A well-known and liked, long-time organizer
and advocate for Customs Brokers in New York and beyond named Joel
Ditkowsky Friday February 17.
delivered my first consignment to KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, a shipment
of Rabies Vaccine in 1954 bound for Amsterdam,” he once told
“I was 17 years old just
out of high school and that was a summer job memory that stayed with
me forever,” he said.
cargo can gently be reminded post Covid, what goes around comes around.
His friend and working colleague Valerie
Caulfield, Managing Member at Customs and Trade paid loving tribute:
“Joel was a selfless man, always
wanting to help his fellow brokers with problems.
leaned in and it came from his heart.
am grateful to have worked alongside Joel for decades as a fellow
Customs Broker, member of the JFK Airport Brokers Association where
he served as President, Semantics, and the NCBFAA Shippers Association,
“He was a well-respected
gentleman and a friend, but he was also very funny and fun, a real
down to earth human being,” Valerie recalled.
as Customs Compliance Officer at Freight Brokers Global Service Inc.
became a fixture in Cargo Building 80, the Customs Brokers home in
the center of the original cargo area at Idlewild Airport, today’s
John F. Kennedy International Airport.
gained global fame raising recognition for Brokers and cargo to local
governing committees and legislators in Washington and elsewhere.
Joel served as Vice President, of the
JFK Airport Custom Brokers and Freight Forwarders Association, chairing
its Airline Committee for over 30 years.
was a Member of the Board of the JFK Chamber of Commerce, as Legislative
and Government Affairs Chairman.
Kings Point Merchant Marine Academy he conducted courses and organized
field trips on Cargo Security, Customs Process, Intermodalism and
more at the airport.
decades, there were scores of offices and thousands of Brokers in
Cargo Building 80.
Most had originally
moved offices from shipside in Manhattan as the airplanes took over
the passenger business post World War II.
came to the airport with “fresh eyes” in the 1950s, elevating
respect for Customs Brokers.
his passion also became a centerpiece of his business life.
Building 80, which was so important in developing the culture of air
cargo brokerage pumping traffic around the world, and Joel Ditkowsky,
who proudly carried that banner, are both gone.
JFK Air Cargo Association honored Joel as Person of the Year over
a decade ago at their Annual Air Cargo Day.
once handled 60% of all international USA air traffic and Joel was
Why not a plaque somewhere
near where both Joel and people that served in Cargo Building 80 made
history by setting standards still in use today worldwide? We should
Happy landings always,