Vol. 9  No. 106                                                     WE COVER THE WORLD                           Monday September 20, 2010


Cargo Straight Talk Hannover

From left to right—Dr. Raoul Hille, Managing Director of Hanover Airport; Manfred Kuhne, Director Air Transport at the German Airports Association ADV; Fernando Gonzalez, Manager Key Account Development Automotive Solutions at Kuehne + Nagel; Hendrik Khezri, General Manager Airfreight Germany of forwarding agent Hartrodt; Volker Dunkake, Head of Global Sales and Services of Lufthansa Cargo Charter Agency.

     The experts didn’t mince matters during a very frank discussion on pressing air freight topics. The subjects at Hanover-held Logistics Network Congress ranged from open security questions, unsolved labor matters, night flight restrictions in Germany and their implications; why air freight has a poor image and what should be done to turn it from negative to positive. Seated on the panel: were Dr. Raoul Hille, Managing Director of Hanover Airport; Manfred Kuhne, Director Air Transport at the German Airports Association ADV; Fernando Gonzalez, Manager Key Account Development Automotive Solutions at Kuehne + Nagel; Hendrik Khezri, General Manager Airfreight Germany of forwarding agent Hartrodt; Volker Dunkake, Head of Global Sales and Services of Lufthansa Cargo Charter Agency. Interviewer was Heiner Siegmund.
     Around fifty forwarders, handling agents, airline managers and shippers attended the meeting.

ACNFT:  Is air freight secure in Germany?
Hille:  The effort the decentralized concept demands from shippers, truckers, agents, airlines, and airports is tremendous and disproportional to the advancement of security. The entire framework is monstrous and proves to be extremely costly. I presume that in the future most shipments will be x-rayed at facilities within the airports or at neighboring warehouses. Here I see some advantage for hubs like Hanover where we have an assessable amount of tonnage that can easily be controlled in contrast to the huge cargo gateways with their masses of freight.
Gonzalez:  According to the known shipper and regulated agent program, air freight is supposed to be secure, at least officially. The daily reality however shows that this is a distortion of the facts.
Kuhne:  Yes, shipments are secure according to papers and documents. The issue remains not only one of the major problems in aviation, but through the entire cargo supply chain. Unfortunately, attempts to find manageable solutions always fall on deaf ears when trying to talk to the civil aviation authority LBA.
Khezri:  Small and medium sized forwarders especially will not be able to pay the huge amounts of cash the regulator demands of them to submit or finance the many mandated training courses for their staff. So at the end of the day, the security regime we currently have to comply with will kill many jobs and drive forwarders into bankruptcy.
ACNFT:  How about the future of night flights in Germany?
Dunkake:   The Berlin government’s master plan on logistics and aviation opts for night flights at certain airports…
Hille:  namely Hanover, Cologne, Leipzig/Halle and Nuremberg. That’s it. At Hanover, we are privileged in some way because our concession for night traffic is grandfathered and dates back to the times of the British occupation right after World War II. Therefore, we are on the safe side and not threatened by any possible curfew.
Khezri:  In Frankfurt we are already facing a number of bottlenecks. The next one is right at the doorstep with the Federal Judges’ decision on night flights coming up soon. Rhein/Main airport is by far the most important European gateway for cargo. We therefore would suffer a lot if the airport were forced by law to switch off its lights during the nighttime.
Kuhne:  No doubt, the majority of the German airports, especially Frankfurt, should offer 24/7 traffic. This is a vital issue for shippers that have an interest in rapid and uninterrupted flows of their goods. Germany is one of the strongest export nations, and highly dependent on seamless air transport. Therefore shutting down Frankfurt during the night hours would severely harm the country’s entire economy.
Gonzalez:  This is, of course, where the shippers can mobilize to take positive action and express their concerns. The leisure industry has to be told that the cost of future travel becomes more expensive if planes can’t depart or land at airports during night hours. I don’t believe they have realized this point so far.
ACNFT:   Unlike automotive or retail, the broader public in general sees air freight and aviation quite negatively. What must be done?
Kuhne:  This issue is one of our biggest problems. We are seen as environmental sinners, polluting the air and producing noise. But we are not the environmental devil, as some are seeing us – that’s what we have got to clarify.
Hille:  An ICE speed train running from Hanover to Munich needs an equal amount of energy per passenger as an Airbus A380. The tracks divide landscapes and forests. Airports don’t. Sustainability is something else. This difference is only one example out of many. That’s precisely what we have to communicate in a public dialogue.
Khezri:  Again, we need to do this in a unified manner with the shippers on board as well. It’s mainly up to them (as they are the direct link) for the sake of the wellbeing of the entire supply chain, to convince people to change their attitude about the necessity and importance of air cargo transport.
ACNFT:  low and lower wages on one side, ever improved quality of the supply chain on the other. Can this work?
Khezri:  We put price constraints on our handling agents. But then our shippers place demands on us as well, urging us to deliver more for less. Unfortunately, this downward pressure keeps spiraling.
Gonzalez:  I don’t believe people can really be motivated to do a good job if their wages are between 6.0 and 6.5 euros per hour. Under these conditions the negatives are enormous. It is my belief that fair pay results in a competitive advantage, since breadline wages cause higher spending at the end of the day.
ACNFT:  Finally, what positive news can you deliver?
Hille:  Air freight will go on growing in the coming decades, making it one of the most dynamic industries in Germany and elsewhere.
Kuhne:  No means of traffic is going to be as energy efficient as aviation. A reduction of green house gases by 50% by 2050 is foreseen with the introduction of bio fuels. We should come out with the slogan “Flying saves the environment.”
Gonzalez:  Transport will always be necessary. That’s a great perspective for people seeking jobs.
Khezri:  Plus, versatility is what is being offered by the transport industry and logistics, be it air freight, ocean freight, land or rail transports. We are a highly globalized industry. So everybody working in this challenging biz can interact with other cultures, learn new languages and work for some time abroad.
Dunkake:   We are not the old, dirty and noisy industry any more. Instead, aviation and logistics in general are highly innovative. This is fascinating and extremely thrilling for young people who are starting their career. But with the fast growing economies of the BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India and China) countries there are looming challenges around the corner for the EU and ‘logistics world champion’ Germany specifically.
Therefore, we need to constantly enhance our infrastructure and refrain from closing big airports at night.
Heiner Siegmund/Flossie


Save A Toad
Don't Behave Like One

      Sometimes, you just have to put yourself out in front of an issue.
      Environmental protection is a big and steadily growing issue in German people’s public opinion. So is the rescuing of endangered species, if their natural habitats are at stake.
      One such “habitat” was until recently a muddy puddle in the middle of Frankfurt airport’s busy Cargo City South. This rather unattractive seeming place had been chosen by a colony of Natterjack toads, or ‘bufo calamita’ as they are called in Latin. Nomen est omen: agent LUG Aircargo Handling GmbH found major calamity when the firm rented the wasteland from the airport to build a warehouse. At first, it wasn’t a problem. However, there the uninvited new puddle dwellers, the natterjacks, were “real pioneers when it comes to fast inhabiting new humid, watery sites,” states LUG’s Managing Director Wolfgang Korte, (right) showing some sign of respect if not admiration. “So instead of starting construction of the new warehouse, we had to shelf the entire project for about a year to find out the exact number of toads living there, how old they were and if they made it their home all year long or only from spring to fall.”
      These were fundamental questions that brought environmental experts to the scene; biologists came, measured and weighed the individuals. After about a year, the picture became clear: there was a colony of roughly 500 natterjacks living in and around the puddle. Once officially counted, the evacuation began by catching each of the creatures cautiously and bringing it to a pond some distance away from the airport fence – a costly undertaking, but good for the conscience of Frankfurt’s cargo community and even better for the fate of the toads.
      Finally, after the year-long rescue mission had been accomplished, the authorities gave the green light for constructing the distribution center.
      Last Friday, the foundation stone was laid in a ceremony attended by approximately 200 guests. Heiner Dettmer, (left) Managing Director of Bremen-based Dettmer Gruppe, LUG’s majority stakeholder, underscored the need for the new warehouse.
       Wolfgang Korte affirmed, “currently we handle around 250,000 tons per year in our existing facilities. In the future, we can easily manage a throughput of 380,000 tons.” Together with Fraport Cargo Services (FCS), WFS and Swissport, his LUG is one of the big handlers at Rhein/Main. His current list of clients displays twenty names, from heavyweights like Korean Air Cargo, LAN Cargo and Thai Cargo to smaller ones such as Yemenia, Air Astana and Cyprus Air. “Our tonnage is increasing very rapidly; that’s why we need additional warehouse space,” says Herr Korte.
      LUG’s 10,500 square meter facility, together with an additional 4,500 m_ of office space, will open up its gates at the end of next year. Korte didn’t disclose the cost, but it is estimated at somewhere between 15 and 20 million euros.
      “It is deadly for any airport when there is no more room for further growth,” stated VP Real Estate, Christoph Hommerich of Rhein/Main owner Fraport AG at the ceremony. Soon, Frankfurt will offer the market 27.2 additional hectares within the existing Cargo City South area. That should sufficient to handle the throughput of 3.16 million tons of freight annually, forecast for 2020. Fraport announced that this year the tonnage will surpass the two million mark.
Heiner Siegmund/Flossie


Terrorism Clouds Men's Minds

            “Who Knows What Evil Lurks In The Hearts of Men…”
            “The Shadow Knows.”

      From the 1930’s until the early 1950’s radio was king in America. Millions spent their evenings “watching the radio,” and a favorite and much beloved program was “The Shadow.” The show centered on a fictional crime fighter named Lamont Cranston who had "the hypnotic power to cloud men's minds so they could not see him."
      So “The Shadow,” who was the ultimate pulp fiction hero in books and magazines, moved around and was invisible to criminals, serving as a kind of scary do-gooder in the never ending fight for law and order.
      “The Shadow” was even made into an eh-ok movie in 1994, starring Alec Baldwin.
      Well, life imitates art (sort of), as now those well publicized thinkers at Northwestern University in USA—a place where people study aviation science—say they may have come up with a way to further thwart terrorism by use of a brain-electrode cap and imagery, which will be able to pick the date, location and means of a future attack from the minds of America's enemies.
      Will this “Shadow Technology” actually work?
      “The new research could not only stop terrorist attacks before they happen, but also might be used to help prevent other capers, or even convict criminals after they break the law,” predicts Discovery Science Channel website.
      "We presented [the mock terrorists] with stimuli that are rational choices of what they might do,” said J. Peter Rosenfeld, a scientist at Northwestern University and coauthor of a new study in the journal Psychophysiology.
      "They sit in a chair, we put brain wave recording electrodes on their scalp and they look at the screen."
      “The electrodes measure the P300 brain wave, an involuntary response to stimuli that starts in the temporoparietal junction and spreads across the rest of the brain.
      “When the wave hits the surface of the brain, the electrodes detect the signal. “The stronger the reaction of the subject to a particular stimuli, the stronger the P300 brain wave.”
      "This new research is very impressive," Gershon Ben-Shakhar, a scientist who also studies brain waves and deception at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, told Discovery.
      “Not only did Rosenfeld show that it's possible to find the location and means of a terrorist attack, but he also invented and demonstrated a technique to detect and prevent countermeasures.
      “The new Northwestern research won't put police officers or soldiers out of work anytime soon,” Ben-Shakhar said.
      “It's still very difficult to detect someone who has actually committed a crime, let alone someone who is only planning a crime.
      “The chances that this technology will be used anytime soon to prevent terrorist attacks is low, for now at least, but it offers intriguing possibilities for the future of law enforcement,” Shakhar concluded.
      Sounds like something Philip K. Dick was afraid of when he wrote “The Minority Report.”
      And across the years are recalled the words that played from the old living room radio as another weekly adventure ended:
            “The weed of crime bears bitter fruit…
            “Crime does not pay…
            “The Shadow knows.”



Contact! Talk To Geoffrey

RE:  Women In Air Cargo—Beti Ward

Geoffrey . . .

     I was drawn to your story about Beti Ward in the last issue. It doesn't deserve a correction, but as a former employee of Conrad Kalitta, I have some knowledge about that arrangement.
     Just for the record, Connie's operation at the time was American International Airways, which flew twice daily to Honolulu where Beti and Connie operated from a really nice freight facility. I don't recall it ever going by American International Cargo.
      When Connie sold out to Kitty Hawk, it was still American International Airways and not Kalitta Air. Kalitta Air did not surface until the folks at Kitty Hawk ran Kitty Hawk International (the part they bought from Connie) into the ground. I know, as I was there as Director of Safety.
      When KHI dissolved, Connie purchased the remains, saved a handful of very good people and emerged as Kalitta Air.
      All of this is not to be confused with Kalitta Flying Service next door operating a fleet of Lears, MU2s, and a band of other small aircraft under Part 135.
      Just thought you would like to know.

Richard Mills
Director of Quality Assurance
Empire Airlines
11559 North Atlas Road
Hayden, Idaho 83835


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