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   Vol. 15  No. 29
Sunday April 10, 2016

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FIATA's Era With Chairman Zhao

Make no mistake about it, China is still the place everybody wants to be: it’s home to the world's second largest economy and is the world's number one exporter.
     Often when there is talk about China’s logistics (in the west, at least), the conversation will center on international firms, including leading brand names like FedEx, UPS, DHL, and others.
     Today at 18.6 percent (or $1.6 trillion annually), China accounts for the world's biggest logistics action, with growth of over 20 percent in just the past 4 years for a compounded annual growth rate of 6.69 percent.
     We were privileged as part of our being named as FIATA Fellow last month in Zurich to sit down with Zhao Huxiang, who serves as Chairman of SINOTRANS and is also the current President of FIATA.
     If you are not aware of SINOTRANS, you should be.
     The China state-owned company was founded in 1950. Headquartered in Beijing, People's Republic of China, it is the largest logistics company in China.
     With more than 50,000 employees and growth into every facet of logistics at home and around the world, SINOTRANS is a great example of why the Chinese logistics market is the biggest in the world.
     Not only is the market huge, but also the infrastructure for supporting logistics companies is top notch.
     SINOTRANS includes air and sea freight forwarding, shipping, storage, terminal and supply chain operations, and a menu of services that match and even exceed those of its international competitors.
     In fact, according to Armstrong & Associates, a supply chain market research and consulting firm, SINOTRANS ranks among the top 10 third party logistics providers in the world.
     Perhaps more importantly, SINOTRANS is doing well despite the global economic downturn.
     SINOTRANS’ margins continue to head straight up, with an estimated net profit margin of 4.75 percent for 2015, an uptick from the previous margin of 3.14 percent.

FIATA Windfall

     Kudos to FIATA! The organization hit 90 years in 2016 and landed SINOTRANS Chairman Mr. Zhao Huxiang as FIATA President.
     How this distinguished gentleman is able to serve his giant company and also shoulder the global responsibilities of the Presidency of FIATA—the largest trade association representing freight forwarding and logistics firms along with affiliated national associations in the world—is simply something at which to marvel. The unique chance to go one-on-one with the man himself revealed just how he gets everything done.
     We sat in a small, comfortable room in downtown Zurich as FIATA was meeting in various sessions.
     Just behind our table, over our shoulders, there was another table of men talking vigorously and hunched over maps and charts.
     I asked Chairman Zhao who they were, and he smiled and said:
     “We (SINOTRANS) are awaiting the day when we can send railroad trains full of cargo from China to Europe.
     “Our experience is that the service works quite well; in fact, we started it up two years ago.
     “But because of the many borders to cross and various regulations, the service has not been popular.
          “For rail sector, better procedures and transparency can improve efficiency. And also the sector needs to lower cost and enhance its competitiveness compared to sea transport.
     “So here in Zurich with FIATA is the opportunity to work up some ideas and plans with our partners that will enable top level meetings—set for this May in Shenzhen—aimed at eventually establishing a workable rail service between China and Europe.
     “You know, 90 percent of my business is focused on international trade.
     “As China continues to open up there is much at stake in finding better ways to work with the rest of the world,” the Chairman insisted.

Mr. Zhao Quote

Getting Ready For Midterm

     Actually, Zhao Huxiang is approaching the mid-term of his two-years as FIATA President, having been elected into office last September.
     He will continue his Presidency in 2016 during the organization’s milestone 90th Year Celebration.
     “FIATA welcomes everybody in spirit and cooperation.
     “I am not an airfreight man, but rather someone from a shipping company.
     “It might be difficult to imagine how a Chinese man became President of FIATA, but the organization is truly international and global in scope and is well prepared and most importantly in touch with the world market of today and tomorrow,” Mr. Zhao said.
     “I became involved with FIATA a decade ago via membership and my eventual move as Chairman of the Chinese International Freight Forwarder Association.
     “In China today there are more than 35,000 registered freight forwarding companies,” Mr. Zhao said.

Goals and Vision

     “I think we can provide more and better services, clearer guidelines to better cooperation, and best practices for our membership and the logistics industry.
     “We have people here at our meetings that came from all over the world and yes, as far away as China, to meet and try to find better ways to (for example) handle and guarantee safe movement of dangerous goods.
     “There are very complex issues and much is at stake here.
     “But the FIATA venue and spirit of détente that prevails amongst our membership and guests is quite a credit to everyone here.
     “FIATA is dialogue and cooperation and impartial at its base, and that affords the opportunity to look into many complex challenges and find solutions.
     “Our solutions and cooperation connect the world. In the case of China, these connections are vital to the rest of the world.
     “For example, my company relies on FIATA to provide us the middle ground to meet and get to know the rest of the world.
     “That is why it is such an honor and pleasure to work with and now be among the leadership of this great organization,” Zhao Huxiang said.

Some Other Place

     You spend some time with FIATA members and realize you are someplace else.
     The best way to describe the atmosphere at their meetings is that they are quite cordial.
     FIATA maintains as close to a diplomatic atmosphere amongst its members and their dealings with each other as exists anywhere today.
     I recall working on a start-up newspaper for the United Nations in New York, prior our move to air cargo.
     Having spent some years reporting daily to the UN Plaza, I instantly recognize the feeling of genteel, civilized behavior, universal greetings, and smiling encounters. It’s how FIATA does business.
     Mr. Zhao may be not exactly typical of many executives (after all, who else is boss to 50,000 people?) but his warmth, zeal, and absolute brilliance is mirrored in the faces of the people at FIATA meetings.
     “The 55th FIATA World Congress takes place in the Convention Center in Dublin, Ireland, from October 3-8,” Mr. Zhao said.
     “Hosted by The Irish International Freight Association (IIFA), everyone is invited to a program that promises an inspiring mix of engaging speakers and collaboration-based workshops, exploring new trends in global logistics, best practices, trading opportunities and technological innovations,” Mr. Zhao said.
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League Of Extraordinary Women

     Sometimes a great story comes up and bites you on the fanny.
     During an early February ‘hour of power’ inside Delta Airlines headquarters in Atlanta, we spoke to six women with different air cargo jobs and were delighted to discover the brilliance, dedication, and sense of teamwork at the carrier.
     Our format was unorthodox, with a set up that included the proviso:
     “Assume the reader will allow you just a few minutes to tell your story . . . what would you like them to know?”
     Each of these powerful women sat with me, one after another, to answer a few questions, and their responses were delivered in a relaxed, confident manner, clear as a ringing bell.
     And how did I feel after that experience?
     What a wake up call!
     I discovered some different voices in air cargo, all of which just happen to be women. These women are not only ready for their close-up, they’re also well onto writing a team playbook for air cargo leadership in the present and future.

Teaming Up With Kristen

Kristen Shovlin and Geoffrey Arend     Somebody once said a “rising tide lifts all boats.”
     Delta Airlines Vice President Commercial Operations Kristen Shovlin began her career at DL 30 years ago and admits that even today in 2016, there is “rarely a dull moment.” Keeping track of several vital teams at Delta Cargo requires not only a good sense of navigation, but also a keen eye on the horizon.
     “I began as a reservation agent but today really love air cargo and the challenges, which include looking after several vital teams that report to me,” she said.
     “It’s all about keeping track and working closely with Ray (Curtis, Delta Cargo Chief),” Kristen said.
     “I work with some truly professional people that run the gamut of our product offering, including our team which provides servicing and support for our B2B products.
     “We also keep close touch with our key customers via the DL Cargo agent group.
     “Part of my time addresses our marketing and sales group; it can be quite stimulating thinking into various creative plans and strategies. “I also look after the activities of our Data and Analytics and Innovation Team, and also spend some time with Training and Development,” Kristen Shovlin said.
     “No there are not personal favorites as such,” Kristen smiles, “my takeaway is addressing each function with support for every other activity at Delta Cargo.”
     “Air cargo is fascinating and complex, and not for the faint of heart.
     “The cargo business challenges you beyond expectation and is never dull.
     “Cargo is all about customer value.”

Kristin Colvile & The Bottom Line

Kristin Colvile     After spending some time with Delta in Atlanta, one discovers there are several people that continued their careers after starting at Northwest Airlines.
     That includes many who furthered their careers alongside the last big boss at NWA, the illustrious Richard Anderson, who has served as CEO of Delta since the merger of the two carriers on October 29, 2008.
     Kristin Colvile has been with the company 23 years. During this time, she has worked in Hong Kong in charge of Passenger Marketing for Northern Asia for Northwest, which meant going toe-to-toe and winning market share during a tough and competitive Japanese market.
     NWA operated the largest USA flag combination carrier fleet of main deck B747F all-cargo freighters to and from the USA and mainland Japan and onto to the rest of Asia.
     An internationalist, it’s little wonder that in 2016 Kristen fits quite comfortably as Delta Cargo’s Managing Director of Revenue Management & Sales Development, responsible for planning and strategy, capacity inventory, sales development, and alliances.
     “The airline industry has allowed me the opportunity to develop my interests and skills at the same time via a varied menu of occupations,” Kristin said.
     “I worked in an offshore reservations call center in Singapore, served as a manager in Amsterdam, and handled revenue management of USA domestic passengers.
     “Having seen quite a mixture of situations and people in my experience, I can say the Delta team seems to like each other. People here are always willing to help.
     “My job is to bring focus to customers and related operational performance.
     “The team at Delta makes air cargo look better every day.”

Miriam BarryMiriam Doesn’t Phone It In

     Miriam Altmann-Barry has worked at Delta Cargo for the better part of the past year and has direct responsibility of a team that spends all day and night talking to the public. She is the overseer of not one, but two Delta Call Centers.
     “Delta Cargo is 100 percent dedicated to customer service, no excuses,” Miriam said.
     “We learned by operating the NWA ‘Elite Desk’ in Minneapolis—a pioneering effort in dedicated customer service—to train people to always directly address the needs of different types of customers and to always keep it personal.
     “Our 135 people in two call centers are on the line for the best service in air cargo every day,” Miriam declared.

Won’t You Come Home Bonita Bailey?

Bonita Bailey     Bonita Reynolds Bailey comfortably moved into her current and absolutely vital position as General Manager Revenue Planning and Analysis in mid April 2015.
     She came to Delta having spent 14 years in finance, and although she majored in Business Management at Howard University and worked at The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) in the Statistics Department, Bonita has had an interesting and varied career. Bonita also worked in North Carolina for US Airways as her first airline job in 1997.
     “I must admit, with several options in life, I simply got hooked on working at an airline, and coming to Delta confirmed my choice for a lifetime.
     “Cargo is the mother of invention.
     “But cargo revenue planning and forecasting can sometimes be a crystal ball.
     “Delta people are the best, because we truly respect and treat each other like family.”

Priscilla Queen of Latin America

Priscilla Byrne      General Manager Cargo Sales for Latin America, Georgia, & Florida, Priscilla Byrne is an effusive sales type that whirls into a room with a knowing smile, instantly lifting the conversation beyond a simple dissertation on capabilities and connections.
     The message is that Delta Cargo is looking for all the business.
     Priscilla, who once worked for Mesaba Airlines as Cargo Operations Manager, certainly raises the bar.
     “We are always in touch.
     “The best surprise is no surprise, so Delta Cargo is dedicated to keeping everybody in the loop from acceptance to delivery.
     “From the ground up, our technology and effort is always there.
     “We never confuse altitude with attitude.
     “Keeping the customer first with good information is a simple yet undeniable strength of our airline company.
     “I am excited about the Latin American market, where we work to earn our wings everyday.
     “From Orlando to Sao Paulo to Medellin, we have been given a wide canvas to build and enhance our cargo service.
     “Our message to shippers here is ‘try us.’
     “The strength of our global system and the professionalism of our people is winning shippers for the better.”

Passion From The Takeoff

AlexClayton     Alex Clayton, General Manager, Vertical Sales, migrated to the U.S. from Japan.
     Alex has seen the other side of shipping, having begun her career in Ocean shipping, based in Los Angeles.
     Lucky for air cargo, her passion for travel and the lack of scheduled ocean passage (unless you count cruise & container ships or tramp steamers) led to an airline career.
     At Delta Cargo, Alex deals in product development for high-yield consignments.
     Smart thinking has led Alex to treat Delta Cargo as part of a whole entity, with the passenger department “always part of the equation.”
     For example, Alex says she worked closely with passenger sales to create branding ambassadors for cargo.
     “Never undermine the forwarder shipper dynamic,” Alex says.
     “Instead, maintain a strong partnership with forwarders, our key customers.
     “To that end we are developing pharma and express products that closely align our offering in cooperation with our shipping partners.”
     Alex is passionate about a discipline of Organizational Effectiveness. She leads the Employee Engagement Team at Delta Cargo and invests much of her spare time coaching her junior employees to aid their professional development.
     Alex earned her MBA from the University of Denver and Master of Education and Human Resource Studies from Colorado State University.
     She is also a Six Sigma Black Belt.
     “It is not one size fits all at Delta Cargo.
     “Our offering provides the capability to be as unique as many of our business partners, “Alex Clayton insists.

FIATA Fellow

EMO CNS Nashville Team

Dateline Nashville—Fast-growing logistics specialist EMO Trans arrived in Nashville for the IATA CNS Partnership Conference ready to do business.
   EMO has actively supported and participated in CNS Partnership for the past two decades.
   “CNS Partnership is an important part of our strategy to get close to our partners as we continue to work together on behalf of our customers,” said President EMO Trans Marco Rohrer (center), pictured with Corporate Airfreight Manager Tilo Weger (left), and Midwest USA Regional Manager Uwe Kaeding (right).
   “CNS is an important point of contact with our airline providers and other industry colleagues, especially with regard to rapid IT developments
Jo Frigger   EMO Chairman Jo Frigger reports:
   “The year 2016 started well for us, but as the saying goes: ‘One swallow does not make a summer.’
   “Last month the company conducted an EMO to EMO conference, bringing our worldwide managers together in Cape Coral, Florida.
   “Our experienced and energetic managers gathered to exchange ideas and jointly map out the road ahead.
   “Our other focus was sales development and training, operational excellence, procurement for air and ocean, as well as IT implementation and network expansion,” Mr. Frigger said.
   “We are very excited about the opportunities that emerged from this meeting of our global EMO Group.”

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Chuckles For April 10, 2016

Air Cargo News 40th Anniversary Issue

Panama Papers United World Press

      Hats off to the 376 reporters from more than 100 news outlets and 80 countries around the world! The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) parked their egos and worked together for a year to report on the corruption of several world leaders, making for the biggest blockbuster story of this or any news cycle. The resultant Panama Papers have uncovered political deception and a conspiracy to hide tax monies in offshore accounts.
      No group is more competitive that the Fourth Estate, so this level of “radical sharing,” as it has been dubbed, is a surprising collaboration. From our perch in the cargo arena, it seems as if anything is possible.
      The above picture shows thousands of Icelanders as they took to the streets of Reykjavik last week to demand the resignation of Prime Minister Sigmundur David Gunnlaugsson following the disclosure by ICIJ, Reykjavik Media, and Suddeutsche Zeitung that he and two members of his cabinet had owned or controlled secret offshore shell companies.

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Adios, Merle

      The great Merle Haggard died on Wednesday, April 6.
      The country music legend’s songs included “Okie from Muskogee” and “Fightin' Side of Me.” He was 79.
      I don’t know what you call it when someone dies on the exact date they were born, but the lights have dimmed in the music world as we all mourn the music giant who has left us.
      We agree with Time Magazine, which said:
      “What Merle does better than anybody is sing songs of love, loyalty, and doubt.”
      Merle Haggard was among the best classic country music guitarists of all time.
      Our good friend and musicologist Michael Kelly (of United Airlines) put it best:
      “Merle distilled his personal experiences into simple and eloquent narratives that resonated with people of all backgrounds, income levels, and musical tastes.
      “And what a voice!
      “There’s no effort to sound ‘country,’ ‘blue,’ or ‘soulful’—no strain at all.
      “Merle was just honest and human.”
      The songs he left with us will live forever.

Merle Haggard Song

If You Missed Any Of The Previous 3 Issues Of FlyingTypers
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Vol. 15 No. 26
Celebrating Women's Month 2016
Get It On American
Chuckles for March 30, 2016
Steiger Was A Fighter

Vital Views For March 30, 2016
Vol. 15 No. 27
An Opening
Forward Into April Softly
Chuckles for April 4, 2016
Delta Cargo Marketing From The Ground Up

April No Fooling
Another Show

Vol. 15 No. 28
Come Dance With Me
The Wide Open World of Ashwin Bhat
Chuckles for April 6, 2016
The CNS Partnership Meetapalooza

China Airlines New For 2016
Aircraft Facilities Spiral Etihad Upward

Publisher-Geoffrey Arend Managing Editor-Flossie Arend
Film Editor-Ralph Arend Special Assignments-Sabiha Arend, Emily Arend Advertising Sales-Judy Miller

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