.

Why Cathay Pacific Cargo?

Cathay Pacific really understands our needs and it’s reliable. Also, I’m from Hong Kong so I like to do business with my home carrier. The local staff in Los Angeles are all-rounders and customer service-oriented. I can reach them 24/7. You feel comfortable dealing with people who are knowledgeable and, most importantly, accessible.

Tell me about yourself

I was born and raised in Hong Kong.

I left when I was 15, and attended high school in San Francisco and university in Los Angeles. Able Freight is my family now. I get emotional when I think about the team that has helped to build such a dynamic business and respectable brand in the perishable logistic industry. They should all be proud – ‘always fresh and always Able’.