Most promising start up of 1983,
innovative marketing technique award winner 1996, lifetime achievement
award 2011, last train home 2019 . . .
Air Cargo Europe bestowed
another blizzard of air cargo awards at its “Gala Dinner in Munich
Trade shows, industry organizations, and
especially publications are handing out awards left and right.
There are awards for everything, from company
of the year, to person of the year, to most influential, to lifetime service.
Forgive our skepticism, but something about
this rings a bit hollow when air cargo folks sit down to a $75 or $150-a-plate
trade show dinner to pat themselves on the back.
The idea of recognizing and awarding exemplary
effort is as old as organized business itself.
But right now award giving seems a bit
over the top, if not inappropriate.
First of all, there are too many awards.
Awards, truth be told, are money makers,
especially for the publications who in some cases passively encourage
candidates to buy award sponsor company ads and full-blown advertising
programs pleading with readers to “vote for us.”
Forgetting everything else, isn’t
there something a tad less than believable going on here?
Advertising programs and event and table
sponsorships sold as part of an awards package are a set up, period.
The guys on the street here in New York
City would call it a kickback, pure and simple.
Hard working companies and people in air
cargo don’t need that kind of grief at what should be a moment of
enlightenment and reflection for a job well done.
The prerequisites for the vast majority
of awards are totally nebulous. For example:
“Best Cargo Carrier of Europe,”
“Outstanding Cargo Carrier of Asia/Pacific Indian Subcontinent,”and
By this time of year, a worldwide inflation
of accolades has popped up like white asparagus in Germany.
What has developed is a sort of awards
overkill. In our humble view, it has reduced the credibility and devalued
those few awards with a basis in thorough and scientific approach.
So… is there a fix here?
A highly placed air cargo executive who
asked to go unnamed thinks more accountability is needed in the business
of recognizing true winners:
Another thought is that maybe the focus
should change. Maybe air cargo should skip the awards altogether in favor
of pooling the same resources to create a yearly logistics scholarship
at a university.
The point should be made that as a great,
honorable, and flexible industry, our awards process at almost every gathering
should not resemble a dead heat on a carousel.
In the meantime, there is no doubt the
air cargo awards trend will continue.
Can we at least say it’s about time
to make air cargo honors more rewarding by making them more believable?