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    Vol. 13 No. 50                     THE AIR CARGO NEWS THOUGHT LEADER                          Tuesday June 10, 2014 Bulldog Edition

Robbie Anderson Departs United Cargo
And the good news is . . . United's network is among the very best of any airline in the world.

Robbie Anderson Leaves United CargoFlyingTypers has learned that President of United Cargo Robbie Anderson was released on Monday, June 9.
     A source at United confirmed the news to FlyingTypers simply stating:
     “I can confirm that he decided to leave the company.”
     Sources say that management at the carrier decided the time was right to make the change as the fortunes of the UA Cargo Division continue to spiral downward.
     Robbie Anderson, one the nicest people you would ever meet, was President of United Cargo since October 2010.
     He was the first Continental Airlines executive to serve in the top cargo spot at the new combined United Airlines.

What Went Wrong?

     Another source told FT: “Since the merger, it’s no secret United Cargo has underperformed as compared to DL and AA.
     “Lots of initiatives to turn it around . . . but they just did not get the results hoped for.”
     “As we look back on the last four years at UA,” an industry observer pointed out, “the performance at UA Cargo has been quite poor, with the carrier losing hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue since 2010.
     “Airlines, like any other business, are today holding their executives accountable for performance.
     “Also that significantly delayed, widely reported IT cutover to the UC360 program in July of 2013 resulted in severe operational and accounting issues that continue to exist today in some manner and form.
     “Unfortunately, there also appears to have been a general lack of focus across the board with respect to closer engagement with their customer base during these times,” the source concluded.

Looking Ahead

     “I still believe in a place called Hope,” were Bill Clinton’s first words when he became President; somehow, those words echo and ring true upon looking at United Cargo right now.
     United has an unbelievable brand. There are a lot of good people who work day to day within the cargo division, and they are totally dedicated to their customers.
     United also has an incredible airline network—among the very best of any airline in the world.
     As you read this, that sterling network continues to evolve and expand.
     Hope at United Cargo rests on the fact that there is nothing structurally wrong at the airline.
     Our hope is that United brings in an air cargo executive that understands the industry and can effectively stabilize things, with a “take the bull by the horns” attitude and accountability—someone who will be able to lead the UA Cargo team to the future glory they deserve and once enjoyed.

Richard Malkin
Click Here To Read Intro
Click Here To Read Part I
Click Here To Read Part II
Click Here To Read Part III


Just about a month ago in early May, FlyingTypers featured an article titled “Is TIACA’s Future Waiting in the Wings?” It pointed to a floor plan depicting booth sales at this autumn’s upcoming Air Cargo Forum, scheduled to take place October 7-9 in Seoul, Korea.
     We observed the plan in April at the TIACA AGM in Istanbul, where Jacques Ancher was being honored and inducted into the TIACA Hall of Fame.
     On public display, the ACF plan included extended areas on both sides of the center block of mega-booths, or “wings,” which to us looked noticeably empty.

Booth Sales Lite

      We reported our concern about the lack of a big influx of paying customers displaying their product offerings at ACF, as approximately 75 percent of TIACA’s revenue comes from the ACF exhibition.

TIACA ACF Booth Layout

Honey, I Shrunk The Trade Show

     In the ensuing months there has been a step-change in the TIACA booth layout floor plan, but unfortunately the difference may be not what the ACF organizers had in mind.
     Rather than a hoped for influx of new business, sales for new customers at ACF have apparently remained flat, despite the additional recent hiring of a sales group called EVA to help jumpstart sales for the event.
     Looking at both floor plans here, slow booth sales are evident, with May on the right taken from the TIACA website and the latest up-to-the-minute June report from the TIACA website.
     What has not remained flat is some movement in reducing the footprint of the main exhibit area at ACF, which has shrunk to a significantly smaller area as June 2014 begins.
     It looks like over a 100 booths and a number of Meeting Points have been taken out.
     To be fair, trade show layouts are always adjusted to either expand or adapt space according to sales, and measuring demand can be a tricky business.
     The bigger issue is declining sales do not bode well for the ACF 2014 and for TIACA. At the lowest published member rate in the ACF 2014 website (again, our measure) the reduction of available sales space on the floor of ACF could represent over $660,000 in revenue.

Only Four Months To Go

     The ACF 2014 is now only four months away. The floor plan still looks like it has a long way to go to get more sales.
     Other than shrinking the floor plan and bringing on a sales group, we wonder how TIACA will deliver on its 50-year track record of producing the world’s largest air cargo event.
     Current exhibitors are surely asking the same question.
     According to TIACA, ACF 2012 in Atlanta was the largest and most financially successful in TIACA’s history.
     On the heels of that success ATL’s Cargo Marketing Chief Warren Jones landed the top spot as President of Cargo Network Services.
     Not that one good or bad TIACA event might be totally responsible for an airport cargo executive’s future, but in 1992 when TIACA was first re-formed and held an early ACF in Seattle, which cost the airport a bundle and was rather sparsely attended, we seem to recall then Cargo Development Manager at Sea-Tac, Bill Liddicoat, departing his job shortly after TIACA left town.

On EVA of Destruction?

      The recent 11th hour appointment of EVA International Media Ltd. (mentioned earlier) to sell ACF 2014 exhibition space and sponsorships is surprising and at the very least underscores the serious concern and effort to avoid a complete meltdown in Seoul this autumn.
     That move could also be interpreted as indicating that the TIACA board has lost confidence in its own ability to get the sales job done for ACF 2014.

Other Sources

     We have heard some talk lately that TIACA may be developing other sources of revenue.
     Right now might be a good time for TIACA to let everybody know how that development is going.
     Folks we have talked to say that if there is truly no immediate alternative revenue to replace the ACF, then the changes described here serve as troubling signs to those that care about TIACA and worked so hard to build it.

Chuckles For June 10, 2014

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