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   Vol. 17 No. 50
Monday August 13, 2018

The Natural At United Cargo

“The highlight for United Cargo in the first half of 2018 was the continuation of the trend that began in late 2014, when we emerged as the clear leader among U.S. carriers in tonnage carried and revenue.
     “From January through June, our ton miles increased just over 6 percent while our revenues increased nearly 19 percent,” declares United Cargo President Jan Krems.

The Natural At United Cargo

     Jan Krems has brought to United Cargo twin plus-factors: an extensive air cargo management career and an impressive intellectual background.
     A native of Oss, Netherlands, Jan is married with two children and speaks five languages, including his native Dutch.
     A glance at his advance toward the upper reaches of air cargo professionalism reveals gradual, measured progress: a swelling know-how gained at a deliberate pace, like nature itself. Natura non facit saltum, say the scholars, advising that nature (i.e., maturity) makes no leap; in nature things change gradually.
     Jan is a force of nature.
     Of all the people you have ever met in this business, Jan Krems is a natural for the sort of air cargo work required of him.

Trending Upward

     “We’re quite proud of another ongoing trend: our volume growth continues to exceed the 36 key worldwide competitors measured by WorldACD.
     “Demand growth continued to be strong in the Asia Pacific and Latin regions, although the pace of growth slipped a bit from North America and EMEIA,” Jan pointed out.

Giving Credit Is Natural

     “Of course, we never forget that this success stands on twin pillars.
     “First, there is the outstanding performance of our Operations teams. United achieved the best second-quarter on-time departure performance in the company’s history, and our Cargo Operations team continues to deliver the consistent quality our customers demand.
     “Next, there is the personal quality of our customer service provided by our Sales Team and support staff.
     “Anyone who heard me speak on this subject,” Jan insists,” knows my opinion that United has the most talented and experienced Sales Team in the business.
     “Just as important is that every team member shares a commitment to exceeding our customers’ expectations every day.”

The Switch Is On For Cool Cargo

     “Reviewing results for specific products and commodities, our TempControl service for pharmaceuticals, healthcare material, and other substances needing temperature-sensitive shipping continued to expand in every region.
     “While Europe and the U.S. continue to predominate in the value of exported pharma, percentage-wise our fastest growth in TempControl is in Asia-origin business.
     “We’re also experiencing strong growth in pharma imported into the Asia Pacific.”

Pharmerging Opportunities Worldwide

     “With the quality reputation of our TempControl service, and UA’s position as the leading U.S. carrier to and from the Asia Pacific, we are well-positioned to contribute to the health of China’s people and to the populations of other ‘pharmerging’ countries in the region.
     “Along with our nonstop focus on quality, I believe TempControl shippers appreciate our drive to continually add to and upgrade our packaging and service options.”

Sonoco Thermosafe Is A Gas

     “The latest example of that effort is the global lease agreement with Sonoco ThermoSafe we announced just a few weeks ago, which enables TempControl customers to lease ThermoSafe’s PharmaPort 360 smart active shipping units from us.
     “TempControl customers also value our ongoing investment in the human resources needed to ensure our service consistently meets their needs.”

Field of Dreams For Pharma

     “United has fielded a dedicated team of pharma business experts in primary export countries around the globe, and plans are in place to steadily expand these teams.
     “Since life sciences logistics grows and evolves at such a rapid rate, it’s essential that we have specialists in continuous communication with all participants in this supply chain to keep our service relevant and valuable.”

The Body Electric

     Prior to his ascent to the position at United, Krems spent three years as president of the Americas for Air France-KLM.
     Working out of Chicago in that job, he was an easy attraction for the folks at United.
     Krems had come to regard KLM as his lifetime employer, and he was ardent in his loyalty to the airline.
     While he is especially vocal in his praise and affection for his team at United, Jan also stands up for a small group of KLMers who, he said, had a profound impact on his development as a true professional: Jacques Ancher, Jan Meurer, Enno Osinga, and Bram Gräber.
     Given his heartily expressed warm feelings toward KLM, his reasons for accepting United’s invitation are simple and direct.
     “I decided the time was right to make a change. No regrets, either.
     “KLM was a great company to work for, and so is United.”
     No doubt at United Cargo, Jan has caught lightning in a bottle.
     As he continues as top management his decency and humanity, coupled with expertise and exuberance, will help generate opportunities up and down and all across the global United Cargo offering.

The Joint Is Jumping

     “A substantial contributor to our success in 2018,” Jan Krems smiles, “is our joint venture with ANA Cargo.
     “ANA and UA just celebrated the two-year anniversary of the cargo joint venture, which began in July 2017 with eastbound service from Japan to U.S. and Canada.
     “We added westbound transpacific routes from the U.S. and Canada to Japan to the JV scope in February 2018, and in late May added eastbound transpacific routes from Japan to Mexico.”

Expanding Networks

     The UA-ANA cargo JV network now includes 377 nonstop flights a week to 16 destinations and further flight and truck connections within Japan, U.S., Canada—and now Mexico.
     “Turning toward Europe and our second JV, in early May we reaped the reward for an enormous amount of effort, energy, and skill from a multitude of United and Lufthansa Cargo team members when we launched the first phase of the UA-LH Cargo joint venture cooperation.
     “Since then, we have gradually extended the scope of our JV by adding more direct and transfer routings between the U.S. and Europe to the joint network.”

Ach du lieber Lufthansa!

     “The UA-LH joint venture route network is already providing greater flexibility and time savings to customers, and we expect the fully implemented JV to encompass approximately 1,500 new weekly route combinations and approximately 600 additional direct connections per week between the U.S. and Europe.”

Even More To Come

“Beyond 2018, we are looking forward to developing many more expansion opportunities for our JV network and we’re also evaluating specialty products for possible future inclusion in the JV.”

2018 Straight From The Shoulder

     “The longer I’m in the air cargo business—more than 31 years at this point—the less faith I have in my ability to make accurate predictions.
     “It’s a challenge even in years when we don’t have to weigh the impact of the trade tensions looming over the second half of 2018.
     “Factoring in that uncertainty, plus the fact that trade growth has slowed to where capacity is growing faster than volumes, leads us to expect more moderate gains in demand into the fall.
     “Our conversations with customers have us hopeful for another positive peak season—with gains perhaps less substantial than we enjoyed in 2017.
     “The headwinds are undeniable but, even if they slow down growth a bit, we’re optimistic that the overall positive trend will continue into 2019.”
     That’s Jan Krems, brother!

Publisher-Geoffrey Arend • Managing Editor-Flossie Arend •
Film Editor-Ralph Arend • Special Assignments-Sabiha Arend, Emily Arend • Advertising Sales-Judy Miller

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