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   Vol. 14  No. 21
Monday March 9, 2015

Delta Cargo In The Race Ad

Can IATA Deliver A Better Idea?
     The People Speak . . . Unveiled March 1, 2015, a Mercedes-Benz car made of red bricks is the centerpiece at Red Town Creative Park in Shanghai.
     The artist, sculptor Dai Yun of Xi'an from the Shenzhen Public Art Center, designed the red brick car to represent something of the ambition of next gen Chinese people today. IATA World Cargo Symposium meets all this week in Shanghai.

     The IATA WCS event in Shanghai this week bespeaks an event advancing the thoughts and priorities of the "usual suspects."
     Familiar efforts by Andrew Herdman, Tony Tyler, Tom Windmuller, Oliver Evans, and others may lower expectations among some folks, showing that these guys might not have much new to say.
     But let’s not let the familiar setup dissuade us examining the useful sessions that really could bring some worthwhile dialogue to the fore. They are clear and distinct from the better-advertised speeches and roundtable events of the opening day.
     As usual, the brilliance of air cargo can be found in its people. Getting into sessions and networking can be a voyage of discovery.
     Once again, the problem with the sessions is their sheer number and a shared inability for attendees to be everywhere at once.
     So we’re offering an overview pre-sessions, with the promise of some more detailed reporting of the sessions to appear later.
     Lots of choices, and so little time . . .
     The IATA World Cargo Symposium 2015 will kick off on Tuesday, March 10, although a number of invitation-only sessions and tracks started as early as yesterday, Sunday, March 8.
     Apparently expectations are running high. On its event calendar, institutions such as CBAFF (Customs Brokers and Freight Fowarders Federation of NZ) describe—or rather, advertise—the WCS as an “action-packed event.”
     Certainly IATA understands that “business as usual” is no longer possible, not for IATA, and not for the majority of operators whose interests IATA represents, so this year’s motto—“Improving the Customer Experience”—seems to indicate changes there.
     It remains to be seen whether IATA will be able to balance the interests of their emerging and expanding members from the Middle East and Asia with the interests of their European and North American members. Whether IATA will be able to find a modus vivendi with the interest groups of other stakeholders such as FIATA and the ESC, reviving institutions such as GACAG aimed at driving processes in air cargo forward at this point, is an open question, so stay tuned.

WCS 2015 Speakers
When In China

     While the 2015 location is certainly owed to the fact that Shanghai is the largest continental Chinese cargo hub and China is currently the unchallenged driver of the worldwide air cargo business, it is also an inconvenient location for the majority of western attendees.
     This sends a clear signal that IATA wants to cater to the specific needs of the Chinese market, which is underlined by the first-ever occurrence of two tracks being rolled out in the Chinese language: “E-Cargo in China” and “China Logistical Challenges.”
     It also sends a signal to the Chinese authorities that IATA would like to be heard and recognized as the speaker of the air cargo industry in China.


Questions, Questions

     The question remains, however: is IATA answering yesterday’s questions with today’s answers?
     While China is still an important center of industrial production worldwide, numbers are shifting.
Examples are moving garment production to Bangladesh and Cambodia, IT to Thailand and Vietnam, and automotive to India.
     The plain fact is China has missed the mark in delivering protected patents and international copyrights and must deal with rising labor costs and ever increasing tariffs connected to all other manner of concern, including shipping.
     The result in some part is that a considerable number of businesses have shifted production back to locations closer to home, where the costs of quality control and logistics are considerably lower.
     Now Romania, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, and Poland, in the case of Europe, and Mexico and elsewhere in the case of the USA, are seeing large inputs of production, which, for one reason or another, can compete and win against China.


Language of Trade

     We have been thinking about those WCS tracks in Chinese.
     Since English is and will, for the foreseeable future, remain the language of trade, banking, and commerce, and since most issues with the East-West trade can be attributed to a lack of understanding on either side, running tracks in the Chinese language may send the wrong signals. Sooner or later the WCS will have to take place in Latin America, acknowledging the sustainable and organic growth of air cargo there. It will be interesting to see whether or not tracks in Spanish or Portuguese will be offered.
     What might be as interesting as the language at the aforementioned will be the translation of dialogue to the non-Chinese audience during the events.
     We would also love to see some hard-hitting questions from the audience directed toward the Chinese speakers.
     We news junkies live for that kind of breakthrough.


Day One As It Happens

     The first day of the WCS is dedicated to the overall topic of bettering the customer experience—an opening plenary where IATA promises “influential note speakers and expert analysis of industry and market performance,” one we imagine will whip the assembled air cargo executives toward the mantra of growth and borderless trade.
     Two additional plenary sessions “focusing on the customer experience and how we can and must improve the air cargo value proposition” will feature the omnipresent IATA Head of Cargo Glyn Hughes, both for starters and for closing.
     As said at the top, the opening plenary statements at IATA 2015 WCS appear fairly predictable.
     IATA Secretary General Tony Tyler will deliver his usual overview on the state of the industry.
Li Derun     Vice Administrator of CAAC and the “deputy mayor of Shanghai” Wang Zhiqing will offer welcome speeches.
     We wonder, if the Mayor of Los Angeles could be present at last year’s WCS, why this 2015 edition of the IATA air cargo annual was not important enough for the Mayor of Shanghai to put in a cameo?
     During the opening, Board Chairman for the Shanghai Airport Authority Li Derun (left) will preach to the faithful about “Shanghai, at the heart of today's air cargo industry.”
     In addition Secretary General of the World Customs Organization Kunio Mikuriya will discuss “Facilitating trade and smart regulations, working with the air cargo industry.”
 Julie Perovic     IATA Senior Economist Julie Perovic (right) will present the economic outlook: “Has the growth path returned?” which might endeavor to explain how IATA’s forecasts and predictions have been either behind the curve, or lacking any significant insight.
     What has become a regular but almost never very illuminating exercise at these events is allocating 15 minutes (11:35 to 11:50) to “The year in review: Did we deliver on promises made?”
     It will be interesting to see what the freshman IATA Head of Cargo Hughes can do beyond the spin control offered at several of the past IATA WCS sessions.


What Goes Around

     “Executive round table: Instruments for global and regional development” will feature another brief encounter with well-known protagonists on the air cargo stage. Moderated by Director General AAPA Andrew Herdman, the discussion will feature Tony Tyler, Secretary General WCO Kunio Mikuriya, and Deputy Director General WTO Xiaozhun Yi.
     “Improving air cargo – the customer’s view” will see IATA SVP Airports, Passenger, Cargo and Security (APCS) Tom Windmuller moderating a panel of shippers: Robert Mellin, head of Distribution Logistics, Ericsson; Chris Welsh, secretary general, Global Shippers Forum; and possibly Alex Xu, Associate Supply Chain director, Lilly Suzhou Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd (who as per agenda appears as “invited,” thus may be subject to replacement by another high-caliber IATA expert.)
     “Air Cargo 2015: what is the impact of key recent trends to the air cargo industry?” presented by SVP Seabury Group Marco Bloemen will determine how these trends affect everyone’s business—and truth be told, Mr. Bloemen, who hails from KLM, is a solid newsmaker and usually has something noteworthy to say.
     The last panel of the first day of WCS is probably what many people will remember because the media will be all over it.
     Titled “Matching supply and demand meeting customer expectations,” the session is a discussion moderated by SVP Cargo & Vice Chair TIACA Enno Osinga and panelists Oliver Evans, chief cargo officer Swiss World Cargo; James Woodrow, director Cargo Cathay Pacific Airways; and Michael Steen, CCO and EVP Atlas Air.


To Value WCS Or Not?

     For many attendees, day long meetings and sessions offered on both Wednesday and Thursday at WCS really get down to the nitty gritty, and these tracks can be the measure of the real value of IATA WCS 2015 and whether attending WCS 15 was worth it.

Nina Heinz, Joost van Doosburg, David Hoppin and Jim Marriott
     Jim Marriott, deputy director, Aviation Security and Facilitation, Air Transport Bureau, ICAO, will chair the “Security” track on Wednesday.
     Topics of this track include “Terrorism Is A Failed Brand,” “Risk To The Supply Chain And Trends to Watch,” “Imagine Global Cargo Security Driven By Communication: Why Security Of The Future Should Build Bridges Rather Than Walls.”
     The “Perishables” track, chaired by Global Head of Quality, LifeConEx DHL Nina Heinz will center on the pharma shippper’s experience.
     The “Supply Chain” track will be chaired by Joost Van Doesburg of the European Shipper’s Council and feature issues such as “Connecting China to Europe by Rail,” “Reopening the Silk Road to trade by road transport,” and “Digital supply network.” Judging from the topics planned, it looks like IATA could be planning to open itself up for membership by transcontinental rail operators.
     “Pushing Technology Boundaries” chaired by David Hoppin, CEO of DIIO might prove interesting—this is probably the only track where the customer experience is at the center of the action by means of data exchange and integration as well as an outlook what the future might bring.
     Still, a panel titled “Putting iPad on the Forklift” is probably not a proper justification for the WCS trip expenses . . .
     The “Regulations” track consolidates regulatory issues into one afternoon:
     “Challenges in the Global Implementation of Good Distribution Practices for Pharmaceutical Shipments,” “Why are Regulators removing security exemptions for mail and what are the consequences for airlines and other stakeholders?,” “Regulatory Requirements for Safe ULD Operations – A Global and Local Challenge,” “Single Windows/One Stop Border/Mutual Recognition Security Agreements – How difficult is it to achieve and is it worth the effort?,” and “How will the WTO Bali Trade Facilitation Agreement impact States from a regulatory perspective?”
Pichuiyer Balaraman     The fact that one can just decide to do all parts of the ULD Virtual track or something else is probably a pity—at least, ULD-wise, WCS was always an event well worth attending.
David Armbridge      The same can be said about the Dangerous Goods track.
     This year chaired by Pichuiyer Balasubramanian (lleft) of Emirates, the topics “Regulations on the Horizon,” “Fire Containment,” and “Risk Mitigation Strategies” as well as “Automation to improve the customer experience” cover where the industry’s interests currently reside.
     The “Operations and Handling Track,” chaired by David Ambridge, (right) GM Cargo, BFS, will cover a COAG’s Update (IATA Cargo Operations Advisory Group), a piece on Airmail and its future: e-Commerce, the mandatory piece about ULD operations, as well as Supply Chain Optimization.
Geoffrey

 

International Women's Day 2015

 

Living For This Time

     Attending a conference is a bit like being bombarded by weighty, projectile textbooks, except you’re expected to retain the information contained within the wordy missiles being lobbed at your bruised body. It can be overwhelming and draining, and will leave little of your will behind to do anything else. “Information is pain!” conferences grunt, and we nod our hanged heads and grimace against the onslaught.
     It’s unfortunate that traveling to the ends of the earth—a practice that should be enjoyed and seen as an opportunity to take in cultures and landscapes unknown—can be diminished to debarking a plane, crowding into an antiseptic hotel conference room, with its ubiquitous round tables and straight-back chairs, and busier carpets than our eyes can contend with, and listening to men and women behind gritty mics, delivering information that will inevitably be summed up and regurgitated elsewhere. Not that worthwhile information is absent, or that making business connections is unworthy, but rather that the grandeur and experience of exotic, unknown cities is so often swallowed by entrapment in the möbius strips of identical rooms furnished identically—are we in China? Brazil? France? It’s difficult to ascertain unless we venture outdoors and set a divergent destination, which again: who has time and energy for all of that? There is business to be done, and so museums, shops, theaters, and local culture will have to wait for next time, if there is a next time (just a head’s up—some might say living for ‘next time’ is no way to live at all).
Peninsula Shanghai Aviation Museum     So, if you’re currently in Shanghai absorbing the necessaries of this year’s IATA World Cargo Symposium, FlyingTypers would like to help you take in some local, aviation-themed flavor that won’t detract too terribly from the important business at hand.
     FlyingTypers has always felt the best avenue for appreciating a foreign locale is through your gut—no matter what else you might miss, you cannot avoid eating, so you might as well do as the Romans do and eat what they eat.
     Shanghai was once called “The Paris of the East,” (a title the city wishes to reclaim) and if there were ever an eternal truth about Paris, it’s that the food is divine.
Peninsula Shanghai Room     Opened in 2009, the Peninsula Shanghai is a wonderful excursion away from the conference scene, providing visitors with an easy and accessible opportunity to enjoy the local scenery all in one building. Straddled against a curve in the Bund, Shanghai’s historic waterfront area, the Peninsula Shanghai offers scenic views of the Huangpu River. The Peninsula Shanghai is the only hotel in Shanghai with its own customized car fleet, which includes four bespoke Extended Wheelbase Rolls-Royce Phantoms, six BMW Peninsula Editions, two MINI Cooper S Clubman, and a restored 1934 Rolls-Royce Phantom II, all finished in signature “Peninsula Green.”
     The Peninsula Shanghai is a tribute to the Art Deco era that came to exemplify “The Paris of the East.” When you visit, pay close attention to the lovingly-placed details celebrating the era—the radial spray of the panels above the elevators, with each arrowed sunray pointing to the numbered floors; the classic, bulbous typography of the Art Deco period; the tiered wedding cake chandeliers with their opaque glass.
     There are five dining experiences at the Peninsula Shanghai. If you aren’t in the mood for the local fare, you can visit Sir Elly’s Restaurant, where the business elite enjoy the finest in modern European food and children under the age of 3 are not welcome. Located on the thirteenth floor, Sir Elly’s has a moody atmosphere perfect for dinner, and offers floor to ceiling views of The Bund and the sparkling nightlife of Pudong in the middle distance. If the weather permits, venture just one floor up to Sir Elly’s Terrace, which is essentially an unused helipad with 270-degree views capturing the Huangpu River, Suzhou Creek, Garden Bridge, and the Pudong skyline. An outdoor bar lubricates visitors while DJ Jasmine Lee supplies the soundtrack for city views on the terrace.
     If you would like to experience the best of Shanghai cuisine, visit Yi Long Court on the second floor—there you will enjoy richly flavored local delicacies like Double-boiled wild bamboo fungus in matsutake clear broth, and a classic Roasted Peking Duck, among other dishes. We’re betting the house on Yi Long Court’s lunch fare, however, as they serve a modernized version of authentic Cantonese dim sum called the Five Fortunes Dim Sum Set. This is no ordinary dim sum—expect some surprises, like the fatty taste sensation of foie gras worked into dim sum, alongside more traditional ingredients like abalone and delectable Wagyu beef.
     If you require a mid-afternoon pick-me-up after the slog of the morning sessions, make your way to the ground floor Lobby, where the Peninsula’s famous Afternoon Tea takes place. A brighter, airier alternative to Yi Long Court and Sir Elly’s, the Lobby is infused with the green and golden light of midday, accented by two jade green wall murals by Hong Kong artist Helen Poon. A string quartet called The Lobby Strings provides the dulcet tones of a leisurely late afternoon. From 2-6pm an a la carte menu offers both the sweet and the savory, from chocolate and chestnut opera cakes to a truffled egg and cucumber roll—Yi Long Court is the best place to take in a small bite. In the evening, stop in for a quick drink and listen to the live jazz band that takes over the evening serenade. The nearby Compass Bar, however, provides more views of Pudong and is outfitted in shades of dark cherry and rich mahogany, and is perhaps better suited, in terms of ambiance, for a quick nightcap.
     Speaking of nightspots, if you’re still filled with robust energy even after a full day of conferencing, don’t miss Salon de Ning. Steeped in the glamour of the 1920s, Salon de Ning is presented like a socialite’s drawing room and was inspired by Madame Ning, a Shanghai socialite and world traveler whose New York City apartment dripped with antique and modern objects picked up in her travels. A consummate hostess, she presided over lively salons in her home, and as such Salon de Ning has a warm, homey feel that can be slipped into like a glove. Fair warning: Salon de Ning is only open from 8pm-1am, so this seductive spot is primed for a romantic excursion.
     A trip to the Peninsula Shanghai cannot be complete, however, without a visit to the Rosamonde Aviation Lounge—especially not with the aviation and cargo set. With an expansive collection of antiques and memorabilia celebrating Shanghai’s rich aviation history, including a lifesize replica of Asia’s first seaplane, the Leoning, perched like a temple guard at its entrance, the Rosamonde Lounge is a must-see.
     Located on the fourteenth floor, the Rosamonde Aviation Lounge is encased in glass, offering visitors spectacular views of the Pudong skyline. Named after the first aircraft designed and built in China, the Xianyi Rosamonde, the Rosamonde Aviation Lounge features a large world map showcasing the international routes pioneered by Imperial Airways and Pan Am, which connected Shanghai to the rest of the world in the 1930s. Much can be found of Pan Am and its affiliate CNAC (China National Aviation Corporation) inside the Rosamonde Lounge.
     Given that the entirety of a Shanghai experience can be found inside the walls of the Peninsula Shanghai, we see no reason not to pay the hotel a visit. An argument could be made for finding all your meals by shuffling through the Peninsula’s available options . . . you won’t hear a counter argument from us.
Flossie Arend



CNAC SignChina National Aviation Corporation (CNAC), in existence from, 1929–1949 moved from uncertain beginnings to remarkable successes as Asia’s first sustained commercial airline.
     Originally established as China Airways by Curtiss-Wright under the leadership of U.S. airline magnate Clement Melville Keys, in 1933, after a series of disastrous accidents and disagreements with Chinese leader Chiang Kai-shek, Keys sold the company to Pan American Airways, which operated the airline until 1949.
     For two decades CNAC pioneered air operations over much of the world’s most challenging terrains, including a route system over the Himalayas, a notorious area between India and China known as “the Hump.” Daring to fly at extreme altitudes through all types of harsh weather conditions, the skilled and adventurous pilots of CNAC established an aerial lifeline to China.
     The company’s achievements occurred in the midst of—and were dramatically influenced by— a period of continuous political upheaval and wartime conditions throughout the region.

CNAC photos


The Story Of The DC-2

CNAC Captains     Of all the stories we like to tell about China National Aviation Corporation (CNAC), our favorite goes back to the spring of 1941, when a CNAC DC-3 was flying schedules between Hong Kong and Chungking and received word by radio that Japanese fighters were in the area.
     The pilot hurriedly set the aircraft down in a field near Kiuchuan and the crew sprinted for cover.
     Moments later, a flight of Japanese Zeroes swooped down and sprayed the DC-3 with machine gun fire.
     When the shooting was over, the plane's fuselage was riddled with bullet holes, and one wing had been completely blasted off.
     The plane's captain, H.L. Woods, radioed back to the CNAC base. “The plane's a wreck,” Woods reported, “but if we can get a new wing, I think I can fly her out of here.”
     Captain Charlie Sharp, an American pilot flying for the CNAC, takes the story from there:
     “The hell of it was, we didn't have a spare DC-3 wing, and we didn't know where to get one.
     “We did, however, have a spare DC-2 wing. It was five feet shorter, and it wasn't designed to support the loads of the DC-3—but we thought it just might work.”
     So they bolted the DC-2 wing to another DC-3’s underbelly and flew it above the 900 miles of mountainous terrain to Kiuchuan. Like a salamander regrowing a limb, one side was comically shorter than the other. They called her the DC-2.
Loening      Later, an actual DC-2 flew in a replacement wing strapped beneath the fuselage of the airliner and the aircraft was a DC-3 once again.
     This air-freight arrangement was used several times later in the war to salvage downed aircraft.CNAC’s personnel continuously operated and adapted its air services during civil war, invasion, occupation, world war, and revolution.
     In opening the skies over China and beyond as a carrier of passengers, airmail, and cargo, CNAC became an important strategic asset during a time of great conflict.
     CNAC was visionary in its innovative solutions, fortitude, and resourcefulness.
     At its inception, against what must have seemed almost insurmountable odds, the men and women of CNAC pushed the power of air transport to its very limits in the service of others.


Moon Fun ChinSaga Of Moon Fun Chin

     One of CNAC’s first Chinese pilots and most engaging characters, pilot Moon Fun Chin, remains relatively unknown and barely remembered today. Capt. Chin (still with us) was responsible for evacuating Jimmy Doolittle from China after his historic “30 Seconds Over Tokyo” raid in 1942.
     According to Smithsonian historian Greg Crouch, “the apparently unflappable Chin told a skeptical Doolittle to relax and ride as a passenger, as he stuffed the last of 66 other passengers onto the same CNAC flight:
     ‘Calm down Major.
     ‘I, Moon Chin, know how much people a DC-3 can carry, and this one can carry sixty-six.’
     And as it happens, Chin didn't know he had six others riding as stowaways in the tail,” but the plane made it out of harm’s way, and within a few weeks Doolittle was in the Oval Office receiving The Congressional Medal of Honor from President Franklin D. Roosevelt.
     The legend of the China National Aviation Corporation continues to inspire.
     Currently there is an excellent and sentimental retrospective of CNAC on display at the San Francisco Museum through April 15, 2015.
     Today CNAC is a fully owned subsidiary of the state-owned aviation holding company China National Aviation Holding in the People's Republic of China, possessing a majority of Air China and Air Macau.
     But that is another story altogether . . .
Geoffrey


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