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   Vol. 14 No. 17
Monday February 23, 2015

 

The Girl In The N=BIFA Halo

When FlyingTypers learned that the recipient of this year’s ‘Young Freight Forwarder of the Year’ award was a woman named Jenifer Taylor, we lit up with excitement. As originators of the ‘Women in Air Cargo’ series (now a common trend amongst air cargo reportage), we are only too eager to shine a spotlight on those previously dim corners of air cargo where women sometimes still reside.
     Mark us down as surprised, then, when we tried to find any information on Ms. Taylor. She just received this powerful recognition from a wonderful, old line, industry-building organization, but it seems the cargo community was content to simply report that a young woman won an award—nothing more. Everything we read was a quick recycle of the BIFA (British International Freight Association) Freight Service Awards’ press release—as if it’s enough to say that someone is young, a woman, and received an award. As an organization with quite a few women in the ranks, we’d like to clarify—it isn’t enough. If it is important to report on the recipient of an award—if it is important to report on that recipient for the sake of their gender—then it is doubly important to highlight what, exactly, they do.
     Astonishingly enough, each report we read neglected to even mention what Jenifer does. We reached out to Jenifer to offer her the opportunity to illuminate the cargo community about her work, her award, and what led her into logistics.

Jenifer Taylor

     Jenifer Taylor has worked at Santova Logistics for the past four-and-a-half years. She describes Santova as “a sophisticated end-to-end supply chain management solutions business. We identify areas within our clients’ company that we believe we can offer improved efficiencies and a competitive advantage by refining their supply chain. This is achieved through our IT solutions, Intellectual capital, and supply chain analysis.”
     A typical day for Jenifer involves “coordinating global shipments of varying commodities from start to finish, and focusing on the most appropriate route and cost-effective delivery of each.” She works with her customers to coordinated all top-to-bottom arrangements for their shipments, “providing the costs of transporting goods and the arrangements that need to be made, informing them of shipping options, transit times, or regulations affecting shipments… communicating and negotiating rates daily with carriers, such as transport companies and airlines.
     “I arrange collections and deliveries, book space with carriers, raise all the necessary shipping documents and arrange consular documentation as required; I also prepare and transmit Customs declarations.
     “I raise and send invoices out to our customers as well as check [that] invoices from our suppliers have been received correctly and pass these for payment.”
     While her responsibilities remain, for the most part, in the UK, Jenifer says, “All markets are different because of client’s expectations; overseas territories have different requirements and legalities that differ from the UK.
     “My responsibilities may begin in the UK, but are always far reaching, from controlling overseas collections or deliveries [to] ensuring cross border compliance to final point completion of a movement.”
     Like many people in the cargo community, Jenifer’s journey into logistics was seeded by a basic desire to explore the world. While she wasn’t sure what she wanted to study in school, she knew she “wanted to meet new people and gain some new experiences, as well as earn money to travel.”                Jenifer Taylor Wins BIFA award     According to Jenifer, “One is not able to study logistics in school in the UK.
     “When it came time for me to leave school I had two choices: I could either go onto further education or find myself a job. I enjoyed the social aspect of school and had a passion for Maths and English, however at 16 I wanted to get out into the world and start a career.
     “I visited a local careers center and was encouraged to apply for a freight training scheme working for a cargo handling agent at Heathrow airport, and I have been working in logistics ever since,” said Jenifer.
     A few years ago, a report was released that claimed women were better multi-taskers than men (an idea most glaringly illustrated when watching a woman wrangle all the elements of her career and family life), so it comes as no surprise that Jenifer finds freight forwarding’s multiplicity of roles and demands so satisfying.
     “The range of roles within freight forwarding to make a complete supply chain is vast, which makes it intriguing. I am constantly learning something new.
     “The industry is ever changing, every day brings another exciting challenge, and you never know what the day ahead has in store.
     “The range of commodities being shipped around the world is immense, and working for a truly global forwarder presents opportunities to learn about different industries, businesses, and cultures, which helps keep things interesting.
     “The diverse and passionate people I’ve met within logistics have inspired me to excel; with hard work, focus, and versatility there can be a career for you regardless of your level of education,” said Jenifer.
     To receive the award from BIFA, Jenifer wrote about how BIFA can “more effectively engage with younger employees of its member companies,” but it was certainly her work with Santova in South Africa that helped ossify her as the obvious recipient of the award.
     South Africa is Santova’s biggest market, having been founded there. Jenifer works as the “key contact for a significant international client . . . successful in implementing new major high street fashion brands into South Africa.” Working with two high street fashion brands—Topshop and River Island—Santova’s “innovative supply chain model . . . has now become their global standard.” The result of Santova’s success in South Africa has lead to a new contract for another high street brand, “with more stores in the pipeline.” Jenifer has become instrumental in changing the face of South Africa, paving a smooth road over which international companies may travel into the continent.
     With so many responsibilities to juggle, it’s only healthy to indulge in a little escapism—and Jenifer’s are particularly healthy. She runs “to stay relaxed and keep [her] mind focused,” and enjoys “using [her] imagination… regularly [watching] films and [reading] fiction novels.” In terms of going somewhere for work, she would like to visit the USA, where “starting a career is more difficult due to higher educational requirements,” but for enjoyment, being a lover of nature, she’d “like to go on a safari in South Africa or visit the Galapagos Islands.”
     Interestingly, there is only one other woman in her office, “but most of [her] colleagues within [the] network . . . are women.” This story is one we hear often, and we wondered what advice the Young Freight Forwarder of the Year would offer other young people—and young women especially—interested in logistics.
     “Training on the job can certainly take you places, there is a lot to learn, the industry is male dominated and can be a daunting place.
     “Stay strong, determined, and work hard and you will be rewarded with an exciting, vibrant career,” Jenifer assured.
Flossie Arend

Alongside Women
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Tell the industry about a female at any level that you know, or have known about in air cargo. Write a short essay about what that woman means to air cargo. Pictures are welcome.
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Gitika A. Pruthi
Inspiring Change
Flossie Arend
Karen Reddington FedEx Singapore South Pacific
Karen Reddington

Carmen Taylor


The Flux And Fog Of Ocean
 Li Wen Jun    The early weeks of 2015 have seen transpacific supply chains in a state of flux. The impasse between U.S. West Coast port employers and unions continues to cause chaos—disrupting ocean services but breathing new life into air cargo and sea-air solutions, yet at a huge cost to shippers.      Added into the mix this quarter has been the lead up to the Lunar New Year holidays, which started last week. This has been putting Transpacific operators under even more duress as they seek to optimize cargo flows ahead of extended factory closures in China.
     SVP and Head of Air Freight in the Asia Pacific at DHL Global Forwarding Li Wenjun admits that this combination of demand spikes and bottlenecks has skewed transport markets, making the availability of customers’ transport requirement forecasts even more important to ensuring that the required space is available at the best rate.
     “An accurate forecast eases up the tension in our freight planning for the tight capacity in the market during this period,” he told FlyingTypers. “We have coped well under the circumstances through efficient planning and by offering our customers different options throughout this challenging period.
     “We expect air freight demand to increase near the Chinese New Year period as customers circumvent ocean freight delays related to the U.S. West Coast port situation.”
     He believes that even if the West Coast ILWU/PMA stalemate were resolved today, the transport system would take months to recover given that thousands of containers are stranded along the U.S. West Coast ports and in inland depots. “Shipments that used to take between 2-4 days for clearance are now taking up to at least two months to clear,” he said. “The huge backlog will take some time to resolve once both the ILWU/PMA reach a new agreement.”
     Looking further ahead, Wenjun was optimistic on air cargo logistics demand out of Asia over the rest of this year. “Although consumer sentiments across the world are fluctuating, we do see marked improvements in the U.S. market and believe that trade in Asia and the Americas will likely pick up,” he said.
     He was less bullish on Asia-Europe, which will be “flatter” this year due to austerity measures in Europe, but said Oceania would see some benefits from the U.S. recovery and the strong greenback. Within the Asia Pacific, foreign investment going into countries such as Vietnam and Myanmar was also opening up new opportunities. ”The potential of their development will be huge especially in the manufacturing and production sectors,” he said. “But while production has shifted to inland China and neighboring countries such as Vietnam and Cambodia, China will still remain strong as a manufacturing base.
     “It is clear that the demand for air cargo in Asia Pacific will continue to increase. The current growth and increase in demand far exceeds the increase in capacity and we expect this to continue indefinitely.
     “This puts pressure on rates, costs, and profitability in a time where there is also some instability in Asia Pacific’s key trading markets—the U.S. and Europe.
     “Apart from the larger markets of China, India, and Korea, we also expect key growth from Vietnam, Thailand, Myanmar, and Bangladesh, which should recover from the slower-than-expected growth in 2014.
     “The technology sector in China continues to grow quickly and we also expect the retail sector to bounce back with the strengthening of the U.S. Dollar.”
     As exporter strategies evolve, DHL’s policy is to move in tandem with demand.
     “We will be wherever the cargo is and whenever the customer needs us,” said Wenjun. “We are currently working closely with our customers to understand their pain points and concerns and are exploring options that can meet their requirements. Using such an approach, we can utilize our global network to provide a more personalized service to our customers.
     Wenjun said DHL’s customers would see more specialized and customized service options during 2015, especially Sea-Air, Rail-Air, and Door-to-More products, which could offer more flexibility to the transit-cost equation. They should also expect the decline in oil prices to filter back to them during 2015 in the form of lower fuel bills.
     “With the decline in oil prices, customers will benefit from lower fuel surcharges,” he said. “We have transferred cost savings from lower fuel surcharges imposed by carriers to customers.”
     DHL is also looking at how to adjust its services as the trade imbalance on key lanes to and from Asia becomes less significant as Asia’s burgeoning middle class boosts demand for imports. Wenjun is also facing up to the reality that most products moving by air are decreasing in size.
     “With the current developments in the market, trade imbalance will still be an issue, but the gap will likely narrow,” he said. “Asia will still be a key exporter but due to the growing middle class, there will be an increase of imports.
     “At the same time, carriers are likely to start operating smaller freighter aircrafts at a higher frequency as shipments get smaller, so we would see a shift as well.
     “We see great potential in the growth of intra-Asia trade and we believe there will still be strong export trade lanes from Asia to Europe and the Americas.”
SkyKing

Chuckles For February 23, 2015

 

Best In Show Part VIB

     This is the last in the series titled “Best In Show.” There were three important and informative gatherings that capped off the air cargo trade show event year for 2014.
     First came The Air Cargo Handlers Conference (ACH) held in Milan. Next was The International Air Cargo Association (TIACA) Air Cargo Forum (ACF) held in Seoul, Korea. Finally, there was the FIATA annual world event that was held in Istanbul, Turkey.
      To us, the content of these industry encounters can serve as a primer for things to come this year. If you missed any part of this series just scroll to the bottom of this article and select a highlighted issue and click to read.

Gordon Wright     At FIATA in Istanbul, speaker Mr. Gordon Wright, Customs & Cargo Trade Facilitation Senior Manager, IATA gave an interesting presentation introduction on the topic: ‘The air cargo supply chains call on a joint approach to aviation security advance information.’
     Gordon drew attention to the fact that there had been heightened awareness of the requirement for advance security information since the Yemen incident in 2010. Since then IATA have been pursuing their strategic objectives through the customs Affairs Institute and the Cargo Security Task Force, recognizing the need to be proactive and create solutions in conjunction with regulatory authorities.
     The USA advance screening pilot started with the four main integrators, and realized that for this to be effective, they needed to push back the receipt of information prior to departure. This has resulted in co-operation between TSA and customs to mitigate the risks. The envisaged dataset (7+!) required for customs and security filing includes the following:
          Shipper name
          Shipper address
          Consignee name
          Consignee address
          Cargo Description
          Total Quantity based on the smallest packing unit
          Total Weight
          +1 the air waybill number.
     This constitutes the basic set of data required and is contained within the FHL.
     Regarding the ACAS pilots, 42 companies are now participating, accounting for 85 percent of movements into the U.S. Requested messages are received, and a ‘good-to-load’ message is sent once the risk assessment has been completed. The findings to date are that the data quality is good, there have been 165 million transmissions, and there have been nil ‘do not load’ messages.
     It now seems likely that the EU will adopt the same modus operandi (Precise) and these changes will be part of the EU customs code with implementation likely to be after May 2016.
Gordon also touched on the SAFE framework of standards and the need for a global standard and harmonized approach.
     (For those unfamiliar with “SAFE,” the WCO Council adopted the SAFE Framework of Standards to Secure and Facilitate Global Trade [SAFE Framework] that would act as a deterrent to international terrorism, secure revenue collections, and promote trade facilitation worldwide)
     SAFE is not legally binding even though 170 WCO member states have undertaken to implement the standards. The next step is to include the ACAS, Precise, and other relevant standards into SAFE.


Advisory Body Information Technology (ABIT)

Lance Thompson     Dr. Lance Thompson, Conex/International Development Manager spoke on the topic of International Technical Standards and Recommendations
     Dr. Thompson now heads up the work carried out by UNCEFACT covering International Technical Standards and recommendations. The focus is to have a shared understanding of information to be exchanged. Dr. Thompson explained that the WCO data model is now focusing on allowing other government departments to be able to re-use the information. Alignment to the WCO data model by national customs authorities also enables customs to engage in information sharing.
     UNCEFACT, meanwhile, has the responsibility to develop simple, transparent, and effective processes for global business through the development of Trade Facilitation Recommendations and e-business standards, often achieved through public/private partnerships.
     The technical specifications for the messages are freely available on the Trade Facilitation Implementation guide.


Geoffrey comments:

     There have been repeated calls over the last two conferences covered by FT (TIACA and FIATA) for global standards in terms of advance security data and a plea from trade that customs, security, and other regulatory authorities work together to ensure that repetition is reduced. FT can only endorse this plea as it certainly makes life easier for all concerned. The signs are very good and more and more standards organizations are joining forces to ensure that they are aligned.
     FT also believes that if you want people to adopt standards, then make them free of charge. Thus we take our hat off to UNCEFACT, Dr. Lance Thompson, and all the others involved in designing the UNCEFACT standards and guidelines and making them freely available to key stakeholders.
     The website for UNCEFACT is well worth a look and is well laid out. It certainly contains lots of useful information. A small suggestion: we don’t think many people are aware of the great work that the UNCEFACT teams do. FT suggests that they might do a little more to publicize their achievements such as regular newsletters, press releases, etc.”
     Overall impression was it was a very well-attended conference and a great place to network. There were a lot of interesting speakers covering a wide variety of topics, which FT found very interesting.
     Having covered workshops at ACH2014 and TIACA ACF, FT is now becoming an advocate of these mediums to express and share ideas. Perhaps that is something to consider at FIATA World Congress 2015?
Geoffrey/Flossie

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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

FT021315
Vol 14. No. 14
Sitting On The Dock Of The Bay
Duggan To Saudia

Will Cargo Embrace AIR?
Chuckles For February 13, 2015
Coo Coo Keukenhof
FT021715
Vol 14. No. 15
Stop The World I Want To Get Off
AFKLMP Heats Up Cool
Something For The Kids
Chuckles For February 17, 2015
Weathering Fat Tuesday

Publisher-Geoffrey Arend Managing Editor-Flossie Arend Associate Publisher/European Bureau Chief-Ted Braun
Film Editor-Ralph Arend Special Assignments-Sabiha Arend, Emily Arend Advertising Sales-Judy Miller

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