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   Vol. 17 No. 13
Monday March 5, 2018

Respect Framework For Future

Geoffrey’s Keynote
FIATA World Cargo Symposium
October 7, 2016
Dublin, Ireland

     FIATA and IATA are here—together again, but for the first time, and all of us saw that.
     What do you think?
     I want to share a thought from the writings of Kurt Vonnegut:
     “Please notice when you are happy, and exclaim or murmur or think at some point, 'If this isn't nice, I don't know what is.’”
     I would like to take this opportunity to offer my thanks to FIATA for my designation as a FIATA Fellow.
     The title is something I take very seriously and I only hope to continue to earn your trust.
     I think for anything to really work between airlines and forwarders, both entities need to never forget to respect each other.
     American stand-up comedian Rodney Dangerfield always began and ended his jokes with: “I get no respect.”
     “I told my wife the truth. I told her I was seeing a psychiatrist. Then she told me the truth: that she was seeing a psychiatrist, two plumbers, and a bartender.
     “I tell you I get no respect.
     “I told my psychiatrist that everyone hates me. He said I was being ridiculous - everyone hasn't met me yet.”

     It is my firm belief that mutual respect can drive cooperation in air cargo to untold heights.
     It is an integral part of a new working model that should be based on elevating dialogue between the factions of the air cargo industry.
     Respect should be a driver to IATA/FIATA when exploring future possibilities.
     How does one define success? Profits? Trust? Reliability? Innovation?
     One of the ways to measure these values is by the respect they command. It's About The Customer
     The central tenet of our collective endeavors must be the much-mentioned customer.
     That is the person for whom we all should have respect.
     For more than a decade in the B-to-C world, a few clicks on a computer, tablet, or smart phone brought a product to one’s doorstep with very little fuss. It's About Each Other
     We need to keep that in mind when we cling to “our” way of doing things.
     In order to achieve seamless service we should all have respect for one another’s needs and desires.
     The forwarder-carrier partnership must continue to mature and improve at a much faster pace than in the past in order to provide a truly streamlined service to the customer.
     Too many years of wasted debates and shadowboxing have been allowed to continue so that one side or the other could feel “in control.”
     The customer can only get what it needs and wants when a functionally integrated team of forwarders and carriers provide the service and stand together to fix problems or develop a new product.
     This has been done, can be done, and must be done.
     It takes understanding of the challenge and respect for roles and responsibilities.

Change At Warp Speed

     The visionary Tesla CEO Elon Musk is investing 6 billion U.S. dollars in a state-of-the-art battery factory.
     As leading edge as that is today, it will be obsolete in 15 to 20 years.
     When I think of air cargo, I believe that a new business model should be developed: a stagnating global economy combined with a seriously outdated system must eventually force fundamental change.
     Today we have an opportunity to rise above the existing norms and jointly work as an industry on developing a new paradigm of collaboration.
     The clarion calls of do or die have been sounded before and many have already paid the price for not heeding them.
     It is not easy, simple, or without enormous risk, but the “business as usual” approach carries even greater risks today.
     The best way we can move ahead and not stumble is by having respect for the past, but working for the future.
     It’s the old adage about history being doomed to repeat itself.
     It’s the famous James Baldwin line: “If you know whence you came, there are no limitations to where you can go.”


Learn From History

      Let’s learn from our history so we don’t make the same mistakes—let’s make new mistakes!      Learning from our history and each other will seed innovation and growth in our industries, and will prove fruitful and beneficial for both forwarders and airlines.
     In my mind, bringing the forwarder and airline people closer together is critical to the success of both.
     So let me congratulate FIATA and IATA for flying us into the future of air cargo through respectful and efficient collaboration.
     So with the memory of some younger days that included Pat Phelan and John Hartnett, who both served as General Manager Cargo for Aer Lingus, and my great, great grandmother Mary Doyle, we fly into the future with IATA and FIATA as the wings of our flying machine.
     And if you will allow, because growing up in New York City I heard these words often:
     “Get on your knees and thank God you’re still on your feet.”
     Thank you.

Publisher-Geoffrey Arend • Managing Editor-Flossie Arend •
Film Editor-Ralph Arend • Special Assignments-Sabiha Arend, Emily Arend • Advertising Sales-Judy Miller

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