|Vol. 14 No. 31||
Monday April 13, 2015
Later Jim Butler told
FlyingTypers, “Intermodal does a great job of bringing
together key decision makers across various aspects of the supply
chain in an energetic and engaging venue.
proposed takeover of TNT Express by Fed Ex would not take place until
2018, but it comes as the big integrator rides a strong dollar and tries
to do what UPS couldn’t.
UPS had tried a similar deal in January 2013 but stumbled against anti-trust challenges.
Recently FedEx has been on the acquisition trail again, having just completed integration of Pittsburgh-based GENCO, a third-party logistics (3PL) services provider specializing in product lifecycle and reverse logistics.
The €4.4 billion ($4.8 billion) deal was announced last Tuesday.
Troubled TNT has recently turned into an annual loser, booking its fourth consecutive year of losses in 2014. Its numbers were dragged down by Europe, where it earns the majority of revenues.
But what FedEx wants is TNT’s 12 percent market share and huge ground network of 40 countries to help Big Purple make up some market share against its bigger U.S. rival.
Currently, UPS has about 25 percent of the European market versus FedEx’s 10 percent.
A big aviation delegation from St. Louis, Missouri, met in Toluca, Mexico, last week and vowed to create a cargo pact between two airports.
St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay and Lambert Airport Director Rhonda Hamm-Niebruegge met with Governor of the State of Mexico Eruviel Ávila to announce an official partnership towards developing air cargo “with St. Louis as a key hub for Mexico’s International Exports and Imports,” the official press release stated.
The presser continues:
“The partnership would involve Toluca International Airport (TIA), which serves the largest industrial region in the country of Mexico.
“Lambert-St. Louis International Airport (STL) is the 31st busiest airport in the U.S. as ranked by Airports Council International-North America.”
Fairly impressive stuff . . . until we looked deeper.
Substantial parts of the Mexican airport system have been privatized, resulting in an occasionally maddening diversity of statistics reporting quality. Unfortunately, Toluca doesn't report annual cargo tonnage to Airports Council International, nor are those numbers available on the airport's website.
While we cannot determine how many tons the gateway moved in, say, 2013, one might reasonably assume that Toluca tonnage is less than any of Mexico's golden triangle of airports serving Mexico City, Guadalajara, and Monterrey (MTY).
For example, Mexico's number three cargo airport, MTY, moved 46,000 tons of air cargo in 2013.
Also, the claim that STL was “the #31 busiest airport” in the U.S. during 2014 should be considered carefully.
One can only imagine that ranking applies to passengers, although there is an unusual emphasis (here) for an air cargo effort.
In fact, by 2013, STL air cargo tonnage had nearly fallen out of the top 50 U.S. airports, positioning STL just below the airport in Omaha, Nebraska, and just ahead of Des Moines, Iowa.
While ACI hadn’t released at press time its top 50 for 2014, STL’s own website reported the airport’s year-on-year tonnage for 2014 had fallen almost 9 percent from the previous year.
It’s hard to imagine that STL moving up around 20 slots to number 31 in one year on the basis of a roughly 9 percent decrease, but it’s even more difficult to understand why a presser might wish to ignore that kind of cargo performance—even when the subject ostensibly is air cargo.
If all this sounds a bit familiar, we just need look back a couple years ago at a thwarted attempt to divert millions of state taxpayer dollars from social programs to the pockets of a well-connected real estate developer and political cronies in pursuit of an Aerotropolis scheme for Lambert St. Louis International Airport.
Among the lowlights of that effort was a memorandum of agreement signed with a rebranded company that somehow named itself Pan American Clipper Cargo, based in Brownsville, TX, just before that company's CEO, Robert Hedrick, was charged with child pornography.
Fast-forward to today and this current attempt to build business for aviation in St. Louis seems to avoid some missteps of the previous effort.
Hundreds of millions of public money have not been suggested, nor construction of tens of millions of square feet of warehouse “on spec.”
In the chronically misguided Aerotropolis scheme, perhaps the only beam of wisdom was the team’s recognition that the integrators would be of no help to non-hub STL’s efforts.
Yet this time the airport operator and politicos have chosen a second-tier Mexican airport anchored by FedEx.
It is reasonable to assume FedEx is not about to fly north, bypassing its own hubs.
As Toluca accounts (we can only guess) for less than 50,000 annual tons and FedEx is certainly a significant share of that tonnage, one reasonably wonders what potential upside sparks enthusiasm for this partnership?
"Completion of the program
will strengthen CAL’s position as a leader amongst a frontline
of carriers providing services for the Pharma sector," said Eyal
Zagagi, CEO of CAL Group, as it began IATA's Center of Excellence
for Independent Validators Pharmaceutical Logistics (CEIV Pharma)
certification program at Liege Airport.
“Network enhancements allow Swiss WorldCargo to expand its consistent offer of high-value and care-intensive solutions and meet our customers’ increasing demand for premium air cargo services in these diversified markets,” Ashwin Bhat, head of Global Area Management said as SWISS debuted its Summer 2015 services.
Right now Swiss WorldCargo is operating with additional capacity to North America and Asia, its two most important global markets, with additional opportunities to Chicago, San Francisco, Montreal, and Beijing.
Direct services to and from Zurich have been enhanced, adding airfreight capacity to and from Dresden, Gothenburg, Helsinki, Krakow, Leipzig, Ljubljana, Naples, Porto, Sofia, Thessaloniki, Toulouse, Riga, and Zagreb.
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