Vol. 11 No. 72                                                                                                            Friday July 27, 2012



     Is Brazil the country of the future?
     Now that almost everyone admits that China won’t go back to generating 10% growth, (most recently given its new, longer-term growth target of 7.5%), even with the help of huge but potentially risky policy stimulus and given that U.S. & Euro-zone growth outlook is looking more down than up, attention naturally is shifting to seeking new markets.
     So it is no surprise that air cargo and the trade shows that promise to deliver a touchy feely sample of new markets are rushing to India, Africa, South East Asia, Latin America and anywhere else with a pulse.
     But no conversation about the Americas or for that matter, new markets is complete without some up close and personal focus on Brazil.
     Any way you slice it up, about 60% of what is known as South American business is generated from Brazil.
Brazil was the sixth-largest economy in terms of GDP at market exchange rates in 2011 (ahead of India, Russia, the UK and Italy).
     Economic & political stability is not an issue but latest numbers show that economic growth is slowing.
So what’s next?
     A new report just published by Deutsche Bank (DB) Research states overall that:
     “Brazil has never been in the same league as China & India,” declaring that Brazil offers “insufficient investment limits medium-term growth potential.”
     The report goes on to point to an investment ratio of 20% of GDP as “insufficient to generate 5% real GDP growth over medium term.”
     Also Brazil domestic savings remain low, comparatively speaking despite acceleration in economic growth although government reforms have stabilized and actually have pushed up real GDP growth from 2.5% to 4%.
Those numbers are expected to remain constant at least through 2016.
     Brazil enjoys solid economic fundamentals thanks to solid external & government debt position & flexible policy regime.
    Extrapolating short-term weakness would be a mistake as DB points out:
     “The domestic demand & labor market have remained relatively resilient while favorable terms-of-trade have driven strong expansion of domestic consumption.
     “Brazil’s Dilma government believes that the main problem is lack of demand, rather than supply side constraints “ DB said.
     “But also to be considered is that Brazil enjoys historically low unemployment solid job creation & income growth plus favorable bank lending (supported by policy lending).
     Balancing the upside in Brazil today are weakening export demand & declining competitiveness. That is hurting manufacturing & weighing on investment & growth while Brazil’s industrial competitiveness also declines due to strong exchange rate, the report declares.


     The South East India Cargo & Logistics Award, recognizing freight forwarder of the year and issued from Exim Shipping Times 2012, has been awarded to Uniworld Logistics Group, subcontinent partner of global logistics provider EMO Trans.
     Pictured in Chennai at the ceremony on July 13 members of the Uniworld Group, including Uniworld Chairman and Managing Director Prem Kumar (standing just to the right of the award), are featured as part of the 4th Southeast CEO Conclave & Awards Ceremonies at The Chennai Trade Center.
     “We are especially pleased to be recognized by our peers in the transportation business and for our continuing efforts to bring the power of EMO Trans USA to India.
     “Uniworld Group was selected by an impartial panel of experts from the India air cargo business, which evaluated 20 nominees this year,” Mr. Kumar added.
     “We are extremely honored as a company that was born and has grown along with India’s logistics business to be selected as best from this sector,” Mr. Kumar declared.
     In New York, Jo Frigger CEO of EMO Trans USA, said:
     “We are pleased and honored to have been working with Uniworld Group since their inception 10 years ago as part of the continuously growing EMO Trans USA network. India is one of our most important markets and we will continue to develop in this country.”


     When Swiss International Airlines won Global Traveler Magazine’s “best first class seat design” from frequent business and luxury traveler readers last year (see the trophy Swiss Director USA Sales Annette Reantragoon is holding) who knew that starting November 29, a new flight from Miami to Zurich would add an additional four times a week beyond the current daily schedule?
     But that is exactly what has happened, as Ms. Annette tells FlyingTypers:
     “An Airbus A330-300 will operate across the route with the new flight that will continue until May 5, 2013.”
     “With the addition of this flight, we are responding to the needs of our customers and are pleased to be able to offer more options to South Florida shippers,” added Jack Lampinski, Swiss WorldCargo Managing Director Americas (click image above to view video.


      Talking about air cargo, its origin and fascinating history, you often stroll through memories to discover some unexpected sparkles in the ashes of the past.
     Real pearls of another era that still linger on in present times.
     For myself, I started in 1968 at Aeroground Services as a warehouse handler.
     My career continued in the early seventies at Pan Am Cargo as cargo representative, and later at Seaboard World Airlines and before the 70’s closed I returned to Pan Am Cargo in 1980.
     My time with Seaboard or SWA in Amsterdam I will never forget, nor my years with the Pan Am family.
     Because we were families in the air cargo industry, competitors or not, the memories and relationships have lingered over the years.
     We did what we felt right to do and kept communication amongst ourselves always open.
     You never knew when you needed each other; operationally, technically or in competitive marketing deals.
     Things changed amongst the major airlines in air cargo over the years, but that’s life’s evolution.
     It’s only a natural process.
     So coming from the times that the air cargo industry in Holland belonged to names like Henk Schiphorst, John Vuursteen, Cees Uittenbogaard, Wibo Aris, Frank Volavsek, Gerard van Eekhout, Adriaan and Walter Bierman, Ad Scheepbouwer, Peter Legro, Leo de Haas, Rene Smit and Ohta San, to name just a few offers me (and you dear reader) a brief encounter with another time and group of air cargo people.
     Once upon a time in the international air cargo field, as a youngster you met and looked up to people like Colin Witt, Ralph Wuergler, Jerry O’Driscoll, Bill Boesch, John Mahoney and in particular John V. Keenan and Al Levinson:
     “Give me a Genever, son, and 4 of these lovely salted raw-herrings,” was Al all the way.
     Those were fascinating, bigger than life air cargo times in Holland.
     So many names passed, so many names stayed.
     But at Schiphol Airport there was an enigma...
     In 1969, Frank Volavsek, General Manager of Seaboard World Airlines in the presence of John F. Vuursteen, his Sales Manager at that time, handed over the root of a Sequoia Gigantea to Mr. Douwes Dekker, Managing Director of the Schiphol Airport Authority during an official ceremony at Schiphol.
     The event was held to commemorate the first ever DC8-freighter flight between the American West Coast and Schiphol Airport.
     The date was the October 16, 1969 to be precise.
     The initiative of Seaboard to plant what in two or three hundred years might become a giant California Redwood Tree was soon followed by other airlines.
     But only 3 trees survived over the years in the special ocean-climate that is the Low-Lands here.
     Over the four decades since it was planted despite storms, the salty atmosphere near the ocean and even drought, the SWA Sequoia has pushed ever skyward.
     Along the way, even though SWA and almost everybody else was long gone, ever watchful John F. Vuursteen who followed in the footsteps of Frank Volavsek in his position at Seaboard World Airlines, in the capacity of Director Benelux & Scandinavia, kept the SWA tradition high in seeking the well-being of what both considered “their tree”.
     In 1994, Frank and John arranged a personal celebration, commemorating the Sequoia’s 25th anniversary; a now 40ft or 12 meter beauty.
     John had became a very successful GSA at the airport he loved so much.
     Even after John retired 11 years ago he (now 76), remained entangled and ever watchful of the fate of “Their Sequoia”.
     Last year, when I met John again, we were discussing old ‘cargo times’ when he pointed out that the ‘The Ol’ Lady’ was still alive and kicking at the airport and now was a 20 meters or 66 foot tall beauty.
     I proposed to take some special pictures of the occasion.
     John was very glad to co-operate and tried hard to find Frank Volavsek’s contact address.
     Regretfully we found out that Frank died only 4 weeks before the planned photo-shoot at Schiphol.
     Frank is gone, but will be not forgotten.
     So here are some tokens of life within life. John F is still pushing the old lady as you can see.
     And for myself ?
     I am proud to have been part of a Sequoiavian World of Giants.
     And Food for Thought . . .
     The average lifespan of the Sequoia Gigantea is 3,500 years.
     Now, ask yourselves, who will survive ?
     “The Ol’ Lady” or . . . Schiphol Amsterdam Airport ?
     I hope both will.
(Jos van der Woensel, Hoofddorp – The Netherlands)

(Editors Note: This story first appeared in September 2009. It was written by my dear friend Jos van der Woensel (pictured right) who had been around air cargo long enough to be able to landscape it. Jos died March 1, 2011, after having worked in air cargo for 37 years, retiring in 2005. Jos continued as an accomplished photographer and writer documenting life in retirement.


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That Was The Week That Was . . . Looking back, we will remember that this week the athletes arrived from all around the world to Heathrow International Airport for the 2012 Olympic Summer Games, scheduled to begin on Friday, July 27 and continue through August 12.

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