Change is Afoot
At IATA Cargo
to Air Cargo News FlyingTypers at the CNS Partnership Conference this
week in Palm Beach, Florida yesterday Aleks Popovich, Head of Cargo said
the 2008 World Cargo Symposium that was held this past March in Rome will
be followed next year by an even grander effort that will be held March
2009 in Bangkok, Thailand.
“For Bangkok we want to take our effort
out even further into the marketplace to involve the customer as never
“Our initiatives in Bangkok are a
natural outgrowth of our theme for 2008 Focus On The Customer.”
Right now IATA is assembling more than a
dozen and a half theme tracks for meetings in Bangkok that will format
one single gathering.
“The Third IATA World Cargo Symposium
(WCS) in Bangkok promises to follow the Mexico and Rome Symposiums of
the past two years as the most important nuts and bolts working air cargo
event of the year.
“WCS will concentrate on decision
makers, key stakeholders, cargo specialists and business owners that will
mix and share the latest knowledge, best practices and benchmarks around
“But this time we will make an all
out effort to involves the customer as never before.
“We have proven the veracity of our
Cargo 2000 and e-freight initiatives.
Now we will bring forward the belief that
all world-class air cargo companies embrace these technologies as basic
to their business and to their customers’ expectations.
“We have earned our stripes from the
first two events and intend to carry our theme of 2008 “Focus On
The Customer,” by becoming even closer to the customer in the future.”
Mr. Popovich notes that IATA building success
upon success will not be met with a relaxed attitude by the world air
transportation body, but rather as template to build even more programs
to streamline and invigorate the industry in the future.
A new initiative to yet be unveiled later
in 2008 is called Secure Freight.
“The goal of Secure Freight is to
create a supply chain discipline that among other things will be recognized
“Secure Freight is where best industry
practices can form a baseline that is recognized by nations globally and
in turn help streamline the process and save everyone valuable time and
“The vital factor is that everyone
from all aspects of the supply chain are encouraged to contribute.
Secure Freight just like Cargo 2000 and
IATA e-freight that preceded it are no one size fits all propositions.
“The IATA environmental air cargo
program will continue to evaluate the role of transportation with a cooperative
approach to road, rail and sea in addressing increased world attention
concerning impact of shipping perishable produce flowers and foodstuffs.
“With the working title Green Freight
we are informing countries and the general shipping public about the true
environmental impact of issues including the so called “food miles”
by going beyond sound bites and anecdotal responses.
“Much of our effort is devoted to
doing research to determine what the true environmental impact is of transporting
“On another front IATA Cargo wants
to take waste out of airfreight.
“As example of that, is showing how
utilizing new generation containers and other airborne containers can
save millions annually.
“Fuel-efficient aircraft are one thing
but almost as important is for air cargo to think in terms of totally
efficient infrastructure to match value for value with newer generation
Mr. Popovich noted that IATA Cargo is also
looking to expand its regional market air cargo event approach that has
resulted in a working association with India Agents that are moving together
with IATA toward implementing a CASS System after IATA Cargo held a regional
event a couple years ago and new partnerships were formed.
The same holds true for programs that have
been furthered by mutual consent because of the same regional approach
after IATA Cargo conducted an air cargo event in Warsaw, Poland last year.
Aleks Popovich indicated that IATA Cargo
is looking toward Africa as the next location to hold a regional cargo
gathering perhaps as early as 2009.
the public relations guy at Swiss WorldCargo is nothing if not
So once again as the heat bore down
and the birds circled around, one of the traditions of CNS Partnership,
the combination Lufthansa /Swiss World Cargo press conference
was held Monday.
So what did we learn?
Left To right, Gabi Posniak, Marketing
Manager appeared for cargo counts having moved over from Lufthansa
Cargo Charter recently. Bernd Maresch, Director Marketing &
Strategy, Swiss WorldCargo, looking no worse for wear having fielded
a two-hour press gathering; Peter Ahnert, Director of Business
Development, Jettainer; Jack Lampinski, Managing Director Swiss
WorldCargo, worries surcharges continue to out distance rates
despite achieving solid numbers ex-USA; Reto Hunziker, Executive
Vice President Sales & Marketing, Jade Cargo reported new
destinations from China gateways are being added throughout 2008;
Klaus Holler, Vice President The Americas Lufthansa Cargo said
despite a tough USA economy Lufthansa is holding steady while
emphasizing expanding network connections. Michael J. Krug, Global
Account Manager from time:matters noted that the small package,
high yield specialist has taken over operations of all courier
handling at Frankfurt International Airport. Alexander Pluemacher,
Jettainer new Managing Director lauded addition of United Worldwide
Cargo to the Jettainer fold. Christian Fink, Managing Director
Lufthansa Cargo Charter Agency welcomed Volker Dunkake as new
Head of Global Sales and Services.
DL/NW from a cargo perspective—I have the following comments:
Both airlines have been active members
of the SkyTeam Cargo Joint Venture for some time (which doesn’t
seem to function outside the U.S.), so nothing much new there.
NW has a significant network in
Asia, which can complement nicely DL’s European presence;
a visionary leader of the combined airline could make something
out of it, but I wouldn’t hold my breath.
Traditionally, whether alliances
or mergers of airlines, 99% of the focus and dollars are expended
on passenger operations.
The major advantage NW has is a
fleet – albeit rather old and very expensive to operate
– of B747-200 freighters that make the airline the only
U.S. passenger airline to operate its own cargo planes.
NW is well positioned to be a prime
competitor in the Asia-U.S. cargo market, where the problem is
the traditional imbalance of much less traffic U.S. to Asia.
A global strategy combining the
U.S. trade lanes with Europe and Asia could make it formidable
but I don’t see it happening anytime soon.
It will require significant capital
to invest in fuel-efficient aircraft and truly in-depth knowledge
and understanding of the cargo market requirements from global
In theory, combining DL/NW with
AF’s freighters and savvy cargo business (including KL)
could result in an unbeatable combination, however, the reality
has shown time and again the narrow views airlines take in pursuing
individual carrier interests and where there’s a will to
cooperate, each airline wants it on its own terms.
On paper, there’s Detroit,
Minneapolis, Atlanta, New York and Los Angeles as major gateways,
with hubs in Tokyo and Frankfurt respectively but the DL/NW cargo
business has its work cut out for them.
Competition is fierce with Lufthansa
Cargo, FedEx, UPS, Polar and Cargolux ready to give it a run for
the money. Commanding prime rates,
attracting and keeping top customers will be how success is measured.
Notably, NW is one of the few combination
carriers where cargo contributes over 30% of profit!
From an IT system perspective, both
DL and NW use a Unisys cargo system, which theoretically should
help with cross-utilization, although it’s a very expensive
NW purchased Cargospot some time
ago and has been working on its own version in its Philippines’
based IT outsourcing shop.
AF is also rumored to look for or
develop its own new cargo IT, therefore synergy might prove elusive.
As always, people make the real
difference – any outcome will depend on whether there is
a creative individual in the top spot who can capitalize on the
potential and execute and a corporate climate that is really prepared
to accord cargo an equal role before any benefits fizzle out.
Quote Of The Day At CNS
At CNS Monday May 5, luncheon sponsor
American Airlines Cargo President Dave Brooks, given an opportunity
to speak after four hours of sessions talks of new destinations
Barcelona, Milan and Moscow and then delivers the shortest speech
of the morning bringing the audience to its feet.