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   Vol. 15  No. 39
Wednesday May 18, 2016

Changi Trucking On Productivity
  The Singapore Aircargo Agents Association will soon be offering its own airport shuttle services for freight in a bid to boost the competitiveness of the city-state’s exporters, forwarders, and agents.
     The plan will be trialed with 28 forwarders starting July 1. Participating companies will combine loads onto trucks, which will then shuttle cargo within Changi Airport Cargo Complex.
Steven Lee      “Using consolidated trucks instead of multiple trucks to the same location will improve competitiveness,” said Steven J. K. Lee, (right) Chairman of SAAA. “This is a year three program and we’ll continue to increase capacity based on demand.”
     Lee told FlyingTypers his organization was being helped with the funding of the new service by Singapore’s government. “The government wants to help SMEs improve productivity,” he said. “Singapore is a high-cost environment so this is the only way we can compete.”
     The move to help Singapore’s beleaguered forwarders and air freight agents comes as the sector faces substantial headwinds. Changi’s freight volumes have remained static for a decade, while Lee said the high costs of operating in Singapore and the strength of the Singapore dollar had impacted the competitiveness of manufacturing. “Singapore is loosening the Dollar, but we’re competing against Vietnam and Malaysia amongst others,” he explained. “Vietnam has lower costs and the Ringgit has depreciated substantially. This is a concern for freight forwarders. If there isn’t growth they need to restructure and make redundancies. Some forwarders have already gone to a four-day week rather than shed jobs.

     “We are looking at every aspect to improve competitiveness, such as how we can have better automation, or seamless paperless transactions, so we can reduce manpower on documentation.”
     Lee said that in Singapore, as elsewhere, Q1 demand for air freight services had been poor and Q2 was proving “flat.”
     “The government is trying to support Singapore’s SMEs, which make up 60 percent of our manufacturing output,” he said. “Multinationals have the strength to continue to take the impact of the poor global economy, but SMEs feel they are under threat, because they are not able to price as competitively as bigger companies. Electronics manufacturing has been hit very hard by higher costs in Singapore.”
     Lower rates for air cargo services due to poor demand and excess capacity have further frayed the profit margins of Singapore’s freight sector. “We have seen some airlines, in desperation to fill up space, quoting ridiculously low rates such as Singapore to Hong Kong at Sing$0.20 cents per kg,” he said.
     Singapore’s huge use of e-commerce has also not helped forwarders. “Amazon and Alibaba have their own supply chain capacity,” he said. “E-commerce has forced manufacturers into situations where they don’t hold inventories, so they are not sending in bulk, they are sending it on demand, which benefits couriers. E-commerce means air freight forwarders are impacted because volumes are smaller, so they are not going in ULDs. Smaller shipments and more capacity are not a good combination.”
     Demand from major markets has also been poor. While exports to Latin America have been holding up well and Iran, Iraq, and Myanmar offer promise, Lee said the Asia market was largely dependent on China, which was in the process of major economic restructuring. “It will take a while before we see the light at the end of the tunnel in China,” he said.
     “In the U.S., every election means a slowdown in trade movements. “This happened four years ago.
     “Europe is mixed. The focus appears to be on immigrants, not international trade or economic growth.
     “It’s a rough market right now.”

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SWIFT kicks India Clearance Up A Notch
Tushar Jani     “I have never seen such a change in my 40 years in the air cargo industry,” said Tushar Jani, Chairman, Delhi Cargo Service Center. A veteran in the cargo business, Jani is well known as an innovative entrepreneur—he was one of the founders and former Chairman of Blue Dart Courier Services and Blue Dart Aviation—and was speaking about SWIFT, the Single Window System introduced recently at international airports around the country.

SWIFT Start For India

     A significant part in the ‘ease of doing business’ project initiated by the government of India, the Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC), of which Customs is an integral department, debuted SWIFT (Single Window Interface for Facilitating Trade) on April 1, 2016, and, according to users FlyingTypers talked to, the move has hastened clearances for import consignments.

Next Step SWIFT Exports

     In gathering this story FlyingTypers learned that a Single Window System would come into effect in the USA by 2018, although at this point exact details are sketchy.
     Currently, the countries where such a system is in operation include Singapore, South Korea, Japan, Australia, Thailand, and Malaysia.
     For India, SWIFT is in use on the importer side at the moment, with a similar platform to be built for exporters.
     Among other benefits, once completed shippers to and from India will be able to access and obtain online clearances as required from Partner Government Agencies (PGAs) such as Animal Quarantine, Plant Quarantine, Drug Controller, Food Safety and Standards Authority of India, Textile Committee, etc., without the importer/exporter having to separately approach these agencies.

Getting The Word Out

     To trumpet introduction of a single point interface for clearance of import and export goods, thereby reducing dwell time and cost of doing business, interestingly CBEC has issued circulars to the SWIFT era in India.
     Importers were delighted to discover as the new service took hold April 1st an example of the immediate impact of SWIFT—‘No Objection Certificates’ (NOCs) were no longer required (SWIFT replaced nine separate forms required by six different government agencies and Customs) for clearance of goods.

SWIFT Impact Across India

Najib Shah     This online clearance under the Single Window Project has been rolled out at main ports and airports in Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, and Chennai so far.
     SWIFT will gradually extend across the country.
     Estimates predict that before too long SWIFT will benefit more than 97 percent of the country’s imports, connecting India Customs with 50-odd offices of six government agencies.
     As Najib Shah, (left) Chairman of CBEC stated, “An importer can electronically file a common integrated declaration with the Customs department from the comfort of his office.”
Satya Prasad Sahu     SWIFT was introduced after a concerted training and familiarization effort by Satya Prasad Sahu, (right) Commissioner Customs and the leader of the Single Window project team that addressed stakeholders at different forums, including detailed presentations and interactive sessions held at all major Custom locations across the country.
     “This is a major initiative of the Customs Department to significantly simplify and expedite the clearance process,” said Sahu. “The single window implementation is primarily for promoting the ease of doing business and it happens in small steps.”
     He went on to add that, “Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) and timelines are really important for the Custom Clearance Facilitation Committee (CCFC).”
     “The purpose of the CCFC,” he explained, “is not to get bogged down with individual cases, but to drive ports and airports into a cycle of continuous input where issues are taken up, leading to continuous improvement in performance.
     “All stakeholders are requested to use CCFC to achieve efficiency in work,” said Sahu.
     Sahu, it should be mentioned, is a lead resource on WCO instruments like the compendium on “How to Build a Single Window Environment.”

Sanjiv EdwardTIACA’s Edward Endorses

     Elsewhere, TIACA Chairman Sanjiv Edward—who is also head of Cargo Business at Delhi International Airport—mentioned that the Single Window Clearance system is of vital importance and the industry is committed to this initiative.
     “The concept,” he told ACNFT, “is not new.”
     Amsterdam, for example, had been working on such a move and has progressed, but “they are still far away from what would be a single window concept.”
     Edward emphasized that as a community “we must come together and make this work.
     “The Single Window will showcase India as a country, which has made this concept a reality,” Edward said.
Tirthankar Ghosh

Chuckles For May 18, 2016

Spargel Zeit Asparagus Time Again

     Our favorite yearly treat comes to New York City this week. Air cargo is once again delivering cases of the great German “royal vegetable,” spargel (white asparagus), once reserved for the upper classes.      The German American Chamber of Commerce celebrates the season with its 15th Annual White Asparagus Dinner held at The Tribeca Rooftop in Manhattan.
     With its unpatrolled view of the dazzling new Number One World Trade Tower, the Tribeca is a grand venue where hundreds will gather tonight (May 18) for an evening of dress-up, good food and music, and networking. Manhattan will be laid out like a magic carpet beneath the buzz of the rooftop party.
     “It is always a pleasure and an honor to bring these cases of white asparagus to New York,” said Jo Frigger, CEO of EMO Trans, which organizes and provides total logistics for the shipments each year.
     “While very popular during April until early June in Germany, the vegetable is a rarity in the United States and is not grown here,” Mr. Frigger said.
     “Some attempts have been made to produce the asparagus in Latin America, but the best big white asparagus, with its particular texture and sweetness, is grown in Germany, where for centuries it has heralded springtime.
     “Spargel is a moveable feast that air cargo can deliver as no other mode of transport,” Jo Frigger said.
     “Working closely with Lufthansa Cargo its strictly hands-on, all the way,” said Mr. Frigger, who noted:
     “This year 253 kg. of Spargel were transported from the fields in coolers to the airport.
     “The whole procedure lasts one and a half days, including customs and other procedures, as the vegetable passes through the security microscope.
     “But the payoff is well worth it as a grand tradition is maintained and enhanced by EMO Trans’ ability to handle all manner of shipments end to end.”

Marco Rohrer and Jo FriggerNews & Quotable

   “Malaysia has a vibrant, fast-growing economy and our new office will be a very valuable addition to the network,” Joachim Frigger, EMO Trans CEO (in photo right) declared as EMO Logistics Malaysia Sdn Bhd opens for business on May 16, 2016.    EMO Logistics Malaysia includes Eric Tham, Managing Director, Yung Nan Tan, Operations Director, and Alex Tan, Sea Freight Director.
   EMO President Marco Rohrer (in photo left) said, “Opening an office in Malaysia is in line with our global strategy to expand, where necessary, to serve our clients’ needs.”
   Headquartered in Freeport, New York, EMO Trans was founded 51 years ago in 1965 and today provides a broad range of customized logistics solutions through its global network.

     As mentioned, April to June is “Spargel Season” in Germany. Roadside stands, farmers’ markets, and grocery stores all carry ample supplies of the “royal vegetable,” and many restaurants have special Spargel menus that feature asparagus as the star ingredient.
     Some folks even opt to pickle the white asparagus while it is in season, assuming that they can keep other members of their households away from the kitchen long enough to secure the asparagus in pickling jars.
     “Veronika, der Lenz ist da!”

Field Of Dreams
Remember Chinese logistics entrepreneur Jonathan Pang who went to Germany and purchased Parchim Airport?
   Well, now it is seven years later and Mr. Pang and his airport are the subject of a documentary released this week (May 19) titled Parchim International, although the effort could be subtitled:
   What happened when I attempted to turn an airport in deficit into an important hub for the logistic and passenger transport between China, Europe, and Africa.”
   The film follows Mr. Pang on his quest to build Parchim into a viable gateway; however, the trailer here depicts some strikingly empty runways and spaces at the facility.

Air Cargo News 40th Anniversary Issue

Summer Waiting In The Wings
  Passengers contemplating long lines are reflected in glass as they queue up for a security checkpoint under the atrium of the domestic passenger terminal at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport in Atlanta.
  Airport security lines have become so long that airlines themselves are urging passengers to share their frustration with the government on social media. Airlines for America, the industry’s trade group, just launched a website called www.iHateTheWait.com encouraging fliers to post photos of the lines on Twitter and Instagram along with the hashtag #iHateTheWait.


If You Missed Any Of The Previous 3 Issues Of FlyingTypers
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The Amazon Air Force
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Namaste Nisha Mahajan
Cambodian Kingdom Of Wonders
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Amazon Partners All Modes
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Thailand Aviation The Long Road Back
India Numbers Rising
Get Ready To Jump A Hyperloop

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Turkish Opens Atlanta
Chuckles For May 16, 2016
Lightbox: THY Cargo At 80
The Turkish Way
Coming In 17

Ain't Lion—Glad To Retire
FIATA Hits The Rails
Along Comes Pretty Little May

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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