Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science

First Advisor

David K. Vaughan, PhD

Second Advisor

Judy A. Ford, PhD


This study used the benchmarking process incorporated in a case study approach to determine what the Air Force could learn from the commercial air cargo carriers in regard to customer service practices. The air cargo industry leaders were determined through a previous study to be United Parcel Service, Federal Express, Emery Air Freight, Airborne Freight, DHL Airways, and Burlington Air Express. In addition, the 437th Aerial Port Squadron APS at Charleston AFB South Carolina was the Air Force representative in the benchmarking study. Interviews with air cargo managers were conducted at each carrier’s main hub and at Charleston AFB. The interview process resulted in the conclusion that most of the customer service practices in the commercial air cargo industry and the Air Force aerial port are similar. The Air Force is superior in customer service report dissemination, but is deficient in customer awareness and in-transit cargo visibility. Recommendations include employee appraisal modification, 360-degree review usage, focus group utilization, and frequent AMC executive and APS management communication.

AFIT Designator


DTIC Accession Number



Co-authored thesis.

The authors' Vita pages are omitted.

Presented to the Faculty of the School of Logistics and Acquisition Management of the Air Force Institute of Technology.