We get it!
Many of us are a bit tired of webinars and
More than a few transportation people are
chomping at the bit hankering to get on the road again; looking forward
to days out on the hustings pressing the flesh, or bellying up to the
bar swapping stories with old friends, whilst making some new ones.
Who is here? Who retired? God forbid, who
took it on the chin?
Yes, we all crave the milk of human kindness
by the quart for face-to-face contact in every encounter after a long
unfamiliar lockdowned existence.
But the reality is that COVID-19 is a demon,
and that demon still controls life in some manner or form, more or less
in various places as you move around the world.
Being together is something we all want,
but jumping the gun because of unyielding contracts to put on trade shows
or meetings during this peculiar, life-changing scourge not seen in this
world at this level in over 100 years, is both ill-informed and irresponsible.
Attendance we learned was there for that
National Customs Brokers and Forwarders (NCBFAA) Association Annual Meeting
in person meeting May 6-8 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
Now whether or not Florida gets an exemption
in all of this is a good question. The “Sunshine State” seems
to be from another world and has been full tilt boogie since the first
cases of COVID surfaced almost a year and a half ago.
Amongst several speakers at NCBFAA was former
President of IATA CNS, Lionel van der Walt, who now serves as CEO of Florida-based
PayCargo, one of the hottest companies in air cargo and many other forms
of transportation and business.
No doubt the 600 or so eager participants
of the NCBFAA Annual were in rapt attention as the always uplifting Lionel
trained his keen eye on how the money will get handled globally as PayCargo
changes that playing field forever….
Elsewhere IATA is still keen to hold its
annual and cancelled in 2020 World Cargo Symposium in Istanbul this October.
Under one scenario, IATA people might be
at the World Cargo Symposium by themselves. According to a source, Turkish
Cargo tried to scrap its participation in the WCS event and was told it
would be stuck for the money, so it reupped and decided to not cancel.
As always, follow the money. IATA, we imagine,
must be stuck with a contract to do a trade show, that is pay up or else.
So, we can only wonder if IATA is holding
the airlines liable because they are also being held by the throat to
go ahead with WCS?
If that is the case we can only hope that
the airlines that support IATA Cargo get active and insist that this trade
association stop this kind of nonsense.
Nobody should have to fear for their life
to attend a trade show.
Right now, Turkey is in massive COVID-19
shut down, for crying out loud. So is India and elsewhere.
The way we see it now and into the rest
of 2021, Istanbul for a trade show is a non-starter.
When you think about it a bit, the U.S.,
the lead for the vaccinated world, is only about 37% vaccinated.
So that puts most other nations, including
hot spots and places where variant COVID-19 is popping up, as still problematic.
Common sense says, who in their right mind
is going to travel to a trade show?
Even Florida, where some events are taking
place currently, might for 2021 be better off, not filling up with people
from all over the world.
This October we, here in the U.S., will
get booster shots to protect against further COVID and then a couple of
weeks later our regular winter flu shots.
Yes, during this time, we are living in
a world that for all intents and purposes is shot to hell.
The idea that any of us are really immune
to all of this should be at least guarded. A bit . . .
Newly named Director General of IATA Willie
Walsh, we hear, is in there to shake things up. He might weigh in here
and make a difference.