Vol. 9 No. 127                                                  WE COVER THE WORLD                                 Tuesday November 23, 2010

U.S. Senate Stumbles
Into Cargo Area

     There was some captivating stuff on American television last week—specifically on the C-SPAN channel.
     The venue: the Dirksen Senate Office building.
     To set the stage:      Production/Director Sen. Lieberman with co-inquisitors Sen. Levin, IL; Sen. Carper, DE; Sen. Burris, IL, Sen. Ensign, NV.
     Being grilled: former FBI deputy director, current TSA Administrator John Pistole, in command since July 1, 2010, and Alan Bersin, Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Commissioner.
     And so the comedy ensues!
     Without intending any disrespect for our elected representatives and government appointees, it was rather entertaining; with full decorum, it goes without saying.
     Picking up on questions and responses by the previous committee member, each Senator tried to sound knowledgeable regarding the serious matters at hand.
     That their level of familiarity with and understanding of air transportation seemed laughable is beside the point.
     And sadly, that seemed to go for both sides.
     So here it goes – I am paraphrasing:
     Senator Levin: “The 4-hour rule of reporting manifest data seems very tight; what are the practical obstacles to extending it to 8 or 12 hours?”
     This assumes the foregone conclusion that the problem is totally clear and, therefore, this is ‘the solution.’
     TSA/CBP: “We have to work with the private industry to make sure this can be done; there are certain smaller countries and smaller airlines that may have a problem complying.”
     Senator Levin: “I haven’t yet heard one compelling real obstacle to enforcing 8 hours immediately. If they can provide manifest data in 4 hours, what’s the problem providing it in 8 hours, which is more time?” The logic is incontrovertible.
     Rather than trying to address the unique sectors – passenger business, all-cargo and express – it was thrown into one ball of wax. The officials could have tried to clarify the nature of ‘commercial’ freight from ‘known shippers’ handled through forwarders and logistics companies, and the completely different nature of individual express retail clients, and then paint the respective security regime and screening processes for each; instead, they got hung up on the 4-hour reporting issue. No one mentioned that the reason for using airfreight is speed; life science products, for example, can be delivered nearer flight close-out and while their booking data might be available earlier, the goods are not in hand much before departure.
     What about perishables of all kinds? No word about those; whether fresh flowers, fruit or live animals, they can’t quite hang around the airport half a day before flight departure so that the Senator can get his 8-hour notification of the manifest. Would it have increased the likelihood of the printer cartridge explosive devices being identified if they had 8 hours instead of 4? The TSA administrator sort of asserted that with that much time, they surely would have caught it because the shipment of a computer, printer and printer cartridges from Yemen to a synagogue in Chicago would have immediately raised a flag. Right.
     The first prize goes to the comment by a senator that the manifest preadvise for maritime shipping is longer than the 4 hours currently in place for air freight, so why not emulate that? You may have seen an episode of “Are you smarter than a fifth grader?” What would be the difference between a ship from Hong Kong to Long Beach and a flight from Hong Kong to LAX? Anyone? The senators and the TSA/CBP bigwigs pass.
     At the time the German press reported that German security officials had seen actual X-ray copies of those printer cartridges and couldn’t observe or identify anything unusual. Perhaps specialized bomb-detection technology or canines might have had a better chance; who knows? Speaking of dogs, this was the cue for Senator Ensign to address the use of canines in bomb-sniffing and other security measures—a matterclose to his heart as he is a vet.
     I don’t know whether that’s political influence, coincidence or sheer ignorance, but I was wondering about the fact that retail small packages and envelopes are the bread and butter of relatively “minor” players, including FedEx and UPS. Imposing the same kind of cargo screening regimen on them that is in force in the U.S. for cargo flown on passenger aircraft would arguably make a large dent in their business model. Equally, a private person shipping personal effects on an integrator, or even on a passenger or combination carrier, is not the same as a consolidation from an established forwarder. So what to do?
     The next round of questions involved international flights inbound to the U.S. that transferred to domestic flights, and how secure/screened that cargo was. Expert terminology such as tail-to-tail was on display by the senators, which clearly demonstrated a certain expertise in the matter. As a former all-cargo airline person, I am particularly thin-skinned when people throw around statements such as, “Well, we can’t have such a catastrophe on a passenger flight, on which we, our families and friends travel, but if a cargo plane blows up, so be it,” in not so many words.
     This is missing the point by a mile and sending a bad message; can anyone imagine 747 or 777 freighters exploding in flight over a major city? True, it’s “only” those two poor pilots upfront, maybe a flight mechanic or a loadmaster onboard, but the panic, damage and serious injuries on the ground could be devastating and it would still constitute a totally unacceptable and horrible act of terror.
     The TSA administrator helpfully commented that not only were there challenges with cargo, but air mail is another uncharted territory, evidently not subject to the usual security procedures. Thanks for that tip! Any more ideas for the perpetrators? Were these guys trying to impress each other by exhibiting subject matter expertise and competence or was this a hearing to advance specific solutions? I couldn’t tell, but there will be a follow up hearing, so you can all rest assured. We realize not everything could be discussed in an open forum, but who needs effect when there are no cameras?
     The only glimmer of hope came from the TSA administrator toward the end, when he mentioned more unconventional early detection possibilities using behavior protection training for security. Indeed, the Israelis have been doing it for about three or four decades with good results.
     The million dollar question then is: Would you rather have a highly trained, well-paid and intelligent screener at the airport looking for what stands out, or the giant ‘feel good,’ but rather ineffective, mass screen-all, with occasional and anecdotal groin-groping and ‘random’ extra screening of the usual suspects—3-year-olds, pilots in uniform with 5 airport security tags and photo ID dangling on their neck, and 80-year olds, just because we can’t stand the idea of being accused of profiling, can we? What can AND WILL kill us is political correctness!
Ted Braun

Rachel Does The Lift

     The lady tells it like it is:
     “PCN is a company without ego; we genuinely care about creating new business opportunities for our members and developing tools and systems for them to use in their daily working lives."
     Based in the UK, Project Cargo Network, (PCN) www.projectcargonetwork.com, was formed in the summer of 2010 by Rachel Humphrey, who has been actively involved with the global marketplace since the mid 90s and has over a decade of experience in managing and developing freight forwarder organizations.
     “PCN,” Rachel says “was established to provide a networking platform for the world’s top project cargo specialists who want to increase their business by either referring one another or doing business directly with one another.
     “To ensure that we recruit and promote the top specialists in the industry, PCN is only open to forwarders who have proven expertise and experience in handling full-blown project cargo/heavy lift shipments.
     “PCN Member’s projects come from numerous sectors including oil and gas, pulp and paper, automotive, construction, power and energy, as well as aid cargo.
     “Shipments include generators, turbines, reactors, boilers, towers, casting, heaters, presses, locomotives, boats, satellites, military personnel and equipment.
     “In the offshore industry, parts of oil rigs and production platforms are also moved; some of these are also disassembled at the end of an installation's working life.
     “Our network is now 3-months old and during this time, we have actually rejected over 50 freight companies and approved the applications of 36 members – rejections, mostly because of no heavy lift experience or because we were already fully represented in the respective country.
     “Our team offers unique, neutral management enhanced by the latest developments in online networking technology.
     “The experience of organizing international freight network conventions has taken us to over 15 countries and to every continent in the world.
     "PCN is a company without a Board of Directors and unnecessary overhead costs; we channel entire budgets directly into the development and advancement of our network.
     “We are a company that strives to explore the latest industry trends and assist our Members in securing new customers, new contacts and new contracts.”

Tulsi Mirchandaney

Olga Pleshakova

Lucy Ntuba

Lina Rutkauskien

Tammy Zwicki &
Monika Lutz

Ann Smirr

Lise Marie Turpin

Suzan Tarabish

Marina Marzani

Karen Rondino

Susanne Keimel

Sheryle Burger

Maria Schmucker

Michelle Wilkinson

Beti Sue Ward

Donna Mullins

Alexandra Ulm

Carine Zablit

Iwona Korpalska

Lisa Schoppa

Gloria Whittington

Cathy Hanna

Anita Khurana

Salma Ali Saif Bin Hareb


Gabriela Ahrens

Lisa Wilczek

Bettina Jansen

Karen Avestruz


ANS USA Adds Hainan Air Cargo

     Airlines Network Services Agency (ANS) based at JFK International New York USA has assumed cargo sales and booking activities in the New York and Chicago markets for Hainan Airlines' China-bound operation out of Toronto.
     Jens Tubbesing, chief executive of the cargo service agency, noted that ANS additionally serves the Chinese air carrier in the Seattle region.
     “Hainan scheduled three weekly Airbus A340 flights destined to Beijing, departing Toronto at 1610 and arriving in the Chinese capital next day at 1925.
     Close-out time is set at four hours prior to take-off,” Mr. Tubbesing said.
     “Export shipments from New York and Chicago are transported by specialized motor carrier overnight to the airline's ground handler, ACI, located at 6500 Silver Dart Drive, Mississauga, Ontario, Canada. “Direct customer communication is available in New York (phone, 718-244-1250) and in Chicago (phone, 773-894- 4297/4299).
     “Our drop location (JFK) in New York is at Atlantis Transportation Services, 147- 45 Farmers Boulevard, Jamaica, NY 1 1434 (Phone: 718-553-6476).
     “At (ORD) Chicago, the drop spot is at Atlantis, 10700, Suite 120, Franklin Park, IL 60131, (Phone, 773-992-0801). “Close-out times are 1730 in New York, and 1730 in Chicago.
     Jens Tubbesing who is immediate past President of IATA Cargo Network Services (CNS), for the past few years has been pursuing his dream to bring ANS to market with regional offices and facilities throughout the United States, linking with scheduled airlines serving global as well as domestic markets.
     “Our idea is to raise service quality with professional air cargo staff attuned to accommodating the requirements of customers’ precise needs,” Jens Tubbesing said.


Click To Read
35th Anniversary Issue

At TIACA Up Close & Personal


China Clipper Conquered
Pacific 75 Years Ago

     Soon after establishing the airline and launching service throughout Central America and the Caribbean from his South Florida base, Pan Am’s legendary founder, Juan Trippe, set his sights on crossing the North Atlantic. But he lacked the landing rights on both sides of the Atlantic, and his British counterpart, Imperial Airways (British Air), lacked the aircraft technology to compete with Pan American Airways. The British therefore thwarted transatlantic negotiations, and he turned his attention westward to the vast Orient. Trippe, a man of unparalleled foresight, had the audacity to encompass the world in his master plan of creating a global air system.
     In 1930 he acquired a large, terrestrial globe, which was probably the most conspicuous piece of furniture in his office. He was pictured standing next to the globe with a piece of string in his hand, which he used to measure distances. The globe’s axle must have gotten a little squeaky from constant rotation, because Pan American was in a continuous state of expansion in the 1930s.
     It was Trippe’s style to research and prepare in a secretive manner before he pursued his goals. This policy would keep the competition from knowing where he was planning to next expand. His method in establishing a new route was to first obtain landing rights, second acquire equipment and third, bid the maximum amount allowed on mail routes. His rivals would usually make lower bids on the mail route, but did so without first establishing guarantees of ability to perform within the specified period.
     In the summer of 1931, Charles and Ann Morrow-Lindbergh departed Long Island on an interesting but hazardous venture for Trippe. Their goal was to fly a great circle route to the Orient diagonally across Canada to Ottawa, Hudson Bay, Baker Lake, Point Barrow, Alaska, then south to Nome, across the Bering Sea to Siberia’s Kamchatka Peninsula, down the Japanese Island chain and finally across the Yellow Sea to mainland China. This was accomplished in a specially outfitted Lockheed Sirius aircraft. It had two cockpits, each with a sliding canopy, a 600 hp engine and it was fitted with two pontoons for water landings.
     Additionally, the pontoons were gas tanks that could be filled with enough fuel to fly two thousand miles. For greater contrast and attraction, its wings were painted a bright orange. The Lindberghs had planned and prepared for this expedition for more than a year. Ann was a Smith’s College alumni and a petite woman—in other words, an unlikely candidate to be co-navigator and radio operator, but she prepared herself by learning Morse code and radio repair. The cost of the expedition was mainly borne by the Lindberghs.
     The result of the survey flight was disappointing for Lindbergh. He reported to Trippe that the route had ice bound harbors, frozen terrain, pervasive fog, and regions where the temperature would drop to 60 degrees below zero. In order to be a viable air route during the winter, airports would have to be brightly lit because of the darkness that prevailed much of the year. Aircraft would need to be outfitted with skies for portions of the route and radio navigation would be vital for flight operation not only across the tundra, but down the vast Siberian shoreline, which was unpopulated. Despite his pessimism, Lindbergh thought that the route could be flown—and right away.
     In the fall of 1931, Trippe began negotiations with the Soviet government trading agency, Amtorg, for permission to operate an airline on Soviet territory. Before long, he signed a contract that gave him the right to cross Siberia as far as Moscow.
     Trippe agreed to train Russian pilots and build hangars along the route in exchange. At this point, the U.S. State Department intervened and told Pan American to discontinue any further attempt to pursue this venture as the U.S. government did not recognize the Soviet government (due to their refusal to pay their World War I debt).
     The Pacific Ocean covers one third of the world’s surface and contains approximately twenty-five thousand Islands. It is restless, eternal, and vast beyond understanding. Pan American needed airplanes. Frank Gledhill was Pan American’s purchasing agent. Juan Trippe directed Gledhill to write a letter in June 1931 to the six leading aircraft manufacturers, inviting them to submit designs for a new plane: “a high speed, multi-engine flying boat with a range of 2,500 miles against 30 mile headwinds, [that can] accommodate a crew of four and carry 300 pounds of mail.” Only two aircraft manufactures submitted designs: Igor Sikorsky and Glenn L. Martin. Trippe believed in competition for everyone, except for himself. In November 1932, three planes from each manufacturer were ordered, thus pitting one company against the other.
     The missing link in Trippe’s grand design of crossing the Pacific was a piece of land located between Midway and Guam.
     Trippe spent hours in the New York City library researching the logbooks of old Clipper Ships’ for that nebulous piece of information. Finally, he found what he needed. It was called Wake Island; composed of 3 islets, it lay 8 feet above sea level and was 3 square miles in area. These islets were located 1,185 miles west of Midway Island and 1,510 miles east of Guam. No wonder it was hard to find. Captain Alvaro de Mendana discovered them on October 20, 1568. Nothing else was heard about these isolated islets for 228 years, until Captain William Wake, for whom the atoll was named in 1796, rediscovered them.
     The route of Trippe’s China Clipper lay north of the Caroline and Marshall Island groups and south of the Northern Marianas. Navigating this route in an airplane in the nineteen thirties was like threading a needle, with Guam as the eye of the needle. Trippe decided that he had no other options but to cross the Pacific near its widest point.
     The route of the China Clipper went down a corridor between the fortified Japanese Trust territories of the Carolina and Marshall Island and the Northern Marianas. The inaugural China Clipper flight, connecting China with Asia, was launched November 22, 1935.
     This monumental feat of creating an air bridge across the middle of the Pacific from San Francisco to the Phillipines and Hong Kong is considered one of the most important achievements in commercial aviation.
     Not only did it expand the influence of a fledging Pan American Airways, but it amplified America’s stature and importance in international aviation. Most importantly, it made the people of America and Asia feel connected.
     Over six hundred people, former Pan Am employees, aviation buffs and fans of the great pioneer airline, met in San Francisco November 17-20, 2010 to celebrate the 75th anniversary of this fabled event, which literally shrunk the globe.
Jeff Kriendler

Reprinted from Air Cargo News 35th Annoiversary Issue Part I. For More Click Here.


Contact! Talk To Geoffrey

RE: Lion Trips Light Fantastic

Dear Geoffrey

     Just a quick note to say how much I enjoyed reading about the dedication of cargo staff and animal welfare organizations to ensuring a better life for mistreated wild animals such as Kara and her companions and Omega. Normally, in order to read about rescued animals, I would have to be ‘ducking out’ of work but today was a legitimate mixing of business and pleasure as I read your newsletter.
     Some of our members in the Global Freight Group have shipped wild animals but I struggle to get the full report from them as they are just so busy. However, as Oliver Evans, of Swiss World Cargo, so rightly commented, the priority is to handle these precious cargos swiftly and well and so there is not always time to report the story about such interesting and necessary freight.
     So thanks to you and Flying Typers for getting this story to your readers.
      Thanks for sharing…

Best wishes
Rachel Marchant
Group Administrator
Global Freight Group
Telephone: 44 1902 685158 / Fax: 44 1902
Email: secretary@globalfreightnet.org

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