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   Vol. 23 No. 25
Tuesday May 28, 2024

Vocational Cargo At A Much Earlier Age

FIU Students

FIU students on a recent trip visited American Airlines Cargo and DFW Airport to see the actual operations; forwarders in the local community also made themselves available.

Mike White     Mike White needs no introduction with our readers. Mike has a CV and presence in the aviation and airfreight industry that is second to none. His tenure in CNS as President was most inspirational for all of us.
     Everybody knows Mike White: his presence is immediate wherever he goes.
In other words when it comes to clear thinking and realizing where we are or should be heading as an industry:

We Like Mike!

     The question today is that in a business that needs lots of young executives whose attention may be drawn to other careers, where will the next generation of air cargo executives will come?
     Grateful that Mike sat down with us and answered questions with regard to his current activity at PayCargo and at his role as a driving force for that company’s involvement at Florida International University (FIU).
     The idea here is to learn and share a yeoman and pioneering effort by PayCargo via its involvement in FIU to develop and build vocational and educational programs, for the next generation of logisticians.

Developing Future Logisticians

     As example, how does FIU insure that the programs they advance remain up-to-date and relevant in the fast changing business climate?
     We also asked Mike how can one get involved in this initiative and what are the expectations, milestones and events?

Time Is Right

     Interestingly there were several points that connect this conversation with some of the comments and statements we heard at FIATA during the recent HQ meeting and at TIACA in their Brussels meeting held at the end of 2023.
     Mike declared the main objective to involve PayCargo within FIU is to help their program grow and become a world class logistics program, in order to get students to share in the real world, to understand the need for the industry, so they are actually better prepared to get into the workforce.
     “The university and the school of business offers a multi-modal atmosphere particularly focused on transport.”

Gregory Malloy, Steve Smith, Michael White, Lord David Cameron and Eduardo Del Riego

The Heart of the Matter

     Eduardo Del Riego, CEO of PayCargo, was a FIU graduate and devised a cooperation with FIU with the goal of supporting the university to achieve the objective of a top-notch program for today’s logistics; previously Eduardo had worked with the Dean in the school of business, Dr. Joanne Li, now Chancellor at the University of Nebraska at Omaha.
     At the time that Mike was still at the helm of CNS, both Del Riego and Li came to him to understand how his experience could help the university program to grow and become an outstanding program.

Never Too Early To Learn

     “At the time, I had previously worked with universities on internships, I saw that the students were not prepared for the real world, so it became more and more obvious that if you had to retrain the candidates you had hired, you were almost obliged to re-educate them . . . ”
Marco Sorgetti     Mike’s reasoning was proof of a rather common situation, which I can assure our readers is not peculiar to the U.S. alone: there is a gap to be filled between educational programs and what is actually required on the job.
     That situation was pointed up by Marco Sorgetti, (left) FT Senior Contributing Editor/Special Commentaries, who shares his current first-hand teaching experiences:
     “My students in Italy seem to have the same issues, and I heard similar comments during the meetings at FIATA’s HQ Meetings last month.”
Banking on the accumulated experience, FIU’s program is running its second year and will surely continue capturing more and more interest.
     Mike explained that education programs may even have to consider personalization issues, quoting the example of when he was at United:
     “We had three interns from three different universities and we realized that the student who had been trained in Knoxville was too FedEx specific to be inserted in our program without re-training,” Mike declared.

Too Soon To Know It All

     Another issue could be overconfidence:
     “Students thought they knew more than they actually did, some could be knowledgeable in a particular area, but lagged behind in others, so this program was designed to bring students to a multimodal role, in airfreight, and also in rail, road and maritime,” Mike said.
     “We meet quarterly as an advisory board reporting to FIU Dean William Hardin: our goal is to work with the curriculum to ensure the objective is achieved.”
     The issue of funding was also discussed; in a program of this scope devotion and support are welcome.
     Mike makes clear his deep and abiding appreciation for the support offered from other resources.
     “There are teachers from all areas of the business, with strong support from associations with some leaders functioning as mentors and teachers,” he said
Hearing several well-known personalities in the business had joined, “quite a comprehensive representation” was Marco’s comment.
     In terms of outcomes, Michael White was proud to mention many supporters in American Airlines, PayCargo, and UPS Supply Chain Solutions as well as other forwarding agents’ entities.
     The FIU program consists of an undergraduate, a graduate and a master level.
     “Grow the program and make it more of an international program,” was the objective of the institution and in the State of Florida there is a lot of excitement for this opportunity,” Mike White said.

Share Bettering The Future

     Then there came the question of joining forces with organizations like FIATA, IATA, TIACA or other relevant entities.
     Mike admitted to talks with IATA related to air cargo, for parts that could be added in the curriculum; there were exchanges with NCBFAA, which also produced an indirect advantage: group membership for students in some associations, for students to get involved and get an understanding of the industry as early as possible.

Start At An Earlier Age

     “FIU has mobilized its resources online and in person “to make students understand what logistics is about.”
     To that end support is growing where the rubber meets the road or runway.
American Airlines Cargo and DFW Airport invited students to see the actual operations; forwarders in the local community also made themselves available, so the students could get familiar with the milieu.
     “The initiative is to start before the university level, beginning in local high schools to understand, what is logistics. Start at a much earlier age,” was the quotable consensus of this encounter.
     “No doubt college students prefer to acquire some knowledge of our working environment even before thinking of committing to further studies,” Marco Sorgetti said.

The PayCargo Experience

     Elsewhere noting initiatives taken by the White House regarding the cost and efficiency of logistics, Mike mentioned his conversations with USAID, where real life scenarios were analysed, e.g. the earthquake scenario in Peru. It appeared to be critical that greater efficiencies were found from all parts of the logistics chain, including payments.
     PayCargo has a particular view on how the supply chain intervals can be reduced by making payments more efficient and convenient.
     Most of these initiatives, PayCargo included, tend to create a ‘known user’ environment, a group of users that would work for the outside.
     As such it would work for the customers that are subscribing to a particular scheme, as opposed to what the bank system does where everybody can access their services paying a fee.

The Way PayCargo Works

     “PayCargo has a subscription system as a payer,” Mike said adding, “participants benefit from full visibility and can customize their relationships in their systems. Services can be customized and run by smart phone, one can integrate and accept the process: you buy and then pay the vendor based on agreed terms.
     “It's easy, it creates a medium whereby you can actually have a transaction and manage the payment in a more expeditious manner without wasting too much time to find a stand-in.”

Now Appearing Center Stage

     Obviously, the issue of ownership of data and protection of data emerged at that point. Unsurprisingly this issue had also taken center-stage (again) during the recent FIATA HQ meeting, where it emerged at least in two distinctive moments of the four-day event.
     “Payment data and invoice data are extremely sensitive for all parties, carriers, forwarders and shippers alike,” reports Marco Sorgetti who served as Director General for FIATA (2011-2017).
     “From the conversation we were having, there appeared to be a sort of ‘jealousy of data’ and I can report that at other times there had been even a kind of ‘appetite for data’.
     “Many years ago, when discussing security measures in Brussels some of the maritime carriers’ representatives were expecting legislation to force all parties to submit their data to carriers, Marco said adding:
     “This issue is in fact extremely sensitive from a commercial point of view.
     In reality I must register that it has not been completely resolved even this long into it in 2024.
     “It was still a recurring topic that surfaced again and again in Geneva at the recent FIATA HQ Meeting,” Marco said.
     So, our conversation with Mike, which started with PayCargo helping FIU to make its program really relevant and global, ended on an open note on payment services, possibly identifying an entirely new area of business.
     “We have heard of authorized third party data handlers at different times, in the last decade at least if not earlier,” Marco added.
     “I personally take the view that a genuinely neutral data handler, independent of the influence of carriers, shippers, forwarders would probably have a role to play in modern trade, in particular if the adoption of the MLETR becomes commonplace in the future,” Marco continued, adding:
     “There is on one side an imperative that dictates the rules of safety and security, but we also have to appreciate that international trade can flourish only if a reasonable amount of confidentiality is guaranteed.
     “This is where I see a commercial space that in my view has not yet been fully exploited.”
     Thanks to leading edge top-flight dedicated industry companies mentioned here and people like Eduardo Del Riego, Mike White and Marco Sorgetti, the movement toward tomorrow has advocates who are passionate about doing what it takes in education and business to insure the future.
     And they are looking for input from new members with their thinking caps firmly affixed at graduation time around the world.

If You Missed Any Of The Previous 3 Issues Of FlyingTypers
Access complete issue by clicking on issue icon or
Access specific articles by clicking on article title
Vol. 23 No. 22
ICAO Cargo Workshop
Chuckles for May 6, 2024
LAACA Proud Bird Moves Its Tail
Remembering Bruce McCaffrey
Vol. 23 No. 23
ICAO Cargo Action Peru
Bob Arens Is Fondly Remembered

Vol. 23 No. 24
AmidSpring's Day Dream
Chuckles for May 14, 2024
Where Are They Now

Publisher-Geoffrey Arend • Managing Editor-Flossie Arend • Editor Emeritus-Richard Malkin
Senior Contributing Editor/Special Commentaries-Marco Sorgetti • Special Commentaries Editor-Bob Rogers
Special Assignments-Sabiha Arend, Emily Arend
• Film Editor-Ralph Arend

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