Vol. 9 No. 101                                            WE COVER THE WORLD                                    Wednesday September 1, 2010


Fortaleza Brazil's Next Hub

     The Vuvuzelas have gone silent as soccer fans everywhere are recovering from the 2010 South African World Cup, but as most countries sleep off their hangovers, Brazil has swung into full gear preparing to host the next sports extravaganza in 2014. One of the host cities will be Fortaleza, located on the country’s Northeast coast, almost equidistant from the United States, Europe and Africa and both 1,954 miles from Sao Paulo and 1,763 miles from Rio de Janeiro to the southwest.
     Sparked by Brazil’s strong economy, which is the 8th largest in the world, the air freight market is booming and Fortaleza is now the 5th most active airport in Brazil ranked by freight tons. Capitol of the State of Ceara, it is home to over 2.5 million inhabitants and is a popular leisure destination for domestic visitors as well as Europeans seeking sun, warm tropical breezes, deserted beaches, an excellent tourism infrastructure and delicious sea food. Fortaleza is a sister city of Miami Beach and they share similar characteristics, especially a dependency on tourism revenues.
     In total, Fortaleza handled 4,059 tons from January through July of this year, of which 2,125 were from international flights. TAP of Portugal is the market leader for international movements, TAM – Brazil’s largest airline – carries the most freight domestically. The most common exports are fruit, footwear, textiles and clothing, flowers and ornamental fish. The main imports are items to support the footwear industry, electronics, steel, wind energy turbines and support, medicines and construction.
     There is no service by U.S. all-freight carriers to Fortaleza, but a number of domestic Brazilian cargo airlines operate regularly, including ABSA, Variglog and Rio Linhas Aereas. The weather in Northeast Brazil can be described as ideal, with an abundance of sun and a short rainy season from January to April. Hurricanes are virtually unknown.
     Work is now being done on their cargo terminal and the project has an expected completion date of January 2011, as part of Infraero’s (the Governmental agency responsible for civilian airports) overall plan to modernize the Country’s airport infrastructure in preparation for the 2014 World Cup.
      The new cargo terminal will have roughly 8,000 square meters, boosting cargo storage and handling capacity fourfold. Plans call for the facility to be integrated with highway and railroad links, making it a truly intermodal system, with the seaport only 12 miles away.
     The next few months are going to be exciting, as a presidential vote held in October will determine who will follow President Luiz Ignacio Lula da Silva "Lula" who is completing his second four-year term and thus prohibited from running again. His designated successor, Dilma Rouseff, could become Brazil’s first woman President and she is committed to following Lula’s economic policies. Let’s see if Brazilians share America’s disdain for incumbents…
Jeff Kriendler


      It’s the last twin-engine Sikorsky S-38 amphibious aircraft left flying on the planet. Owned by Thomas Schrade and dubbed “Osa's Ark” (which was based on the S-38 filmmakers/authors Osa and Martin Johnson) and notable for its distinctive zebra paint scheme, this S-38 flew over Africa in the 1930’s and is in Frankfurt next week for a couple of joy-ride flights to raise money for charity.
      The S-38’s bid to support the great Wings of Help Charity in Germany will see Schrade’s tiny, fragile aircraft aloft across a route once reserved for the giant, 100-ton Boeing B314s of Pan Am.
      The S-38’s route all the way from Minnesota crossing Labrador, South Greenland, Iceland, Scotland, Faeroe Islands, London, and Brussels, into Frankfurt, is taking a brief respite in Frankfurt before continuing on to Berlin, Germany,
      The S-38 aircraft was Igor Sikorsky's first flying boat design.
      It was dubbed "The Explorer's Air Yacht" and "The Flying Yacht," and a total of 110 were produced and utilized by New York Rio & Buenos Aires Airline (NYRBA), Pan American Airways and others (including adventure seekers and explorers) to create scheduled air service into Latin America from the U.S.A.
      Charles Lindbergh piloted an S-38 in 1928 when he flew Pan Am’s first airmail and small package flight from Miami to Cuba.
      Air Cargo News FlyingTypers readers can help The Wings of Help, which provides support for humanitarian organizations worldwide through the coordination of air transport with rescue workers, supplies, and patients, by visiting http://www.wingsofhelp.com
Geoffrey Arend/Flossie


Julian Keeling
Consolidators International

     Sure, the frost is not yet on the pumpkins, but with the Christmas rush being the next big thing in air cargo, it is about time to look ahead and wonder what the holiday season and the future months will bring.
     With U.S. unemployment hovering around the 10 percent mark, housing sharply lower than that, an anemic stock market and manufacturers just marking time, air cargo will show little growth for the remainder of the year.
     Retailers are taking their cue from shoppers' reluctance to open their pocketbooks and have become very miserly in building up their inventory.
     Airfreight has enjoyed a sharp increase in volume during the past number of months, but much of that growth, in hindsight, can be credited to restocking of inventory and not to sales to the ultimate consumer.
The supply chain seems to have snapped at the retailer's warehouse.
     We note that airlines are becoming cautious about the next few months, as their rates are remaining flat.
     Carriers seem content to keep their fuel charges in effect rather than raise rates.
     Cargo volume also will be handicapped by the slowdown in U.S. exports.
     Chinese expansion is moderate as are other Asian nations' economies. Surprisingly, Europe, which had been given up for dead as a trading partner, is showing unexpected liveliness. Germany, in particular, has become one of the most powerful export nations in the world, with an actual shortage of workers.
     Airfreight is participating in this Teutonic growth, particularly to the Middle East and Asia.
     One development, however, should benefit airfreight, particularly for last minute ordering of goods. It is the decision by many of the ocean lines to continue "slow steaming," aka, taking longer times between ports.
Maersk Lines recently announced it would continue slow steaming indefinitely. Since most other shipping lines follow Maersk's lead in lockstep, air freight will be needed in many instances to move merchandise in time for Christmas.
     Looking ahead, there is not a particularly bright future for the independent forwarder in international trade.
The integrators, particularly FedEx and UPS, continue to gain market share as shippers reduce the number of their suppliers.
     The two integrators have built up their infrastructures in Asia at enormous cost, but this expenditure seems to be paying off.
     They are providing excellent service and shippers seem willing to pay their higher rates in return for this service.
     Expect a dwindling number of independent forwarders to participate in global trade in the months and years ahead.
     There are now only seven independent, multi-national forwarders of any significance.
     They include DHL, Schenker, Panalpina, Kuehne & Nagel, Expeditors, UTI and Ceva.
     Smaller forwarders will have to be content to get crumbs from their tables.
     FedEx and UPS, as their market share continues to grow, have become increasingly stingy in selling space on their aircraft to outside forwarders. Some twenty years ago, FedEx sold $700 million worth of space to independent forwarders.
     Today, that figure has shrunk to $50 million.
     Despite a gloomy economic outlook, Consolidators International continues to expand.
     We expect a 40 percent jump in CII volume for all of 2010, with a corresponding increase in profitability.      We are sticking to our knitting as we have for the past sixteen years, concentrating on the South
Pacific, particularly Australia and New Zealand, both being strong markets for both air and ocean trade.

Three Women Pilot Three Sevens

     For air cargo, it’s about time – Life in the air is finally catching up with life on the ground! An Aerologic B777 freighter departed Leipzig on August 21 with (l to r) First Officer Monika Kolling, Captain Cristina Rossi and First Officer Stefanie Daubler at the controls.
     Ports of call included Bahrain and Singapore with a trip back to Leipzig via Delhi.
     It turns out that Aerologic counts women as about 8 percent of its pilot corps.
     This “Frauenpower” all-female crew commanded a flight that was otherwise uneventful – the way it ought to be.




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