In our 45th consecutive year here, we get back
to work, sharing the views of people that make the global logistics industry
Today FlyingTypers is the longest continually
published industry media source under the same ownership and Publisher/Editor
in the history of air cargo.
But what will happen in 2020?
After a less than memorable 2019, it seems everybody
is looking for answers.
Will this new decade be the ‘Roaring 20’s’
or as we celebrate Chinese Lunar New Year later this month, will we step
off during 2020 as an industry into “The Year of The Mouse?”
We open our 2020 effort with some thoughtful
words shared by American Airlines Cargo President Rick Elieson offering
a plan, featuring a wider perspective of things.
Rick’s thoughts, as he approaches four
years guiding the cargo fortunes of the world’s biggest airline,
advance the feeling of his landmark treatise on ‘Leadership’
published here in 2019.
Then Brandon Fried, the outspoken Executive Director
of the USA-based Airforwarders Association gives us his take on things
Additionally Brandon, in a lively and intriguing
interview, continues our exclusive multi-year “Leadership Series,”
sharing his thoughts with a revealing overview of his world and the freight
As 2020 begins, it feels good to know that sincere,
smart thinking is at work for the betterment of our industry worldwide.
Our series will continue all month long.
Again, Happy New Year and the best of the best
to all our readers in 2020.
2020 Be It Resolved
“A couple of thoughts came to mind when
thinking about the new year,” Rick Elieson said.
“I grew up in a household that took goals
and goal-setting very seriously. I suspect that is why I actually enjoy
the process and the convenient reminder that we get each January to reflect
upon and plan for the coming year.
“Yes, I plan to eat better, exercise more
and find ways to improve my sustainability and conservation efforts.
“But before any of that, my first step
is to reflect upon and find gratitude for what was accomplished in 2019.
“In my case, I have a lot to be grateful
for, and at the top of that list is the opportunity to work in such a
meaningful industry and among so many inspiring men and women.
“Eating right, exercise and environmental
impact are fundamentally about what we consume, the energy we expend,
and the waste or the inefficiency of the process.
“And so it is when we evaluate the health
of our business.
“Foundational to improvement in each of
those areas is my goal to help our team members find greater satisfaction
and meaning in their jobs—to solidify the connection between what
they do, and why they do it.
“First we must build on our shared belief
that our purpose is to care for people on life’s journey, and that
both clarity of direction and motivation result when team members see
how their work contributes directly to that purpose of caring for others.
“This perspective naturally translates
into continually striving to improve the customer experience—a major
theme of ours in 2020.
“Second is to be ruthlessly focused on
what specific initiatives we will tackle.
“There are more great ideas than we can
possibly accomplish and being intentional and disciplined about what we
will set aside is as important, and perhaps even more difficult, as decisions
about what we will accomplish.
“This is challenging to do, while still
allowing for entrepreneurship and innovation, but it is super important
in unifying us as a team and being as successful and productive as we
can be in 2020,” Rick Elieson concluded.
UK, January 7, thousands of new cars looking for owners at a compound
near Sheerness in Kent. Car sales sunk to a six-year low in 2019.
Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) said 2.3 million
new cars were registered in the UK in 2019, down 2.3% from 2018.
The Century Forward
“2020 could be a challenging year for the
logistics industry,” Brandon Fried declared, “due to many
“These challenges include ongoing trade
issues, a possible war in the Middle East, impeachment, and the upcoming
presidential election here in the U.S., now generating uncertainty.
“Creatively responding to change has always
been the foundation of the freight forwarding industry, so we view many
of these challenges as opportunities.
“Forwarders provide solutions to complex
logistical problems using a variety of transportation modes, so they need
to remain flexible and ready to help their customers react quickly in
an uncertain environment.
“But regardless of the volume softening
seen throughout 2019, a recent survey of Airforwarders Association members
indicates increased positivity for 2020. This optimism comes from the
need for faster delivery times mandated by perishable companies, e-commerce
shippers, and other industries requiring dependable delivery performance.
Also, there is the hope of the U.S. reaching a trade deal with China and
more favorable global economic conditions prevailing in the upcoming year.
“U.S. forwarders also remain concerned
about increasing airport truck congestion, poor road infrastructure, the
impending excessive governmental regulation, the upcoming maritime low-sulfur
fuel requirement, anticipated changes to U.S. export regulations, new
worker classification laws and lithium batteries (dangerous goods) shipped
by companies not adhering to existing laws and manufacturing standards.
“But despite industry and global economic
concerns, freight forwarders are seeing more customer demand for faster
order processing and vendor flexibility. Both continue to be the primary
deliverables within our business. As a result, our members are increasingly
investing in significant financial resources in technology development
to provide more efficient customer experience and increased information
transparency. Automation is a popular and essential tool for continued
growth. Still, we should never forget that people remain our industry’s
most valuable asset.
“Our country has seen nine straight years
of economic expansion since the Great Recession, and freight forwarders
have benefited as a result of this prosperity. Now, as the economy begins
to shift, we look forward to thriving on its changes and continuing our
industry success,” Brandon Fried said.