Retirement 101. Pictured at home in the Netherlands, Jacques Ancher
was featured in our issue last Friday. Here in a letter are some thoughts from a beautiful mind
for logistics and air cargo as Jacques takes things farther.
Ancher The Thought Leader
An addiction . . .
Your article last week was a surprise.
But it is always nice to be reminded of the people and the fascinating
It is extremely difficult to be
specific (with a cargo overview of today) when you have been out for 18
My general feeling is that people
are doing a fine job by optimizing cost and revenue, filling the large
cargo space of the many aircraft.
At the same time the industry lags
behind in transparency, access and automation.
I don’t think this is the
time for pioneering major changes in air cargo, except for innovation
When KLM decided to change the
direction of the company at the end of the last century, it became obvious
that our cargo ambitions could not be further developed.
Our plan to become a completely
separate business could not be implemented.
A reason for me to retire and I
did that “cold turkey.” It was not only best for me personally,
but also for my successor and the next generation of cargo people.
(Our management group from that period
still meets for dinner once a year. Happy to report that all of those
people made a successful career in and outside the industry.)
Speaking Out Again
Until today, my retirement and
silence on industry affairs was only broken when I received the TIACA
Hall of Fame Award, in Istanbul in 2014.
Too Many Empty Cargo Aircraft
During that event, I emphasized
the problem of cargo being a by-product with the example of the short-distance
I reckon today there are approximately
35,000 of those airplanes flying their routes every day with empty cargo
So here is a continued subject
for discussions and questions.
Is the fact that these aircraft
have not yet been adapted an indication of how difficult it is to make
changes in the industry?
Rising handling costs, reduced
rates and pressure on the turn-around time will snowball the effect of
empty space to more routes and other aircraft.
I do not think I made this point
clear at TIACA Istanbul.
Action But No Reaction
The other point I mentioned, and
reported by you was the need for continued innovation.
While on the passenger side, new
entry carriers forced the industry to react, we in cargo admired the fast
growing integrators but failed to act.
Now in 2018 a few of the largest
customers are flying their own aircraft.
In my mind there are a few reasons
for our behavior.
Too Much IATA
Of course, as I said earlier one
of them is that air cargo remains a by-product.
The other one is that the airlines
and the forwarders are still holding each other hostage.
I firmly believe that the attractiveness
of the industry makes it hard or perhaps impossible to accept change.
There is still too much IATA on
Please give my regards to Sabiha
and let’s hope that we are still around when the first “no
pilot flight” takes place.
Logically this will be a cargo