|Vol. 22 No. 23||
Thursday July 13, 2023
Predict Future By Creating It
It strikes me at the half-way point in 2023, air cargo having held a half-dozen events has not spoken very much at any one of them about how it plans outreach for marketing itself to carry forward a cohesive image to augment the millions of dollars in free publicity it received during the COVID years.
There are lots of stories on sustainability and other topics. Vast sums of air cargo budgets are spent on vying for self-congratulatory awards. More exposure should be given to how demand to get life saving medicines and other supplies was accomplished and how innovation and ingenuity and inventiveness of air cargo people really made the difference.
About the freighter fleets that were added right now the story isn’t about their next assignments, today the story lines are “what the hell do we do with them now?”
The smartest thing that anyone in air cargo ever said about the future of our industry were words Bill Boesch delivered as President, while putting American Airlines Cargo on the international route map of the world during the 1990s.
Bill is always right to the point, the way executives like Jan Krems is today at United Cargo or Jacques Ancher was at KLM Cargo or Fred Smith at Federal Express, or John Mahoney was at Seaboard World Airways or Guenter Rohrmann was at Air Express International (AEI-Wings & Wheels).
“What air cargo has already done points the way to its future.
“But the future is not necessarily assured.
“The only way to predict the future of air cargo is to create it,” said Bill Boesch in 1995.
Those words from nearly 30 years ago were both an absolute truth, and also an appeal that still pertain to the industry today.
It remains to be seen if cargo, post COVID, can do a better job as an industry marketing itself to the great unwashed public at large.
The core challenge we believe remains also akin to the words uttered by Julius Maldutis, the financial research guy at Solomon Brothers, who said he thought that the air cargo industry unlike passengers, remains a largely undefined business.
The question in 2023 is, what has changed?
In aviation history, the last time air cargo had an opportunity like the one delivered to it in the Covid epidemic, was 1948 when the Berlin Airlift invented the industry.
A hundred cargo companies all over the world were formed with surplus DC3 and Curtiss C46 airplanes with business models that in most cases all basically copied each other, until Fred Smith stood alone and changed everything.
Interestingly in 2023, dynamic new talent like the visionary Eduardo Del Riego, founder of Miami-based PayCargo has come up with a transformational way for payments for all modes of transportation worldwide.
Same goes for Ingo Zimmer, CEO of GSSA ATC that has grown by leaps and bounds with a staff of the most eclectic group of former cargo professionals, plus a cadre of brilliant up and coming young people.
Zimmer’s addition of the great pioneering Jane Vaz in Delhi offers an absolutely thrilling New Deal for India Air Cargo.
How about Amar More, Co Founder of Kale Logistics Solutions that burst on the scene with answers and solutions for streamlining the last mile to and from cargo handling facilities? Innovation and change in air cargo today exists.
Innovation and support for change in air cargo today is there but one can only wonder why, for example, IATA, especially after the air cargo bretherin showed such style and class, even strapping cargo into passenger seats during the pandemic act like they cannot wait to get back to the passenger business.
How about giving cargo some come uppance and allowing for some home grown “show me” with maybe IATA Cargo leading the way in gathering some smart cargo thinking toward a bigger “can do” future for all of us, but best of all by mounting a global campaign touting just how good we are as a people in the transportation business and sending that message out as far as possible to the great unwashed?
Back where the rubber meets the road, there is Bill Boesch still piloting his way toward studying and developing the industry via the military and elsewhere, He is happy to report that after 60 years still loves the ever constant life of pushing back and upward morning, noon and, of course night, where “the night time animal” lives.
“The challenge right now,” Bill said, “is not money.
“Money in 2023 is not the answer.
“Small operators of freighters have a challenge, a significant yield loss.
“During COVID freighter operators answered the call and did the job but many expanded too fast and too much.
“Now as demand slackens, it is a matter of survival.
“Labor and specifically the unions will impact the industry more than anything else.
“At the same time, stockholders want their share, so industry advocates should also be the ones to be concerned about the current environment.
“You hear that pilot demands are for 40% plus increases in salary and who knows about that?
“But expand that thinking to realize that as business returns as it always does, change will undoubtedly continue.
“One example of how all this downward pressure and scramble for realignment is the move that will speed up the advent of pilotless aircraft.’
“No doubt Investment in technology is smart money right now,” Bill Boesch concluded.
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Vol. 22 No. 20
Can't Wait For Tomorrow
Women In Air Cargo
Security & Dangerous Goods
Oscar Nobre Is Good
Put Gen AI To Work
Vol. 22 No. 21
Sean McCool With The Angels Now
Publisher-Geoffrey Arend • Managing Editor-Flossie Arend • Editor Emeritus-Richard Malkin
Film Editor-Ralph Arend • Special Assignments-Sabiha Arend, Emily Arend
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