Vol. 11 No. 24                            #INTHEAIREVERYWHERE                              Tuesday March 12, 2013

hat is sure to be the benchmark air cargo event of the year, IATA’s World Cargo Symposium (WCS) in Doha this week looks to be a formative and progressive meeting amongst a group working to shape the future standards of the industry.
     Whether you believe in it or not, based on its scheduling, WCS now gets a lot of attention as the second or third big air cargo event of the year, and also because at this gathering, every top air cargo executive (with few exceptions) from every IATA member airline is here.
     Looking back briefly, this gathering went on before IATA branded the meetings seven years ago as WCS, turning it into a profit center air cargo industry event that sold sponsorships, booths, etc.
     So much of the WCS is in fact a parallel universe, with the top level people cloistered in closed industry meetings in one place, and the rest of us in tracks elsewhere.

     The company display stands at WCS tend to be small—that is, no big dominator jobs with hostesses serving finger sandwiches or anything.
     But the ambiance of the displays supplies a common ground for everybody in Doha this week—a place to go in between tracks and meetings.
     That contact level translates into opportunities to come face to face with some people you might not be able to get next to otherwise—an assortment of characters from the aforementioned members of the fourth estate to sales people, local executives, suppliers, trade show hawkers, and, of course, the entire IATA crew from the financial guys to the IT brains to you name it.
     This year the agenda, which always assumes a lofty title, is called “Action for Sustainability.”
     The WCS event will launch with a blessing and look ahead, behind, and (we assume) sideways as well from IATA Director General Tony Tyler.
     Tyler moved to his post a couple of years back from the top job at Cathay Pacific.
     Included in the opening sessions will be reports, studies, and results that basically share with the great unwashed just how the air cargo business is doing and hopes to do in the coming year.
     But in an airline business rife with change, it is always interesting that often these predictions shift up or down almost without warning.
     The actual Cargo Services Conference proceedings seldom make the headlines; that is a shame because that is where the standards development process takes place. The half-day parallel tracks covering Time and Temperature, Live Animals Transportation, DGR, ULDs, and People are perennials and seldom attract high-level industry managers’ participation.
     The “main tracks”—Environment, Strategy, Logistic, Handling, e-Business, and regulations program—round off the event, but it remains to be seen how much practical, applicable knowledge is taken away. There are many high level presenters and panelists and also more pedestrian tracks from which to pick and choose.
     What is new is the inaugural Future Air Cargo Executive Summit (FACES) (see story here).
     IATA has been turning WCS into a major event by gradually adding Customs, Security, IATA/UPU (Universal Postal Union), Cargo2000, and GACAG to the program, making it a global meeting point of air cargo stakeholders in a single week of a la carte disciplines. Plenty of sponsors and advertisers—Porsche comes to mind—give everything a nice shine. It’s almost good enough to bask in the reflected light of rising Middle Eastern airline powerhouses for a few days and put aside the mundane worries of a limping global economy and what tomorrow brings to your cargo business.

We are really going through some very interesting times… very unlike what we have seen before.
On one hand, we have the market acting very erratic; oil prices are extremely high whilst the market/demand is down, and yet the stock market is running at all-time record levels.
     The largest consumer market, the USA, is in a state of confusion because of the current politically driven fiscal divide.
     The USA “sequestration” now in play is going to affect U.S. efforts at insourcing for near and short term.
     If this situation continues into the medium term, the cost implication will translate into higher retail prices making ‘Made in USA’ products uncompetitive.
     What could work will be other countries (read China) outsourcing final assembly to the USA.
     With that solution, components will continue to be created in more cost-efficient regions with final assembly in the U.S.
     The good news is that scenario will be great for air cargo.
     Right now as you read this in Mid-March 2013, the air cargo industry is in the midst of a paradigm shift.
     So hang on for dear life, because the next five years are going to be very evolutionary.
     I am not sure, at this stage, what the final shape of the supply chain operations is going to be like… this is something that we need to watch very closely.
     The fact is that we continue to live in a time that changes by the day and even by the hour.
     Agility and flexibility will be the key to success.
     At this stage, all we can do is manage these situations the best we can.
     Longer term, the air cargo industry is in good shape.
     As it stands now, higher oil prices are likely to create havoc and continue to be a hurdle in the race to economic recovery.
     Now is the time to keep your nerve and make sure that you are firmly fastened in your sense of humor!
Ram Menen

Ram Menen is Emirates' Divisional Senior Vice President Cargo.

In a separate announcement today in Doha, Emirates and Qantas said that the two carriers will combine to market cargo capacity on passenger flights to a combined total of 233 ports across six continents (subject to regulatory approval).

omething different at WCS: at the opening event Monday, a new feature called FACES (“Future Air Cargo Executive Summit”) was “especially designed to attract, motivate, and retain the new talents in our industry,” according to IATA Head of Cargo Des Vertannes, and meant “to facilitate interaction among current and future air cargo ambassadors,” according to IATA Secretary General Tony Tyler.
      But maybe the most lyrical view featuring faces is captured in the slightly abstract illustration created by the great artist Jasper Johns as an homage titled "Cup 2 Picasso."
      In that spirit FlyingTypers lifts its cup to all the great faces, both old and new, attending WCS in Doha this week as everyone tries to better air cargo.
     Of course, “Faces” in the air cargo business reminds us of the wonderful Swiss World Cargo media campaign featuring the everyday air cargo people who work at that carrier. Looking back a bit, the groundbreaking effort to feature the faces of air cargo people anywhere else, including advertising, was first achieved globally by Japan Air Lines (JAL Cargo) in 1976 when Janet Morris (right) and her cargo marketing team in New York came up with the unforgettable headline slogan:

“First There Were The Wright Brothers At Kitty Hawk”
“Now There Is The Sales Team At JFK”

     There were several versions of these JAL Cargo ads celebrating their air cargo people in job functions at various locations across the JAL Cargo System.
     As we move ahead in Doha this week, it is good to see that what goes around, comes around.
     We asked Swiss Chief Cargo Officer Oliver Evans, who will be offering some “face time” of his own at WCS and delivered the keynote speech at WCS FACES, to tell us about the Summit.
     “The air cargo industry needs a wake-up call.
     “We are not all about tools, not even big, shiny ones like aeroplanes.
     “We are in the people business.
     “We are the Faces of our respective companies to our customers and suppliers.
     “We stand for the values that we nurture and sell.
     “That is the meaning of Swiss WorldCargo’s advertising and communication campaign ‘Faces,’ in which we introduce our heroes, our own staff, and managers as the representatives and ambassadors of our value proposition.
     “And that is the meaning of IATA’s ‘FACES’ Forum in Doha this week.
     “We are, as an industry, in desperate need of more smart women, younger folk, and radical thinkers.
     “And IATA came up with the acronym to fit the name ‘FACES’— the Future Air Cargo Executive Summit.
     “IATA asked: ‘Are you the future Face of Air Cargo?’ and invited ‘rising stars’ from various industry stakeholder groups who have both a passion for air cargo and logistics and the potential to become future global leaders.
     “The airlines, but not only the airlines, will supply FACES.
     “FACES was planned as an interactive, participatory summit, facilitated by a number of, well, yes, older executives, but happily a very diverse group, including a humble role for myself.
     “The key success factor is the participation at FACES, but also in the following WCS, by this select group of ambitious, passionate executives who do not normally attend such an event: a few stimuli were by the facilitators, who were available for chats within and around FACES, but the passion and creativity cae from the participants.
     “And of course, Swiss WorldCargo introduced one of our brightest ‘Faces’ attending the Summit and WCS all this week, Omar Bragatto, our Head of Cargo Contribution Management .”

     IATA WCS in Doha this week has succeeded bringing together "who is who" in the industry.
     This is an excellent starting point.
     I have also noted we are definitely not short of tracks.
     Good thing is almost all the vital issues of our industry are being addressed here.
     These two components should give us all a sense of satisfaction although not enough. WCS may succeed in exposing the problems areas of our industry and I sure they will. The key is deliverables and a time line.
     I have learnt we have either polishers who continue to perfect the vision statement.
     The tourist who will observe and talk.
     And the executioner who will deliver results.
     All the roles are important but in the end the industry is asking for deliverables with a time line.
     So talk and exposition alone is not enough. Let us conclude this WCS with an action list with a time line when the deliverables will be made.
Issa Baluch

ust as the IATA World Cargo Symposium started up this week in Doha, Qatar, on the other side of the world in sin-city Las Vegas, the annual U.S. air cargo transportation and delivery industry’s “premier conference and exhibition event” kicked off—as if we needed more proof that air cargo is a global, 365/24/7 business This is a combination of meetings of the Airforwarders Association, the Air & Expedited Motor Carriers Association, the Express Delivery & Logistics Association, and, for the first time, the ACI-NA (Airports Council International—North America), all taking place under one roof at the Red Rock Casino Resort & Spa.
Richard Fisher, Airforwarders Association Chairman and Brandon Fried, Executive Director greet attendees Monday at Air Cargo 2013, the
Airforwarders Association annual event being held this week in Las Vegas.

    According to organizers Brandon Fried, Executive Director of the Airforwarders Association, and Fiona Morgan, Executive Director of the Air & Expedited Motor Carriers Association, “leaders in the air freight, logistics, and air forwarder industries will share information that can be taken back to businesses and used to make companies run smoother, enhance growth, and succeed in increasing profits.”
     For highlights, Delta Cargo is sponsoring the AirCargo 2013 Women in Cargo networking event featuring a panel of speakers including Doug Brittin, TSA; Billie Sullivan, Director Roanoke Trade Services, Inc. (she is an insurance broker); Cece Poister, marketing manager Allegheny County Airport Authority; Heather Devine, a business litigator; and Sasha Goodman as moderator, general manager at Rock-It Cargo, and director of the International Association for Cold Storage Construction.
     The conference keynote speaker, David Beatson is current president of Ascent Advisors LLC, was former CEO of Emery Worldwide, as well as former CEO of Circle International, former VP cargo for American Airlines, and former CEO North America for Panalpina.

   The old cargo pro Dave Beatson (right) delivered keynote but best question came from EMO Trans Jenni Frigger Latham (left).
   During a brief Q&A Jenny asked whether Dave foresees changes in which companies will be favored for investment-asset versus non-asset based companies.
   Dave responded that he still thinks there is more risk to asset ownership.
   Dave said:  “I believe that there will be a lot of interest in the industry from investors over the next 18-24-36 months.”

     His talk addressed the present state of the industry and challenges and opportunities going forward.
     The afternoon had an airport track titled “How Can Airport Facilities and Infrastructure Better Meet Your Needs” with a panel of experts, followed by the formal opening of the exhibition.
     Interesting factoid in today’s trade show circuit: the exhibition will be open to the public free of charge for two hours.
     There are 98 companies exhibiting which encompass the entire industry spectrum, from airlines to airports, trucking companies, and a variety of service providers including technology, security, insurance, and information.
     Achim Martinka, Vice President The Americas, Lufthansa Cargo accepts International Carrier Of The Year Award from the Airforwarders Association.

The second conference day Tuesday morning opens with a session titled “The Panama Canal Expansion: Discover the Opportunities Its Growth Can Provide.” Coming in 2014, the “Super-Post-Panamax” megaships will carry more than twice the container load of Panama ships, directly affecting East Coast ports—Miami, Savannah, Charleston, Norfolk, as well as Baltimore and New York.
     “Trucking Industry Challenges Affecting Airfreight Forwarders” is another panel that will address the impact of transportation legislation and requirements when forwarders select trucking companies to move shipments.
     This topic involves security, insurance, regulatory, and legal matters which taken together can affect the cost of doing business.
     Two afternoon sessions round off the program; the first, “Employees: What You Don’t Know Could Hurt You,” will review cargo security in terms of the risks posed by theft and embezzlement and its high costs as well as drug use and gang activity.
     The speaker is Bob Breza with SPI Investigations, a twenty-year veteran of law enforcement and expert in narcotics and gangs, whose firm specializes in claims mitigation training and drafting relevant company policies.
     “TSA/CBP Regulatory Briefing: All The latest Industry Compliance Developments” is the second afternoon panel and the last session of the conference. Participants can look forward to the opportunity to communicate directly with senior TSA and CBP principals as part of the session.
     We will report in more detail on the entire agenda as it evolves. Stay tuned.
Ted Braun


Dateline Doha—Sometimes waiting can be the great equalizer.
     We arrive at the seriously overbooked Sheraton Doha and discover we are in a queue of about two dozen or more seriously jet-lagged travelers that having arrived at this desert oasis, must endure a three-hour wait for shelter.
     So it’s over to a chair within eyeshot of the hotel check-in counter and we begin our room vigil.
     Very quickly we discover colleagues sitting in chairs all over the lobby with no room at the inn (until after 1500 hours) and no place to clean up and get over to the IATA WCS.
     We get up and ask the lady behind the counter about a wash-up room and she suggests we go use the pool cabana showers or the hotel health club facilities.
     Just as many of us are wondering, how did IATA come to book this hotel from hell, we note that just across the coffee table checking his messages is Karl Ulrich Garnadt, top executive at Lufthansa Cargo.
     We ask him while he is waiting, what is he doing about business?
     He answers right away:
     "Same thing I’m doing waiting for my room:
     “Remaining flexible.
     “We move our assets around, take advantage of opportunities very quickly,” Karl Ulrich said.
     “The aircraft we park can be brought back almost at once to accommodate Easter Rush or whatever decides to happen.
     “Markets are not doing well—China, India and Europe are sluggish.
     “There is no predicting what is going to happen this year.”
     As to why he has put down his sword for a couple days in Doha with IATA, that answer is immediate:
     “I’m here to take part in the important IATA Cargo Committee meeting.
     “This year we have a lot on the agenda.
     “I am hopeful that we can get some things accomplished in the eight hours or so that we will spend together looking for solutions."
     With that Herr Garnadt goes back to work on his iPad glancing occasionally at the now notorious hotel check-in, somewhat resigned to playing the waiting game, by remaining ever flexible.

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More FromThe Boston Seafood Show (L-R) Staffing the Delta Cargo booth at this week’s Boston Seafood show were Neil O'Sullivan, Cargo Sales, London-Heathrow; Rhonda Merckson, Revenue Management; Charles Sferlazza, account manager; Christine Waggett, account manager; Laura Cascino (regional Cargo Sales manager; and David Linford, director-Cargo Operations for Europe, the Middle East, India and Africa.

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