FlyingTypers Logo
   Vol. 19 No. 29
Friday April 10, 2020
No Country Is Independent

     Massimo Roccasecca is Group Cargo Director, Chief Executive GDA Handling, of SAVE S.p.A. with responsibility for Venice, Verona, Brescia and Treviso Airports.
     Mr. Roccasecca has been a global air cargo icon for the past 30-plus years having served at UPS, TNT, Alitalia, Oman Airports, and elsewhere.
     “Luck was on my side,” writes Marco Sorgetti from his home in Turin, Italy. “I managed to ask Massimo questions about the situation in Italy, and the special circumstances in which the air transport business finds itself. Mr. Roccasecca was kind enough to share some revealing insights in these times."

Massimo and Gregario Roccasecca

Logistics Island in a Stormy Sea?

     “The threat to international trade represented by the epidemic appears to be growing in intensity,” Massimo Roccasecca declared.
     “The Italian government seemed to be directed to keep the freight sector out of the restrictions on mobility; however, is it realistic that the logistics sector continues its work without repercussions, like an island in the middle of a stormy sea, without mentioning the unrest spontaneously starting in the manufacturing industry?”

We are Determined

     “I believe that after a rather confusing first phase on what remedies were to be put in place (probably due to the lack of awareness of the seriousness and size of this epidemic), today in Italy we have reached maximum determination.
     “The only possible next step would be the total and absolute stoppage of the entire country, with consequences that would make you shiver.
     “The growth of the unrest is more than understandable given the worsening of the situation.”

Lessons for the Future

     “We are human beings and we talk about the health of individuals, but unnecessary collective hysteria must also be avoided.
     “What is certain, however, any controversy aside, is that this emergency must serve as a lesson for the future.”

Where were China Warnings?

     “Although I understand the initial bewilderment that we have seen, as a citizen even more than as a businessman who travels frequently, I find it surprising that in China where the virus seems to have originated, so much time passed without the right alarms being launched.
     “Nowadays, with the mobility to which the world has become accustomed, perhaps the sense of responsibility of each individual could have been more developed.”

Can we make a correction?

     “Unfortunately, in this emergency we are sort of playing things by ear. The situation changes by the hour. The corrections, if at all necessary, will have to be implemented according to how the situation evolves.”

Could Cargo be Halted Altogether?

     “Should the contagion curve continue to rise, I hope not.
     “But I do not rule out the possibility of reaching the extreme solution of a total blockade of goods.
     “Having said that, however, I spontaneously ask myself how sale points can be supplied with basic necessities. If up to now the logistic chain has not been blocked, it is also for this reason.”

No Country is Independent

     “Including the many friends and colleagues we have in this industry, we are all part of a complex system we call the logistics chain.
     “It is clear that in the last few weeks we have all been involved in the analysis, verification, and implementation of all possible measures.
     “Still, in these hours, further scenarios are looming which will surely have an impact on transportation, the air sector in particular. But it is good that we know exactly what we are facing.
     “In today's globalized society, no country can be said to be completely independent from the rest of the world.”

Can Cargo Come Back Quickly?

     “Unfortunately, no,” Massimo Roccasecca states flatly.
     “Once the emergency has passed, there will be an immediate reaction from the whole market, but the damage we have now is enormous.
     “The recovery times of the sector will be protracted.”

Will Recovery Work Copying China?

     “As previously stated, I cannot say whether there really is an ‘ideal’ model.
     “Any model, Chinese, European, American, etc. . . . transposed out of its context risks losing its effectiveness.
     “Moreover, the contexts are profoundly different, as are the lifestyles in the different societies.”

Unify World Health

     “On the contrary, I believe a basic ‘single’ model is needed with regard to world health standards.
     “Let me offer a trivial example: Restaurants all over the world have standards, rules, and laws that regulate the minimum hygiene requirements to which they must comply.
     “Yet they are very different from each other and what you see in one country, perhaps in another is ignored.
     “But then, traveling, you eat in both.
     “Or even eat at the food stall on the street.
     “The issue is very vast and complex.”

How Will Airport Pax Closures Hinder Cargo?

     As I said before, the total closure of a system, of a country, leads to serious consequences.
     “We must take this into account.
     “This is our role towards politics, governments, and institutions: to act as a center of competency even in times of emergency, which we are currently experiencing.”

Lighten Dependency on Mega Hubs

     “In context of the current situation, it is evident that [dependence on] mega hubs (like London, Frankfurt, Paris, Istanbul, etc.) are critical factors.
     “Too much concentration, in my opinion, is always a potential risk.
     “I am not saying that we must eliminate mega hubs, but certainly a different strategy, that can ‘lighten’ their role is necessary as never before.
     “I fully understand,” Massimo assures, “the economic logic that has favored this development and growth over the past 20-30 years, but I am not so sure it will still be valid in the future, at least not in these dimensions.”

Half Empty Cathedrals

     “The current, very serious crisis facing hundreds of thousands of large shopping malls all over the world—the same malls that in the last 20-30 years have slowly replaced the small retail stores, decreeing their near extinction—are today half-empty cathedrals themselves.
     “There seems to me to be an alarm bell ringing over our dependency on mega hubs,” Massimo Roccasecca declared.
Marco Sorgetti
Editor's Note: Reading Massimo's comments reminded me of the words that also served as title to the Ernest Hemingway novel, “For Whom the Bell Tolls”:
     “If a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as well as if a manor of thy friend's or of thine own were. Any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind; and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.”

If You Missed Any Of The Previous 3 Issues Of FlyingTypers
Access complete issue by clicking on issue icon or
Access specific articles by clicking on article title
Vol. 19. No. 26
PayCargo Freedom In Pandemic
Past Pandemic Air Cargo Could Power The Economy
Air Cargo Delivers The World
Chuckles for March 27, 2020

Vol. 19 No. 27
China Back To Work . . . Sort Of
United Cargo A Dream Of Eagles
Cruise From Hell To Mercy Sailing
Chuckles for April 1, 2020

Vol. 19 No. 28
Who Are Those Masked People
Virus Crisis—Forwarders Get No Respect
Indian Agents in CASS Throwdown
Chuckles for April 6, 2020
QR Cargo For AMS Adds Up

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

fblogoSend comments and news to geoffrey@aircargonews.com
Opinions and comments expressed herein do not necessarily reflect the views of the publisher but remain solely those of the author(s).
Air Cargo News FlyingTypers reserves the right to edit all submissions for length and content. All photos and written material submitted to this publication become the property of All Cargo Media.
All Cargo Media, Publishers of Air Cargo News Digital and FlyingTypers. Copyright ©2018 ACM, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
More@ www.aircargonews.com

recycle100% Green