When the immortal air cargo journalist and Air Cargo News FlyingTypers Special Commentaries Editor, the
late Richard Malkin penned his forward-thinking book “Boxcars In
The Sky” in 1948, he could have hardly imagined 2020, when more
boxes than people would ride topside in passenger aircraft as has happened
for the past four months.
So right now when it comes to ULDs—the
modern day boxcars, we stay in touch with Bob Rogers, a person that has
thought about these things for most of his life examining all possibilities
and today as the spirit and guiding force of ULD CARE.
Sometimes you can imagine if Bob had his
way, he might even live in a can and listen to the patter of rain on the
tin roof as he thinks his next big thoughts.
Some Dreamers But Montreal?
The ULD CARE organization founded in 2010
and based in Montreal with people like Bob Rogers who serves as Secretary/Treasurer
and Urs Wiesendanger who is President, is dedicated to the advancement
and proper use of ULDs and has issued papers on that very subject, and
even has a big annual convention every September. In 2020, like many other
events, the September Annual ULD CARE conference has been cancelled.
Speaking from Hong Kong, Bob Rogers says,
“here in Hong Kong, with our previous experience from SARS we pretty
much dodged the bullet, with only 1000+ cases, of COVID which probably
50% arrived from overseas and I think just six deaths.
“At the same time restrictions on
activities and movements have been quite limited, and those that have
been in place are now pretty well lifted, so life is kind of completely
normal except of course there is a 99.999% use of masks wherever you go
(this is just Hong Kong DNA and in fact in my opinion has contributed
enormously to us getting through this so lightly) and no trips anywhere,”
The Good & The Ugly
“One of the ugliest parts of the past
months is of course the almost complete shutdown of our enormous airport
and airline industry.
“From where we live we actually can
see a certain number of the arriving flights. “Fortunately
the in and out is from sufficient height so that we don't suffer from
the noise, but these days the skies are awfully empty except for B- 747’s
that one always knows are filled with cargo.”
Hong Kong Can-Do
“Having lived in Hong Kong for over
40 years,” Bob confides, “and becoming totally immersed in
its can-do spirit, I have every confidence that we will be bouncing back.
“The return probably will not quite
as fast as we might hope, but equally not as slow as some people might
ULDs In The Sky
“So I look forward to the day when
our skies are full again, above and below decks with the return to more
normal operations worldwide so that once again we will see our business
““The ULD Annual gathering slated
for Vienna, September 21-24 is of course cancelled, but we plan to reschedule.
““Please check www.uld.com for updates,” Bob Rogers said.