launching 2017 with a look at some of the air cargo
industry events and trade shows coming up in the
But before you consider
these options, many of which will be far-flung depending
on where you are based, please consider the organized
air cargo activity taking place right in your own
backyard. It’s important to the industry as
a whole that we all get involved with our local
airport or transportation industry club or association!
The U.S.A., Go Local
Local air cargo clubs are nothing new and draw people
from every aspect of the business including airports,
airlines, forwarders, customs brokers, truckers,
warehouse, and more.
It is exactly this
diverse dynamic that maintains a foundation and
framework where an active, engaged membership can
build monthly or quarterly air cargo community contact
meetings for networking and education.
Engaged local airport
air cargo communities can greatly help each other,
sharing activities such as charity golf, air cargo
days, and extended educational seminar events on
The Most Good
Some U.S. clubs that we have attended and observed
over the years (both large and small) do a truly
great job of bringing the community together for
good. The Atlanta Air Cargo Association, JFK Air
Cargo Association, International Air Cargo Association
of Chicago, Air Cargo Club of New England, Los Angeles
Air Cargo Association, and Air Cargo DFW Association
stand out amongst the best.
Sadly, there are some others—most notably,
the Portland Air Cargo Association (PACA)—that
have simply disappeared from the scene. A simple
post on the PACA website notes:
50 years, the Portland Air Cargo Association (PACA)
is on an indefinite hiatus.
in continuing the organization, please contact us
through this website.”
PACA is not an isolated
incident. The New Orleans Air Cargo Association
also seems to have fallen by the wayside, along
with some others.
Forwards Dallas This Week
An outstanding example of what can be generated
locally by an informed and active air cargo community
occurs this week on January 11 at the American Airlines
Training & Conference Center in Fort Worth,
Texas, with an afternoon forum and open discussion
about air cargo challenges specific to Dallas.
To paraphrase an
old adage, “as Dallas goes, so goes the world.”
Cost is either $55USD
or $75USD (non-AfA member).
Sponsored by the
Airforwarders Association, American Airlines, and
DFW Airport, the agenda includes “an amazing
panel of speakers on local and national issues affecting
the air cargo community.”
We think air cargo clubs and associations organized
for the greater good are a natural treasure.
In too many cases
these not-for-profit groups operate just slightly
under the radar, relying on a few people who put
their hearts and soul into keeping things going.
In reality, awards
from air cargo clubs are the most notable industry
recognition any of us might ever hope to receive.
Everyone in this
business stands to gain if clubs and organizations
gather broad-based industry strength, not only in
addressing local issues, but also by consolidating
thoughts and sharing the air cargo experience with
Here are some options
to think about as we pack our bags and get ready
to depart to faraway places.
Discovery Of 2017
The Malaysian capital, Kuala Lumpur, will host the
International Federation of Freight Forwarders Associations
(FIATA) World Congress in 2017.
The Congress theme
is "Logistics Bridging Global Trade."
Considering global trade is at peril in this day
and age it may be interesting to see what FIATA
can contribute to support it.
The FIATA World Congress
brings together freight forwarding and transportation
industry professionals—some 40,000 strong
from all over the world—to discuss the development
and growth of trade business opportunities among
FIATA is the big
time. The 90-year-old forwarding group has quietly
continued to develop its offering of the best, most
comprehensive training program on the planet. Its
members drive 90 percent of the global air cargo
FIATA KL will be
genteel civility amidst some well-thought-out meetings
and sessions hosted by a truly remarkable organization.
FIATA 2017 is also
expected to generate RM11.5m (US$2.8m) in economic
impact to Malaysia and increase Malaysia’s
potential as a top regional gateway for freight
transport and logistics.
The four-day congress
is expected to draw 1,200 participants, of which
60 percent will be international forwarders.
Not to be missed.
Excellent Standby Events 2017
Cargo Europe (ACE)
Munich in May appears again in 2017 as Air Cargo
Europe (ACE) is reprised at Messe Munich.
It seems that in
2017 ACE parent Transport Logistik is launching
specialized trade shows that hope to include air
cargo, but ACE—held every other year during
asparagus (spargel) time in Bavaria—has gathered
steam alongside the much bigger multi-modal Transport
Logistik Expo. Now, it’s the big kahuna of
air cargo shows.
Go for the walk around
if nothing else.
This show is enormous
and contact is assured.
are a must.
Cargo Network Services (CNS) lives up to its name
and every year confirms its reputation as the best
place “to take a meeting,” minus the
thunderous atmosphere and action of, say, Air Cargo
All the big U.S.
airlines and cargo bosses are there, as are a growing
list of international carriers.
New CNS President
Lionel Van der Walt, who has ignited interest in
the organization with innovative ideas including
a regional Air Cargo Industry Affairs Summit (held
last year in Washington), promises more of the same
excitement and innovation at CNS Partnership 2017.
& Sea Cargo Americas
Air Cargo Americas
is the best, locally generated world-class event
in the Americas; a wide, open, and even lusty couple
of days of warmth and Latin spirit, it can also
be a bit wild and even rough around the edges.
But the people who
network here—old and young—are always
larger than life as the heart and soul of this American
air cargo industry.
Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
First of all, this “World Cargo Symposium”
(WCS) event is actually a mandated, yearly general
meeting for air cargo hosted by the trade organization
However, for the
past decade WCS has morphed into an open (for a
fee) trade show with limited booth space also offered
WCS is a veritable
blizzard of concurrent sessions and general meetings,
but what really draws the mass of media and other
stargazers is a galaxy of top management in attendance,
at arms’ length for the next big idea during
a couple of open and evening events.
Considering all the things we do while employed
in air cargo, making friends from all over the world
is better than anything else.
A curious thing occurs
when we gather at air cargo events, whether near
to home or far away.
Sooner or later,
our humanity takes over.
gets pushed back and we become much more than the
voices and faces of air cargo today.
This is our life,
this career in air cargo.
These are our friends
who appear and are there for us, like touchstones,
whether in Atlanta, Dubai, Basel, or Rangoon.
As 2017 starts up,
whether in a car to the airport hotel or boarding
a jet, we can’t wait to see you at the show!