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   Vol. 15  No. 45
Monday June 13, 2016

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Mass Layoffs At Lufthansa Cargo

Simone Menne   On September 2, 2016, one day after Simone Menne (left) quit her job at Lufthansa as Chief Financial Officer (CFO) to assume corporate board division finance responsiblity of the family-run Boehringer Ingelheim, which ranks among the world’s top 20 pharmaceutical companies, Lufthansa shares fell 5.5 percent to their lowest point since September 2015.
   Then came a report from Reuters on Friday, June 10, that Lufthansa Cargo was slashing up to 800 jobs from its total workforce of 4,600.
   The Lufthansa Cargo news appeared exactly 45 days after the carrier was named “Platinum Winner” at a UK Cargo Airline of the Year bow-tie event.
   But now platinum turns to lead, as once mighty Lufthansa Cargo headed by Peter Gerber has lost its luster and is a struggling cargo operation faced with what may be nothing less than a battle for survival.
   Elsewhere at the carrier, a top to bottom revamp for the entire airline appears to be next, including, according to a source, “a controversial 25 percent cut in personnel at Lufthansa’s heavy maintenance base at HAM.”
   “Mechanics Union is on notice from management to take the cutbacks or face losing the HAM heavy maintenance altogether to LH Technik in the Philippines,” the source added.
   And the beat goes on . . .

News for June 13, 2016Air Cargo News for June 13, 2016

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Airport Truck Queues Thwart Cargo Growth

     I’ve attended almost every major air cargo conference of the last 40 years. Recently I was looking over the agenda of yet another industry gathering when the thought occurred to me that at all these events, people rarely talk about airports much anymore.
      The airports of the world certainly attend industry events and even buy display stands to tell their story.
      And yes, occasionally there is a panel. In the case of the International Air Cargo Association (TIACA) there have even been some very public airport officials in the top posts of the organization. Right now we can look to Warren Jones, who at one time was charged with air cargo fortunes at Harstfield Jackson Atlanta International Airport, one of the busiest fields on earth.
      But issues that affect the everyday operations of air cargo businesses, like out-of-control, overlong truck queues at airports, for example, on the whole get less attention at many of our industry gatherings.
      So we have decided to open up the conversation with something different in 2016.
      I love the airports. I always have. I created an 800-page book called Great Airports Worldwide for Airport Council International (ACI) in 1988. It included 137 airport histories.
      I’m very proud to announce a unique FlyingTypers’ series that begins in this issue. We will present airport stories connected exclusively to air cargo, reaching out to various aerial gateways to discover what they are doing to better serve the industry and what issues and challenges are being addressed and met. FlyingTypers will present updates from one of the most vital partners in the air cargo business, the airports, in their own words.
      These stories are meant to both create and drive the conversation.
      We will shine a light on the problems and offer tenable solutions.
      Our series will continue all year long—this is by no means an advertorial exercise, as we seek stories written by the people on the ground at dozens of aerial gateways.
      The conversation asks you to join in and have your views heard, so please feel free to share your ideas with us.
      In the case of airport air cargo truck queues, everybody knows about the long lines of trucks picking up and delivering goods. They have become a real bottleneck at airports everywhere.
      In today’s issue, you will read all about what Atlanta is doing about it. Let’s carry the conversation further.
      Read the article.
      What do you think?
      Did we cover the subject? Did you learn something? What was the takeaway?
      If you are working in an air cargo capacity at any airport in the world we want to now what you think of the current state of cargo affairs where you are.
      Make your voice part of the conversation and we will all be better for it.
      Write to me.
GDA signature

Chuckles for June 13, 2016


All About Airports

Atlanta Activates Truck Staging

      Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL) is the world’s most traveled airport, welcoming more than 100 million passengers in 2015, the most of any other airport in a single year.      However, from a cargo standpoint, ATL ranks just 13th nationwide and 33rd internationally.
     Hartsfield-Jackson has seen year-over-year gains in the amount of cargo traffic. But never one to rest on its laurels, the city-owned ATL is looking to break into the Top 5 of the nation’s leading cargo airports—a goal set by Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed. To put that into perspective, ATL handled 600,000 metric tons of cargo in 2015. To achieve a ranking of 5th nationally, the Airport will need to triple its cargo volume to almost 2 million metric tons annually.
     “Air cargo is recognized by the City’s leaders as a primary contributor to economic development due to Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport’s important role in the global supply chain,” said Elliott Paige, ATL’s air service development manager.
     Aggressive marketing efforts are underway, but ATL leaders also recognized that existing infrastructure was insufficient to handle the growth. So ATL began a brick-and-mortar expansion—part of the Airport’s capital plan ATLNext, a 20-year blueprint for development—which included additional state-of-the-art cargo facilities, airside ramps, taxiways, landside vehicle parking, and underground utilities.
     The Master Plan calls for 1,000,000-square feet of new cargo facilities by 2030, but the schedule is being accelerated to achieve new cargo goals. In fact, work has begun ahead of schedule to relocate the existing feeder road and ground will break this summer to prepare for two new cargo buildings totaling approximately 350,000 square feet.


     The plan aims to address persistent Airport trucking challenges (see photos). They include the following:

  • Even before the Mayor’s directive to boost cargo activity at Hartsfield-Jackson, truck traffic to and from ATL created gridlock on neighboring roads. At peak hours, tractor-trailers often backed up to the interstate while blocking driveways and side streets. Airport employees have faced delays leaving from and arriving to work and extremely long wait times, up to two hours or more at peak activity, created costly trucking delays.
  • Drivers were self-selecting which dock door to use, creating confusion and triggering arguments.
  • Clients pay a premium for air transport because it’s fast and vital for time-sensitive shipments. Shipping delays on the ground hamper their business.
  • Independent drivers and trucking companies avoid ATL. As a result, forwarders have been forced to pay a premium to move shipments. 


     In light of growth projections, ATL looked to an immediate truck staging solution. Initially, the airport considered using an existing contractor parking lot, but it was small and provided only a short-term solution. So early in the process, the Airport decided to create a distinct truck staging system that would not only eliminate congestion, but also differentiate Hartsfield-Jackson in the industry and move ATL closer to its desired cargo goals.
      While City Council approved construction of a centralized parking facility, Airport management met with cargo handlers and airlines. Their input helped shape the design of a superior system that will expedite delivery and pickup, reduce costs, and provide utilization metrics that will optimize operations and increase profits.
     After researching various models, Airport officials determined that the system used by Costco was the most compatible with ATL airport operations. After construction and installation are complete, the truck staging solution will include the following:

  • A dedicated, secured staging lot with 40-60 spaces and check-in booth. The lot is being centrally located between existing cargo warehouses and the new development scheduled for occupancy in 2018.
  • 100 percent participation by the cargo handlers and airlines to guarantee success of the program.
  • Assigned matching of trucks with available docks.
  • A computerized system using individual dock sensors with internal alerts (red and green lights to indicate availability). There are 32 docks per existing building (128 total), and each will be equipped with sensors. The system has metric reporting capabilities.
  • Communication to ensure orderly pickup and delivery.

How Will It Work?

     Freight forwarders contract with truck drivers to pick up from or deliver to cargo facilities at Hartsfield-Jackson. Under the new system, signage will direct trucks to the staging lot for dock assignment. No truck will be allowed to bypass the process by self-assigning, otherwise drivers would refuse to use the lot if they thought a competitor might jump ahead at the warehouse. It’s important to note that handlers and airlines are required, through terms of their lease, to adhere to the procedure by turning away truckers who try to bypass. In other words, the system requires 100 percent participation.
     As drivers enter the lot, an attendant will log their information and determine which handler they are scheduled to see. The information will then be relayed to the handler and used to match dock availability. When a dock opens, the trucker will be notified via cellphone. It’s worth noting that the system is capable of assigning expedited and priority shipments ahead in the queue.
     Construction of the lot is complete, and operations are expected to begin soon. Once initial benchmarking is finished, the ATL may add more amenities, including restrooms, vending machines, or food trucks.

Looking ahead
      Air cargo creates more than 27,000 jobs in Georgia and generates more than $6.7 million in revenue for metro Atlanta. Recently, Hartsfield-Jackson has made impressive strides to boost its cargo business.  
      “We had a terrific start in 2015,” said Vivica Brown, ATL’s Assistant General Manager for Commercial Development. “But we have much more to do, and we are excited to hit the ground running to reach even higher levels of success.”
Robin Boyd
Airport Real Estate Manager
Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport

Air Cargo News 40th Anniversary Issue

It's JFK Cargo Golf Day

Joseph Badamo     Joseph Badamo, President of the JFK Air Cargo Association (Silk Way Airlines, Vice President Sales, the Americas) advises that the ACA Golf Outing and all day brunch-to-dinner Summer 2016 event is once again at hand.
     “We present our Third Annual Charity Golf Outing on June 27 at the Lido Beach Golf Club and everyone is invited,” Mr. Badamo declared.
     “This year we are honored to once again be able to donate all proceeds of our biggest yearly social event to the Lustgarten Foundation for Pancreatic Cancer Research located nearby in Bethpage Long Island New York.
     “Sponsorship opportunities are still available.
      “We are also accepting baskets and donations for our raffle.
     “It is all about networking, having some fun, helping others and celebrating summer and our wonderful air cargo industry,” Joe adds.
     “We encourage everyone to come join us for a fun filled day of golf and mingling with friends,” Joe Badamo said.

About The Lustgarten Foundation

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Publisher-Geoffrey Arend Managing Editor-Flossie Arend
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