Down To AMS TIACA
are wondering about the TIACA claim that its 2010 Air Cargo Forum in Amsterdam
November 2-4 is “the event you can’t afford to miss.”
Some people who are attending have told
us that the expense has left them feeling that the show may be the event
they can’t afford – period!
But expense aside, TIACA AMS November is
certainly the biggest air cargo show on the continent and in the world,
for that matter, until Munich Transport Logistic gathers next May 2011.
Spearheading a revived TIACA and out there,
giving of himself while working as hard as inhumanly possible for Cargolux,
is the all-cargo carrier’s CEO and current TIACA President, Uli
Uli has breathed some life into TIACA and
led the charge toward making ACF 2010 a success, with a spirited approach
that promises to expand the TIACA experience with some new and innovative
Here is our exclusive interview and video
The message here? Mark your calendars and
save your dimes for some happy times with air cargo colleagues in Amsterdam.
ACNFT: As President of TIACA,
what can you report of the upcoming AMS Forum?
UO: The ACF
in AMS this year promises to be an outstanding event. AMS is in itself
a reason to go there - and it is also one of the important centers of
logistics and airfreight worldwide. The floor space is "sold out"
and we’ve had to add more space to accommodate additional requests.
The conference program will be of great
quality and will address the needs and interests of shippers, forwarders
and airlines. The focus will be on having a very open event covering the
entire supply chain and its current challenges. I am sure that the industry
will make use of such a "cross-border" event, especially in
these times, the industry will have to come up with new ideas and solutions!
Because of TIACA’s cross-sectoral membership, the ACF offers the
perfect platform for companies, from shipper to consignee, to network,
address industry issues and share knowledge.
However, in the past, we have not been
too successful in attracting the customer. I see the involvement of the
customer in TIACA and the ACF as key to our continuing development. I’m
pleased to announce that the European Shippers Council (ESC) and the Dutch
Shippers Council (EVO) have accepted TIACA’s invitation to actively
participate in ACF 2010. They will address the role of the shipper in
today’s airfreight market in two dedicated shipper’ track
sessions on November 4th at ACF 2010. In view of the many challenges in
today’s market, the discussions will ask whether shippers are willing
and able to become more involved and, if so, what difference this might
Similarly important are TIACA initiatives
to get a greater participation from forwarders in both the ACF and TIACA.
Getting the involvement of the shippers already offers a compelling reason
for forwarders to get involved and participate. The active participation
from shippers and forwarders both in the exhibition and our discussions
will make ACF 2010 a truly interesting and important platform for the
industry and an event no one will want to miss!
ACNFT: What other initiatives
is TIACA bringing in 2010?
UO: We now
have clear policies on customs reform, the environment and security. Our
industry positions are available in a practical 20 page pamphlet and in
downloadable format in the TIACA website. This now gives our members an
important tool to use in their own discussions with regulators.
Our industry action plan is especially focused
on delivering greater value to our members in regulatory issues, sharing
knowledge, and education. We are making our voice heard on behalf of our
members throughout the industry with trade organizations and regulators.
However, it’s fair to also recognize that all of the things we are
focused on are initiatives that are long term.
Ulrich Ogiermann, who has been CEO at
Cargolux for the past seven years and now also serves as Chairman of The
International Air Cargo Association (TIACA), came out of the passenger
But unlike some others, Mr. Ogiermann switched
over to air cargo first at Lufthansa, where he found an industry fairly
well populated with smart, well-educated people. Uli has been moving up
the industry corporate ladder ever since. Blackberry in hand, this executive
seems a point man at freight life. How the hard driving Ogiermann got
involved and, in this tough climate, decided to throw himself into lifting
TIACA (with all that entails), is another story. It’s safe to say
that what goes around, comes around: In another era Cargolux, under Robert
Arendal, was the carrier in air cargo that got behind a fledgling TIACA,
and the organization headed to Luxembourg for the first Air Cargo Forum
of the modern era in 1994. After Luxembourg, TIACA would move on to Dubai
and fill its coffers, becoming a rich and powerful organization. The
rest, as they say, is history. But at inception, it was Luxembourg that
made the difference between life and death at TIACA. So now, as the air
cargo universe in 2010 seemingly makes a combeback in this tough, unrelenting
business morass, up pops Ulrich Ogiermann and Lux-Deluxe, once again just
when TIACA and all of us can use a boost. We think TIACA has doubled down
its luck. Here Uli outlines what lies ahead.
ACNFT: Can you tell me what
is top priority at TIACA right now?
UO: Our prime
focus is in the area of Industry Affairs because we want to become a stronger
voice for the industry. I also want to see TIACA working more closely
with other trade associations and developing closer dialogue with shippers
and forwarders about their future air cargo transportation needs. We also
want to ensure our Air Cargo Forum in Amsterdam is one of the best ever
and we have decided to make several changes to the format based on feedback
from previous events. Finally, I want to extend our reach and membership
in more geographic markets.
ACNFT: What change has occurred
taking over as Chairman in April 2009, my focus has been to work with
the TIACA team and the Board to implement a series of organizational and
structural changes designed to increase our focus in key areas where we
can most benefit our members. We have elected a new Board that includes
senior executives from across the industry and we have refreshed our committees.
Notably, we have created three new committees
to strengthen TIACA’s corporate governance and the Board’s
financial expertise to effectively oversee TIACA’s financial affairs
and investments, to attract Board members that are decision-makers, shippers,
forwarders and a representative from the financial industry and, finally,
to oversee staff compensation. Three committees have also been created
to address TIACA’s core areas of value to members – Industry
Affairs, Education and Training, and the Air Cargo Forum & Exposition.
We have also reviewed our Industry Affairs
policies and have agreed to focus on driving awareness and improvement
in a number of important areas such as Customs and Performance Standards,
Environment and Security. TIACA will continue its long-standing advocacy
for the liberalization of traffic rights as opportunity allows, but we
will devote most of our resources to the three core areas I’ve mentioned.
The new committee structure and clearly defined goals will make for a
more dynamic organization focused on deliverables. Our new results-oriented
mandate gives us a good compass to gauge what we do and why, especially
in these challenging times.
ACNFT: What contribution has
TIACA made to air cargo that is a point of pride, and one you consider
to be longest lasting?
UO: The challenge
for just about every association in every industry is to ‘ring fence’
their contribution. In my opinion, TIACA has a unique position in representing
all parts of the air cargo supply chain and we have to continually look
to use that knowledge and expertise at a government and regulatory level
to ensure new legislation does not negatively impact the air cargo industry.
I can see plenty of evidence of TIACA doing that behind the scenes.
In recent years, we have established much
stronger and more regular dialogue with bodies such as the World Customs
Organization, the European Parliament, the US DOT, the International Civil
Aviation Organization (ICAO), the United Nations Conference on Trade &
Development (UNCTAD) and the World Bank. Our Board and Members are all
strong, experienced air cargo professionals.
I think we know what is best for our industry
but we are also wise enough to know that change takes time, especially
through the regulatory consultation process. But we are increasingly ‘at
the table’ and making our point of view heard. In March 2009, my
predecessor Jack Boisen testified before the House of Representatives’
Homeland Security Committee to provide TIACA’s perspective in air
cargo security issues. Another good example is the close working relationship
TIACA has established with the Transportation Security Administration
(TSA) over its ultimate program for 100 percent piece level screening
of cargo carried on passenger aircraft. The TSA has consulted with TIACA,
its most senior representatives have spoken at our events, and it has
produced papers and guidance for our members.
ACNFT: What about TIACA is
misunderstood and what are you doing about it?
UO: We recognize
that some people associate TIACA mainly with our Air Cargo Forum &
Exposition, which has been one of the biggest and most successful events
in the air cargo industry for many decades now in terms of bringing companies
together from across the globe to talk business and to learn more about
issues affecting the industry.
We are proud of the ACF but it is only
one element of what the Association does. As I have already stated, we
are placing more emphasis than ever on Industry Affairs and Education
& Training. Our prime goal is to add value for our members but we
believe our actions ultimately can help the wider industry, particularly
when we can play a part in influencing regulators to take our views on
ACNFT: What would you like
to see changed in air cargo as a top priority, and can TIACA help accelerate
I would love to change the cyclical nature of world trade and get us off
the rollercoaster ride we seem to have to negotiate every few years! More
feasibly, I think it is about ensuring that when we face change imposed
on us by regulatory forces, that any new legislation has already taken
into account the needs of our industry and does not just leave us to pick
up the pieces, incurring more cost and delays along the way. ACNFT:
Why did you accept the TIACA post and once onboard, what
has great potential and I want to see it realized. I believe the importance
of the air cargo industry to world trade and economic development is often
understated and I want that to be part of changing that. We need to ensure
that politicians understand the important role our industry plays and
that they take this onboard before they support changes that may harm
our ability to perform services that help to generate employment, promote
economic wellbeing and attract inward investment.
I think my biggest surprise as I have become
more involved with the Association is the volume of activity it carries
out to inform and influence policymakers. It is easy to be on the outside
and to criticize an apparent lack of progress but I see a lot of highly
committed people trying to move the Association forward for the benefit
of its members.