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   Vol. 15  No. 14
Wednesday February 17, 2016

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ULI The Quiet Man Of Air Cargo

“Speak softly and carry a big stick,” said Theodore Roosevelt, arguably one of the greatest presidents in United States history.

     We were thinking about TR while watching Uli Ogiermann as he sat mostly silent at an October press conference at Qatar Airways in Doha. His repose continued later at the meeting room table while Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, His Excellency Mr. Akbar Al Baker fielded reporters’ questions.
     A decent and thoughtful man, Uli’s “big stick” is that he is, in reality, one of the real heavyweights in the international air cargo business. Smart and straightforward, he is the real deal out on the line and up in the boardroom, where he prefers to let action replace words. He leads by example, is inspiring by actions taken.

Uli Ogiermann


     Uli has served this business for most of his life, in many capacities, and for its betterment: for a period of time, he was president of The International Air Cargo Association (TIACA) and was a major driver of the organization’s rapid growth and influence during the last decade of the 20th century.
     In 2015 as Vice President Cargo at Qatar Airways Cargo, Uli literally has a tiger by the tail as the airline from Doha by any measure is a wunderkind of aviation that has witnessed the rapid rise of carriers nobody ever heard of before 2000 from gateways even lesser known.
     In 2015 as Vice President Cargo at Qatar Airways, Uli has a tiger by the tail. Qatar Airways is a wunderkind of aviation, emerging from an area of the world that has witnessed the rapid rise of obscure carriers from gateways even lesser known.
     As top executive of one of the fastest growing air cargo businesses in the world, one might expect Uli would have had more to say at October’s meeting, but the room was small and oxygen was in short supply, so he just sat smiling as “The Chief,” His Excellency Al Baker, handled the reporters.
     As we sat face to face at the table and The Chief spoke, occasionally I would look at Uli and catch a broad smile on his face. He was someone in the moment and loving every second of it.
     It was the first big press conference Qatar Cargo had ever hosted.
     It might have been a coming-out party of sorts for the Doha air cargo enterprise, but what Qatar brought to the festivities sure looked and sounded like a winner.
     Later we caught up with Uli, who has such a kind and expressive face that mirrors exactly what he is thinking. He was still smiling as he openly shared the steps that had been taken to propel the Qatar Airways Cargo enterprise during the past three years and the express-rocket ride to the top in international FTKs.
     “Qatar Cargo is where it is today through commitment and vision—according to the latest IATA international FTK figures, we are now the third largest international cargo airline in the world.
     “This is phenomenal growth considering just five years ago we were only in 16th place.
     “With new aircraft joining our fleet and new destinations launching in the near future, we are committed to continuing our growth and expansion.
     “By 2017, we will have 21 aircraft in our dedicated cargo fleet, and our passenger fleet is predicted to grow to 200 aircraft by the end of 2016.
     “The launch of new passenger destinations will also increase our belly hold capacity to cities such as Durban, which will be flown by a B787, and Sydney, which will be flown by a B777, both giving 40 tonnes of additional cargo space.”


Building For Tomorrow

     “To support our growth, we recently announced that we will be constructing a second Cargo Terminal, which is set to open in 2018 and will more than double the capacity of our current operation at the hub in Doha.
     “At Qatar Airways Cargo we maintain a high level of flexibility so that we can adapt to market trends and fluctuations, and there is always room for partnerships to reach those places where we don’t fly in order to optimize our network.
     “We are also committed to investing in improved technology, which will result in cost savings that we will pass on to clients.”


Trained For This Moment In Time

     Uli Ogiermann studied economics in Frankfurt and holds a doctorate in economics from Goethe-University, Frankfurt.
     “I started in aviation with the Lufthansa Group at Lufthansa Cargo.
     “Thereafter, I worked for Cargolux where I held the position of president and CEO before joining Qatar Airways Cargo in 2012.”


Getting Into The Mix

     “At Qatar Airways Cargo 86 percent of our traffic is transit and freedom, 13 percent is imports into Doha, and 1 percent is exports from Doha.”
     “For high-value goods, fashion, pharmaceuticals, urgent shipments, and time-sensitive cargo, air is still the preferred choice of transport.
     “When it comes to speed, reliability, and maintaining lean production lines, air cargo wins hands down.
     “For customers who are more flexible with their delivery deadline, ocean freight can be an option,” Uli said.


Partners Are Key

     “Freight forwarders and agents play an important role in our sales and marketing planning. To attract new customers and retain the existing ones, our customers need to know who we are, what we do, and why they should choose us over another carrier; forwarders and agents play a key role in disseminating that message. The forwarders are our partners and we work closely with them to develop the best relationship for each of our segments. We maintain close relationships with our partners and we identify those with which we see the potential for growth on both sides.
     “Those shippers backed by a strong freight forwarder will get proper advice on the best modes of transport for their business, while those with smaller forwarders may not have such good supply chain advice and would therefore be less familiar.
     “Both price and service are important to our customers. It is an extremely competitive industry so price is always an important factor, but as the whole industry makes an effort to improve service levels to differentiate air cargo and to justify its place on the supply chain, service is more important than ever.      Cargo customers have a choice, so all things being equal they choose the cargo service that they most trust.
     “We have many different levels of pricing within our portfolio of specialized products, which includes QR Fresh, QR Pharma, QR Equine, and more. Certain products offer specific services such as a money back guarantee and higher loading priority, but our service promise in terms of FAP/FAB extends to the whole product range.
     “We are engaged in on-going dialogue with our customers in order to understand their expectations and needs, and to offer them reliable services that optimize cost and operational efficiencies across their supply chain.”


Challenges Ahead

     “All macro economic downturns affect air cargo, and we need to monitor it to react to events like this year’s drop in demand.
     “It’s a dynamic industry that will always benefit from new technology, but also be challenged by it. At the moment it’s common to hear about 3D printing, mode shift, security, in shoring, and new modes of air lift (i.e., blimps) as business threats, but none of these are existential dangers. Air cargo serves a specific function in the supply chain and as long as we keep offering an affordable, efficient, and reliable service, this will remain the case.”


Qatar Paperless Air Cargo

     “Qatar Airways was one of the first airlines to implement single process (www.qrcargo.com/singleprocess) for its network last year, and with this service support we have 75 percent of our global customer shipments flown under the e-AWB process, and this is growing. We support IATA’s e-initiatives thoroughly by being part of the station level working group, promoting the multilateral e-AWB agreement with agents, and participating in the various special regional IATA projects such as the recent e-AWB 360 project. We will continue with our efforts in this direction not only to improve internal efficiencies and processes and improve customer services, but also to contribute towards a common goal of doing maximum paperless transactions.
     “We currently have 87 Qatar Airways stations e-AWB-optimized for export transactions and we were recently successful in executing an e-freight process in several of those stations.
     “The drive toward paperless air freight is showing tremendous progress. Looking at IATA facts, there are 90 airlines, 2,500+ freight forwarders, and 4,600-plus agency affiliates who have joined the multilateral e-AWB agreement, which is laying the basic foundation to move towards a paperless future for the air cargo industry.
     “The World Customs Organization (WCO), which has 180 member countries and manages more than 98 percent of world trade, completely supports usage of electronic information and is pushing its member states for single window clearances, which in turn paves the way for e-freight.”


Cargo Reimagined From The Ground Up

     “Hamad International Airport’s cargo terminal has a capacity to process 1.4 million tons of cargo per year. The two-floor cargo facility incorporates warehouse spaces, automated systems, retrieval systems, offices, and shops.
     “The split-level facility covers 55,000 square meters, with 11 wide-body freighter aircraft stands and 42 airside loading docks.
      “Additionally, 31 landside truck-loading facilities enable the swift and efficient transfer of cargo. With advanced scanning technology it enhances the complete safety and security of the facility, its staff, and cargo.
     “According to a recent BMI report, the Qatari economy will continue to expand at a rapid pace over the next few years supported by infrastructure spending and strong population increases. The non-hydrocarbons economy will propel growth, with construction activity and the services sector set to remain the dominant performers.
     “Qatar Airways Cargo is well placed to support the freight requirements locally and internationally. Our recent announcement of a second cargo terminal has been very well received. The new facility, which is scheduled to open in 2018, will offer three million tonnes capacity annually, bringing the combined capacity of terminal 1 and 2 to 4.4 tons annually with the potential to grow to 7 million tons in the future.”


Own It

Qatar Cargo Video     “Doha has established itself as a global hub. The country has invested in significant infrastructure projects and aspires to become a world-recognized logistical center with the development of free trade and logistics zones expanding.
     “The Middle East is benefitting from the stability of traffic flows from east to west and increased demand for perishable products to the rapidly expanding consumer population in the GCC countries.      “Multiple large construction projects as well as the oil and gas industry in Qatar ensure heavy demand for import flows. Qatar Airways Cargo is perfectly positioned at the brand new Hamad International Airport with its state-of-the-art facilities to capitalize on this.
     “We also always have to keep in mind that an important part of air cargo service quality occurs on the ground. Managing the export acceptance, the import delivery, and timely transport of shipments each year is an operational challenge. Therefore, we are constantly on the watch for ways to improve our service and operational capabilities. Qatar Airways Cargo has always had a strong vision, helping it chart a clear path forward in a changing market. This approach in tandem with continuous investments in new technologies, automation, products, and services as well as resources has enabled us to distinguish our business and stay ahead despite volatile market dynamics.”


Carrying Pharma For Example

     “We saw significant growth in this area last year, and this is continuing at an even faster rate in 2015. QR Pharma is now available in 58 destinations worldwide and we have invested heavily in infrastructure for time- and temperature-sensitive goods. This is best demonstrated by our reefer vehicles, which meet every flight in Doha, ensuring the cool chain process is seamless and thereby eliminating risk to temperature exposure.
     “The pharmaceutical industry is witnessing rapid growth every year, and with rising demand there is the need to ensure that pharmaceuticals and healthcare products are transported with the utmost care while avoiding any temperature fluctuations. Speed and temperature play a crucial role in the transportation of these products and we make sure that they are handled expertly throughout their journey. We adhere to the IATA regulations for carriage of pharmaceuticals.
     “Innovation drives new solutions. This year, the Va-Q-tec container technology was introduced—a new QR Pharma advanced passive transportation method that complements Qatar Airways Cargo’s existing Envirotainer and CSafe active containers to offer customers a flexible airfreight solution.
     “We’ve seen a 150 percent increase in pharmaceutical tonnages compared to last year.
     “Our Pharma Express routes provide dedicated uplift to the pharmaceutical industry. This is unique. We are the only airline in the world that offers dedicated scheduled flights for pharmaceuticals.
     “The main features of this product at the hub are the use of reefer vehicles on the ramp that collect and deliver directly to and from the aircraft, totally eliminating ramp exposure—we are the only carrier in the Middle East to offer this service at our hub. Our pharma service incorporates temperature-controlled handling and storage at the HIA Cargo Terminal in the appropriate temperature zones, 64 temperature-controlled cells for units requiring precise temperature, the fastest airline transfer at Doha through its Quick Ramp Transfer (QRT) solution, and a dedicated climate control team.”
Geoffrey


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ICAO ANC Will Outlaw Lithium

     The Associated Press reported on Wednesday, February 10th, that ICAO’s Air Navigation Commission, (ANC), has recommended the introduction of an outright ban on rechargeable Lithium Ion batteries transported as shipments (UN 3480) on passenger aircraft.
     The decision on the ban is to be made by the ICAO Council later this month and could go into effect as early as April 1st, 2016, sources say.


Hart To Heart Of Lithium Cargo

     “The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) urges the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration to take action on safety recommendations to reduce the likelihood and severity of potential cargo fires and to provide additional time for the crew to safely land a cargo aircraft in the event a fire is detected,” said NTSB Chairman Christopher A. Hart as NTSB issued new safety recommendations about Lithium Batteries on aircraft this past Tuesday.
     “The NTSB wants shippers to physically separate lithium batteries from other flammable hazardous materials stowed on cargo aircraft and to establish maximum loading density requirements that restrict the quantities of lithium batteries and flammable hazardous materials,” Mr. Hart said.
     These recommendations are the result of the July 28, 2011, investigation into the in-flight fire and crash of Asiana Airlines Flight 991, which went into the sea near Jeju International Airport.
     “Lithium batteries carried as cargo can be a fire and explosion ignition source, a source of fuel to an existing fire, and subjected to overheating that can create an explosive condition,” NTSB said.
     “PHMSA generally cannot issue regulations or enforce requirements for the safe transportation of lithium cells and batteries that are more restrictive than international regulations,” Mr. Hart said.
     “But Congress has given PHMSA authority to do so if it finds credible evidence of a deficiency in the international regulations that has substantially contributed to the start or spread of an on-board fire.
     “The NTSB strongly believes the circumstances and findings in the Asiana Flight 991 accident show the need for new cargo segregation and loading density requirements,” the NTSB Chairman concluded.
     Some industry experts who spoke to FlyingTypers on the condition of anonymity find it both curious and a bit puzzling that IATA has taken a pro-lithium position in light of growing evidence that either severe restriction or the move to completely ban pure Lithium battery shipments is growing daily in the transportation business.
     IATA has been quoted as favoring lithium shipments, insisting regulators should not “penalize high quality manufacturers and fully compliant shippers” but should apply “the full force of the law upon substandard manufacturing and noncompliance with the dangerous goods regulations.”


Rejected Batteries In Circulation

     Rules and regulations notwithstanding, here is a scenario that is a real eye opener.
     A representative of a large battery manufacturer explained to FT that “as many as 30 percent of our batteries manufactured in China do not meet our own stringent product safety criteria and are therefore not approved for release by our quality control.
     “Apparently,” the source said, “there have been cases where the local contractor tasked with disposal of the rejected batteries has sold the batteries—still bearing our genuine manufacturing logo and marks—on the grey market in the Chinese Pearl River Delta, from where they have most likely been shipped elsewhere,” the source concluded.
     While the manufacturer acted in good faith and followed all regulatory requirements, apparently there are batteries in circulation which are not counterfeit but still do not meet the applicable criteria, and which can not be outwardly distinguished from the batteries which met the manufacturer’s criteria.
Jens



Arafa Goes Global
“We are pleased to welcome Alexander Arafa as our Head of Global Area Management,” said SWISS Head of Cargo Ashwin Bhat. Mr. Arafa has moved to the position Ashwin occupied before he assumed top command of SWISS World Cargo last year.
    “Alexander’s strong commercial expertise and vast experience and personality will perfectly complement our current skill set and Swiss World Cargo culture,” Ashwin assures.
    Mr. Arafa, 55, will be in charge of the worldwide sales of Swiss World Cargo.
    A German/Egyptian dual national, he began his airline career 33 years ago in Hamburg as an accounting analyst with Northwest Airlines.
    He later worked with Olympic Airways and American Airlines before joining Lufthansa in 1993 as its General Manager Sales & Distribution USA, based in New York.
    Mr. Arafa moved through Swissair to his most recent position as Head of Cabin Crew in 2008 after having served as Head of Sales Europe since 1993.
Geoffrey
Air Cargo News 40th Anniversary Issue
 


chuckles for February 16, 2016

LettersRE: When LAX Landed The Beatles

Dear Geoffrey,

   What an excellent selection of materials, and so very well written.
   Thank you for brightening up my morning, it brought me back to an exciting and innocent time in life.

With best regards,
Terry Holman
Administrative Assistant to RVP and RSM, Americas,Virgin Atlantic

 

RE: A Schiphol Enigma

Hi Geoffrey,

   You always write so nicely about everything and everyone, so I hope you'll write something about my friend (and old boss) Jos van der Woensel.
   As you know, Jos died 5 years ago in 2011.
   Saw the FlyingTypers article last week with John Vuursteen detailing the Sequoia Tree at SPL Oost, and John mentioned Jos, his colleague at Seaboard World Airlines.
   Think Jos deserves a nice little story, don't you?
   And who can write that better than you?
   Thanks for all you do,

Mirjam Zijtregtop
Netherlands


Dear Mirjam,

   Thanks for the letter.
   As usual, our readers are our inspiration.
   Below, following all the love we can muster during this “Valentine's Week,” is our story written in June 2010 about Jos.
   We got to know Jos and his wonderful wife, Truss, and then almost as quickly, Jos died. We felt the deep sadness and loss as if someone from our family had been abruptly taken.
   Thanks again for reminding us what wonderful people we have grown to know in this lifetime of covering the global air cargo community.

All good wishes,
Geoffrey


Reprinted from FlyingTypers June 7, 2010

My Friend In Holland


A Warsaw summer afternoon from Polska 1963.

     My friend in Holland, Jos van der Woensel, is currently in the fight of his life.
     Dutch-born van der Woensel spent 18 years as an air cargo GSA for a company he started called Zygene EFC bv.
     Prior to that time, Jos was part of the famed “Foreign Legion” and was a disciple of Al Levinson at Seaboard World Airways.
     Later, Jos would build a solid reputation at Pan Am Clipper Cargo.
     After Pan Am fell and went out of business, Jos moved into his fortune-making role as an air cargo GSA. His first account as GSA was LOT Polish Airlines.
     He retired in 2005 after selling his company.
     That same year, he met the great photographer, Peter Schumacher, and the duo created a landmark coffee table picture book, “Polska 1963.”
     It served as a complete time capsule capturing another era and represented a masterful collection of great people caught in sensitive, emotional pictures depicting everyday life – at the market, sunbathing on the now vanished Wisla beaches at Warsaw and Krakow, and generally enJoying life despite the turbulent political circumstances.
     As an homage to a great people and created with a beautiful master’s touch, “Polska 1963” is at once uplifting and should be treasured now as this country emerges as the true geographical center of Europe.
     So it is that later in life, Jos became this most accomplished photographer and writer. He has even contributed some writing for Air Cargo News/FlyingTypers, like the wonderful story “A Tree Grows at Schiphol” written about a Redwood tree that was planted at Schiphol Airport by Seaboard Cargo people in 1969 and still stands today.
     Jos is able to translate exactly what he sees into pictures that transform those minute things that most would outright dismiss, creating dramatic montages with a level of detail and sweep that reminds me of the movie director Sergei Eisenstein.
     But now, doctors have discovered that Jos is suffering from a terrible cancer that challenges him in almost every way possible, sapping all but his spirit.
     For the past few months we have received short and very brave updates from Jos, like the one that came this Saturday:
     “Last Thursday/Friday I was again at the Academic Hospital for further in-depth tests and the outcome was again non-conclusive but more-over, in some ways, not too good either.
     “For that reason, the Medical Team did decide to operate on me again this Tuesday (June 8) and try to remove 2 or 3 of the neck-tumors to match them with the last removals a week ago.
     “The result of these tests will take most of the next coming weeks, so don't worry if you do not hear from me until the end of June.
     “Hope to get back to you all after my coming operation, with hopefully some good news.
     “I am still in a fighting spirit; reading, writing, filming and photographing like in the old days.
     “As Churchill once said (with a little twist of my own):
     "We will fight it on the oceans, we will fight it on the beaches; in the streets and in the squares; we will fight, but we will Never Surrender!"
     Jos is standing up and facing the demon.
     His outlook has deepened our appreciation of the strength and power of the human spirit.
     We often ponder over the passing scene in these editions, recalling people we once knew moving out of air cargo and our lives.
     Rarely can we truly share these moments and celebrate the experiences of a very brave man.
     Jos encourages and inspires us, and we want him to know that.
     Let it be said that air cargo takes care of its own.
Geoffrey


If You Missed Any Of The Previous 3 Issues Of FlyingTypers
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Vol. 15 No. 10
Recharge Lithium In 2016

Hope Floats
In The Picture
Chuckles For February 3, 2016
Regarding Pete Spaulding
Mardi Gras Know What It Means
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Drones Outnumber Airplanes

Can't We Talk It Over?
Chuckles For February 10, 2016
Etihad Into The Light

Recharge Lithium SoC

FT020316
Vol. 15 No. 12
When LAX Landed The Beatles

AFKLMP Pharma Celebrate CEIV
Chuckles For February 12, 2016
Coo Coo For Keukenhof Returns

Publisher-Geoffrey Arend Managing Editor-Flossie Arend
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