Vol. 11 No. 70                                                                                                            Tuesday July 24, 2012

     Brendan Canavan, the newly appointed president of UPS Asia Pacific, has no doubts about where integrators will see the fastest growth in the years ahead.
     “Asia is probably the most exciting part of the world to be in now,” he said. “With a weak U.S. economy and a problematic Eurozone, all eyes are on Asia to lead the potential recovery. “
     The 31-year UPS veteran recently replaced Derek Woodward as the lead executive in an AP region that incorporates more than 40 countries and territories for UPS.
     “UPS’s international operating margin is by far the best in the industry and the Asia Pacific Region is a key contributor to that,” he said.

     Previously, Canavan served as president of UPS’s North-East District in Europe, based in Brussels, where he led the realignment of the company’s operations and the acquisition of Stolica, a leading parcel and express delivery service in Poland. Prior to that he managed Worldport in Louisville, where he oversaw the integration of Menlo Worldwide Forwarding, which UPS acquired in 2004.
     Canavan concedes that realizing Asia’s huge potential for UPS will require overcoming a number of challenges in the current economic climate. “The slow global economic conditions are an immediate concern and we are working diligently to maintain our service levels profitably,” he said. “But in the long-term, we are focused on improving our intra-Asia and global network, rolling out technology enhancements such as the new DIAD V, innovating new logistics solutions for our Asian customers, as well as developing and retaining our talent.”
     This, he says, explains why UPS invested heavily in two Asian air cargo and express hubs at Shanghai and Shenzhen even during the recession. “We expected to reap the benefits of being ready when the economy recovers,” he said.
     He highlights the rapid growth of the intra-Asia trade as an area where expectations at UPS are high, pointing out that volumes continue to grow faster than trade with the rest of the world and already account for more than 50 percent of all exports in the region.
     “As per UPS’s Change in the Chain survey in 2011, high-tech companies, for instance, are in favor of intra-Asia trade and are focused on fulfilling growth demand within the region,” he said. “Trading plans in the next five years show that more than half of the trade lanes used by these companies will be primarily intra-Asia.
     “With this in mind, I remain cautiously optimistic of the region’s growth and I’d like to focus on developing our capabilities within Asia, which include network enhancements within our Asia lanes, technology expansion and building healthcare solutions.”
     UPS’s Asia Pacific hubs are located in Shanghai, Shenzhen, and Hong Kong, and the company currently has an aircraft fleet of about 29 aircraft in the region, with over 230 weekly flight segments within Asia and over 160 international routes. In total these flights serve over 20 airports in Asia and over 370 internationally.
     Canavan said UPS’s brand has it well positioned to tap into demand from Asia’s fast-growing middle class.      “It’s projected that by 2020 more than 1 billion consumers will come from China and India alone and UPS is going to be prepared to serve those consumers,” he said.
     Most focus will center on China, particularly its fast-growing interior markets. “We grow and invest wherever our customers need us to be,” said Canavan. “We have long been exploring expansion in tier 2 and 3 cities in China because of their growth potential.”
     The Chinese government, which had been active in building infrastructure that supports the logistics and transportation sector, is encouraging this, he says.
     “According to China’s 12th Five Year Plan, the government is working on enhancing its road and rail network,” he added. “Some key targets include the construction of a highway network to reach 83,000km and the length of a high-speed railway to reach 45,000km—and plans to invest more than RMB 1.5 trillion in developing the aviation industry.
     “All this bodes well for UPS, which has invested over USD$900 million in China since 2002.”
     Apart from its hubs for the region, UPS also uses six gateways specifically for China located at Chengdu, Beijing, Guangzhou, Qingdao, Shanghai, and Shenzhen. “Our current infrastructure enables us to serve more than 330 cities in China and we are still on the lookout to do more,” he said.
     He identified Chengdu as one of the main cities that is benefitting from China’s ‘Go West’ campaign to develop interior areas.
     “Tax and investment initiatives from the Chinese government have seen many MNCs set up shop in this dynamic city, making it a focal point of high technology manufacturing,” he said.
     “As trade flow in the region increased tremendously, so did the need for smart logistics solutions required to facilitate it.
     “Last year we began operating flights out of Chengdu, and we were the first international express carrier to operate out of the Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport. UPS’s Chengdu gateway will boost the connectivity for western China’s business and manufacturing communities to the world.”



     When Saudia Airlines Cargo Company appointed Keku Gazder as Regional Director Cargo for the Indian Subcontinent three months ago, the air cargo industry in India sat up and took notice. The move simply meant that Saudia was going to be a serious player in the Indian market.
     Saudia, unlike other airlines is rather reserved, hardly sends out press releases or stages a press conference to highlight its achievements. It is content to maintain its low profile and perhaps that is why it required consistent and prolonged efforts on our part to meet Keku Gazder. But when FlyingTypers succeeded, Gazder did not disappoint.
     Unfazed by the continuing downturn, Gazder maintained that Saudia Cargo was on a rising graph.
     “When we look at the figures that the World Air Cargo data has provided, we have seen an upward growth trajectory at Saudia.”

     When asked about programs and plans, Gazder pointed out, “We will get back the market share that we deserve. You are aware that we are now privatized. The impact of that is that we are very vigorously and actively pursuing opportunities.
     “We have forged great partnerships with a lot of forwarder partners all over the country and across the region that I represent. This area is the largest market for Belly Capacity in the SV world. Therefore, we are looking at going into the market with a product or a service we truly believe benefits our partners. We have on an average twelve passenger flights in the region and fly to Dammam, Riyadh and Jeddah.
     “If I look country-wise, we fly from Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. In Pakistan, we have Islamabad, Karachi, Lahore and Peshawar.” In India, Saudia flies to Mumbai, Delhi, Lucknow, Hyderabad, Bengaluru, Kochi, Calicut, and Trivandrum, while its freighter destinations are at Mumbai, Trivandrum, and Dhaka in Bangladesh.
     Saudia Cargo is committed to the subcontinent and Gazder emphasized that fact with an example.
     “We are a very strong player in the Dhaka market where, in addition to passenger flights we operate two weekly freighters to Dhaka. We have added a third weekly freighter into this market. That sort of gives you an idea of how keen we are on the Bangladesh market. Our partners have realized that we are a serious player and we are here for the long run.”
     So is Saudia Cargo in the race to be the mightiest?
     “With 145 passenger aircraft and 13 freighters: Definitely yes!” said Gazder.
     Carrying around 7,000 tonnes per month from the region, Saudia Cargo is planning to put in more capacity in India.
     “For sure, we want to grow in India. We see more opportunities for growth. We want to be sure about the opportunities that we have in India.”
     He emphasized, “We do not want to step into the market where there is a temporary boom. That is not our strategy. We want to grow and develop the market for a sustainable period of time.” Despite the infrastructural hurdles, Saudia is looking at the big picture.
     Speaking to air cargo stakeholders, Gazder said, “we have to address the hurdles and broaden our vision for the next 20-25 years, otherwise we will have to keep reinventing every five years. It has to be a collective effort by everybody: from shipper to forwarder to the ground handling agent, to the airline, to the customs authority. Every link in the chain is important and indispensable to the other.”
Tirthankar Ghosh

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     While BBI may have flubbed its opening plan to move from Tegel to a new Berlin Schonefeld facility last month, China's Changshui International Airport debuted June 28, revealing the fourth largest airport building in China following the transfer of operations from the city’s Wujiaba Airport.
     The new airport terminal at Kunming serves as a strategic hub for airlines serving Southeast Asia from China, and will process about 24 million passengers in 2012.
     That number is expected to rise to 38 million passengers by 2020.
     The airport has a design capacity of close to 70 million passengers per annum, served by four runways.
     The airport was constructed with an investment of CNY23 billion (USD3.6 billion).
     Kunming can be recalled as the major base for General Claire Chennault’s American Volunteer Group (AVG) during World War Two, which became famous all over the world as The Flying Tigers, after a 1942 movie of the same name was made starring John Wayne.
     Lesser known is the epoch tale of intrepid transport pilots operating their C-46 Curtiss Commandos above the treacherous Himalaya Mountains after the Japanese closed The Burma Road between Assam India and Kunming.

Claire Booth Luce snapped this early color photograph in Kunming for Life Magazine during the early 1940s as the legend of the exploits of the Flying Tigers was born. John Wayne (pictured with co-star Anna Lee) starred in the movie The Flying Tigers
Now from what was once little more than a grass fighter strip a great modern airport debuted last month

     These pilots and their fragile early transport aircraft operating at max ceiling kept the AVG supplied with av–gas, tires, ammunition, and other supplies.
     Conditions were so dangerous with those mountain updrafts that wreckage of those early all-cargo airplanes reported lost during the early 1940s is still being discovered, as recently as a few years ago.
     Although the heroics of the transport pilots who supported and were rightfully called “Flying Tigers” is often overlooked, their contributions left a worldwide, lasting legacy and introduced the world to the prospects of air cargo, including the “can-do” attitude that launched “The Berlin Airlift” and The Flying Tiger Line air cargo company, which operated freighters all over Asia before being bought by FedEx.
     Today, many FedEx Asian flights travel aerial trade lanes pioneered by Flying Tigers air cargo pilots and crew.
     Reportedly, a new film is in the works about the Flying Tigers by director John Woo, who is said to be looking for Tom Cruise as lead actor.
     The movie, with the working title Flying Tiger Heroes has a projected budget of US$100 million and will reportedly be the most expensive movie ever made in China.
     Woo has said the film will contain “the most spectacular aerial battle scenes ever seen in Chinese cinema.”
     He added that the movie “will highlight the spirit of Yunnan culture as well as Chinese heroes from World War II and the U.S.-China friendship that led to the founding of the Flying Tigers”.
     It is also worth mentioning that the publication that you are reading worldwide today called “Flying Typers” can trace its name back to the days of the AVG.

    Often people inquire as to our name FlyingTypers. “Don’t you mean Flying Tigers,” is a comment we have heard.
    Actually during WW II Flying Tigers were both fighter pilots (P40) and air transport pilots (C46 & C47) as well.
    Our publication title is genuine. It dates back to the days of the AVG, when during the long trek over the mountains, the pilots got to know another determined group of people, the first air cargo journalists who worked for Time & Life and Yank Magazine, The New York Herald Tribune, Stars and Stripes and others.
    Along with their regular kit, these reporters brought along the essential tool of their trade, a small portable typewriter in a black case—the 1940's version of the laptop computer of today.
    Our Contributing Editor, Ed "Ansel " Talbert, who served as top aviation editor of The New York Herald Tribune, and a founder of The Wings Club recalled:
    “Preparing for a flight, a pilot looking out the left seat window at some reporters as they trudged their way toward his aircraft to cover the story said to the co-pilot:
    “Here come those flying typers.”
    We are proud to carry the name FlyingTypers as we pioneer this 21st Century Ezine worldwide thrice weekly.
    We are also dedicated to never forget the people and events that shaped our great industry.

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