Vol. 10 No. 55                          THE GLOBAL AIR CARGO PUBLICATION OF RECORD SINCE 2001            Friday June 10, 2011

Dubai Exclusive—Most people inside and out of air cargo know Ram Menen, the amiable, long-time leader of Emirates SkyCargo. He is always at hand in any industry situation and has been recognized by every publication as an outstanding air cargo leader.
     But what you may not know is that despite all the honors and the high flying, jet-set lifestyle, which takes him globe trotting to destinations almost as often as commuters drive to work, Ram keeps in close touch every day with the cargo at Emirates’ main hub in Dubai
     We are not talking a phone-in, computer spreadsheets or blackberry tweets, although Ram surely gets some of that action as well.
     What Ram does is what many air cargo people have always done, starting with John Mahoney at Seaboard and later John Grofik at PIA Cargo, Al Shea at Icelandair and Thor Kjartansson at Cargolux, Vince Chabrol at Royal Air Maroc and Ed Chism at EK (JFK), and many others.
     Every day he can manage it, Ram reports to an office he maintains inside Emirates’ huge Cargo Mega Terminal in Dubai, the carrier’s main air cargo hub.
     It may seem a small gesture, but even today with all the techno gee-whiz ability of IT, plus never ending meetings and strategy conferences, in 2011 nothing is better than face to face.
     “I like to get the feel of the air cargo – the rhythm of the freight moving about CMT to and from destinations all over the world,” Ram said.
     If you want to succeed in this business, be where the money hits the tarmac, in and out of airplanes via the cargo terminal.
     But that is the way it is with the real professionals, whether in baseball, soccer or air cargo.
     They just make what they do look easy.
     Ever wonder why Ram, in addition to all the good he does for the industry at TIACA and IATA and elsewhere, has also been kicking ass and taking names in this business for twenty plus years at EK?
     Well, just look again.
     Take a few minutes and situate yourself where a window opens up on a panorama of busy operations inside the terminal, where all the best laid plans for air cargo either rise or get stuck, and use your imagination.
     That’s what Ram Menen does.
     Every day.
     We are always delighted on our trips to various industry events when we have the opportunity to sit down and pick at the brain of Ram Menen, Divisional Senior Vice President of Cargo at Emirates SkyCargo.
     While sitting in the exclusive and familiar red booth at SkyCargo, we went over some new figures with Mr. Menen.
     “A this very moment we are announcing our results in Dubai.
     “We had a growth of about 28 points –7 percent in terms of revenue – and we had an 11.8 percent growth in cargo volumes.
     “Absolute numbers are around 2.4 million dollars in revenues and the weight is around 1.76 million tons.
     “The company is declaring a profit of 1.6 billion dollars, so this has been a spectacular year.
     “It’s been a good half year and a very challenging second half year.
     “The China markets became quite slow during the close of the last 6 months of our fiscal year, but the rest of the markets were still strong.
     “But then again, the sociopolitical scene in the Middle East had created some challenges,” said Mr. Menen.
     Mr. Menen shared that the factor that most affected Emirates’ bottom line was the rising fuel costs, but the company was still pleased with the numbers posted at the end of the year.
     We can only assume that it is through the dedicated team effort at SkyCargo that these achievements were made. The future, however uncertain, can be made positive through effective teamwork.
     “I’ve been with Emirates for 26 years, and it’s always been: if you’re in the fast lane, you can’t take your foot off the gas pedal.
     “If you look at the last ten years, we have had so many challenges thrown at us and you don’t have time to recover from one as you go into the next.
     “It’s a question of managing through these things.
     “The good thing is if you do it often, you are much more experienced in dealing with situations like that.
     “You only get more daring,” said Mr. Menen.
     As for the preparing for the future, Emirates seems to always be one step ahead.
     “We can’t forget that the 21st century reality is a very different reality than what we have seen in the last century.
     “In this century, everything is happening in real time.
     “It’s a question of: are you working and thinking in real time?
     “It’s like a movie that you are trying to watch in fast forward.
     “The best part of it is while you are seeing the movie, you are also writing the script, and there’s no end to that.
     “Whether the story is going to be a good story or a bad story depends on how you write the story, ” said Mr. Menen.
     And perhaps, we thought, if given the opportunity and the story isn’t where you want it to be, there’s time for a short rewrite?
     “Well, you don’t have time for a rewrite these days. The world is moving too fast, so you have to improvise,” said Mr. Menen.
     We wonder, after so many years in the air cargo business, of what he is most proud?
     “There are several moments – there is not one that I can actually pick up and pinpoint.
     “Of course, being able to create something like what we have here today with Emirates is tremendous.
     “When I joined, there were no airplanes.
     “From there, to have created a team – I’m very proud of the team that we have.
     “And more so, the friendships we have built around the world.
     “Now more than anything else, to pass that knowledge on to the next generation is a very important part of what we do.
     “The industry has been extremely nice to me, and whatever I can give back to industry is not going to be enough.
     “To me, life is like a relay race.
     “We all get in there, take over a baton from somebody, do our run, and hope we do a good run so that the next person who takes that baton is able to pick up the speed and run faster than we did.
     “This is a relay race with no finish line, and that’s life: it goes on,” said Mr. Menen.
     Well, we truly feel that Ram Menen has kept us all in the race, and lifted us at the same time.

ATC Readies American Experience

     Ingo Zimmer is CEO of ATC Group, a company that has been in existence for 40 years. A man who breathes vitality, style and life into ATC, FlyingTypers was excited to speak with him while at Air Cargo Europe in Munich.
     We learned that ATC Group plans to make some expansions this year.
     “ATC would like to open in the United States and Brazil.
     “We bought a company in January in South Africa, and we are also going to expand further in Europe,” said Mr. Zimmer.
     ATC covers 10 countries currently, but would like to expand to 15 this year.
     We were pleased and excited to learn that the first stop for U.S. expansion would be in Air Cargo News/FlyingTypers’ hometown of New York.
     “ATC will move in to New York soon.
     “We are also in the process of becoming further involved in the Americas.”

     Pictured at Air Cargo Europe last month are (L to R) Luis Felipe Gomez Toro, Commercial Director, Tampa Cargo S.A., and Ingo Zimmer, Managing Director of ATC.
     The big announcement at ACE was that ATC Aviation Services was appointed as Cargo GSSA for the AviancaTampa Group for the whole of Europe, with the exception of Spain and the UK, as of June 1, 2011.
     Members of the AviancaTampa Group are Avianca, Tampa Cargo, Aerogal and Taca Cargo.
     Tampa Cargo operates daily B767 freighters from Miami into the main South and Central American markets, whereas Avianca operates 19 weekly A330 passenger aircraft from Barcelona and Madrid into Bogota and then beyond.
     Feeder services have been arranged by the Cargo GSSA from Europe into the hubs in Miami and Spain.
     It is expected that Avianca will add additional European destinations to its network in the coming years.

      ATC also believes the market in Brazil is strong and growing very fast; some of its carriers are already operating there with freighter aircraft.
     The company’s success can be attributed to teamwork; Mr. Zimmer selected many of the key workers who play on team ATC, and those people, coupled with a strong financial backing, help to make it a successful business.
     With 65 airlines represented by ATC all around the world, we wondered what keeps companies coming back to work with Mr. Zimmer in the long run.
     “I think we are a very professional company – we’ve been in the market for 40 years.
     “ATC enjoys strong companies among our customers, which focus on quality, such as Etihad Airways, Air Cargo Germany and Asiana Airlines and many others,” said Mr. Zimmer. He went on further to say that the primary importance of an event like Air Cargo Europe is in the connectivity it allows a company to achieve among its customers, which are varied and spread across the globe.
     “This is the best exhibition.
     “We are headquartered in Germany, so it’s a very good location for us.
     “It’s getting bigger and bigger year by year,” said Mr. Zimmer.”

Logistics New Middle East Treasure

     Pearl diving in the waters of the Arabian Gulf was a very common way for local inhabitants to make a living in the first half of last century. Now, more than fifty years later, the new valuable pearl is the logistics business, whether it’s in the United Arab Emirates, Qatar or Bahrain. That’s why, despite the recent economic downturn and Dubai’s latest financial woes, many logistics providers keep flocking to the Gulf region to add an emerging and rapidly growing market to their network. This doesn’t only account for the big fellows, but also for medium-sized enterprises like Austria’s Cargo-Partner GmbH. As its chairman Stefan Krauter told Air Cargo News FlyingTypers, he plans establishing a chain of branches throughout the region.
     “The world changes fast,” said Mr. Krauter.
     “There are strong signs that an over-regulated Europe falls behind while the Middle East is taking on a leading position in air and ocean transports.” The proof is in the advanced infrastructure emerging all around the Gulf in airports, harbors and highways as well as the rapidly growing fleets of carriers like Emirates, Qatar Airways and Etihad. Their constant upswing will lead to a downswing of some of the European airlines and influence future supply chains fundamentally, says Herr Krauter.
      To exemplify his concern, he compares the airport realities: There are no night flight restrictions in Doha, Abu Dhabi or any of the other Gulf gateways, whereas in Europe more and more places are forced to shut down their gates during late evening and early morning hours due to mounting social protest against noise and court decisions backing this demand.
     Consequently, the intercontinental supply chains will gradually change, with an increasing number of goods being flown and shipped via the Gulf States. New trade lanes will emerge, like East Africa-Dubai-Germany, Australia-Abu Dhabi-UK, and Vietnam-Doha-France.
     “The Gulf region is on its way to becoming a hot spot for transferring huge amounts of goods,” states Krauter. Having evaluated these facts, he decided to step up the presence of his enterprise throughout the entire area. Besides Jebel Ali’s Free Zone, where Cargo-Partner already runs a station, a handling company will be set up at Dubai international airport.
     “Things proceed according to schedule. We are highly confident to commence operations in summer.”
     He adds that his firm is looking to hire capable staff not only for Dubai, but also Abu Dhabi, Qatar and Bahrain. There, cargo-partner will establish new offices as well in the coming months.
     The next major step is scheduled for 2012, with Saudi Arabia standing on the expansion list of the Vienna-based logistics firm.
     “It’s by far the biggest market in the entire region, offering a lot of business opportunities,” comments Krauter.
     Despite his company’s growing interest in the Gulf Area, most air freight shipments flown between the Far East and Europe and vice versa will be sent via Siberia by Cargo Partner if the rates demanded by Chinese, Korean or European carriers match those of the Gulf airlines.
     “We prefer transporting our goods the fastest and shortest way by bearing in mind commercial preconditions. This is our philosophy for saving greenhouse gas emissions whenever possible,” emphasizes chairman Krauter.
     Last year his group turned over 480 million euros, with air freight contributing 45 percent and ocean freight 40 percent. Trucking services and contract logistics generate the difference. The forwarding agent runs over 100 offices in 28 countries with 2,200 staff on payroll.
Heiner Siegmund/Flossie


     Long before the first pint of 2011 Oktoberfest beer is drawn this summer, Germany will go gala over air cargo with a week long celebration that commences on August 17th and begins with the unveiling of a new book commissioned by Lufthansa entitled “100 Years of Air Cargo.” The book is authored by Professor Dr. Rainer Gries (left) and will be coupled with some presentations and discussion with air cargo legends.
     Professor Gries, who does research and teaches in the Institute of Journalism and Communication Science of the University of Vienna, at the Friedrich-Schiller-University in Jena and in Sigmund Freud Private University in Vienna, notes:
     “I am a historian as well as communication scientist.
     “For many years I have been interested in the theory and history of product communication - a research field which ties together brands and the economy on the one hand, with society and politics on the other.
     “On the occasion of the 100-year anniversary of air cargo in Germany, Lufthansa Cargo approached me and requested to shed light on the history of air cargo within the scope of a research project.”
     Also on the table is a special two-day workshop discussion to take place August 18th and 19th, which will look back and far into the future as the best and the brightest let it all hang out for air cargo in Frankfurt.


     Participants in the two-day event include Dr. Frank Appel, CEO Deutche Post DHL; Dr. Stefan Schulte, CEO Fraport; Dr. Christoph Franz, CEO Deutsche Lufthansa; Joschka Fischer, former Foreign Minister of Germany and many other VIPs of the air cargo industry including Maria Muller the first female airport manager in Germany (2007-Rostock Laage)
     On August 18th, an evening Gala Party in the Lufthansa Frankfurt MD-11 Hangar will recall 100 years ago when The Gelber Hund (Yellow Dog) took off and air cargo began in Germany.
     And just to keep a good thing going, another Birthday Party and Gala Event will be conducted on August 19th (the exact date of the historic first flight) in Seeheim, Germany, where the Lufthansa Training Center is located, and will include invited guests of Lufthansa Cargo.
     That ticket promises to be one of the hottest of the summer in this series of celebrations directed at air cargo, the likes of which are rarely seen anywhere else on the planet.
     The 100 Years of Air Cargo events, from book to meetings to celebrations, is indication of the esteem and importance that air cargo enjoys in Germany.
     Already Air Cargo Europe is the biggest and best air cargo event in the world.
     The only problem with ACE is that it is only conducted every other year, although many inside and elsewhere in air cargo are hoping the show goes yearly at some point.
     The landing page to keep up with 100 Years of Air Cargo is http://www.100-years-air-cargo.com/
     In the meantime, with this issue, Flying Typers begins a feature to be repeated every Friday all summer long until September 1st, 2011 that includes news updates and other features about the big party in Deutschland, plus articles tracing air cargo development and history worldwide.



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