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   Vol. 16 No. 67
Tuesday August 22, 2017

Liz Merritt


      For the past six years, Airlines for America (A4A) Cargo Services Managing Director Elizabeth (Liz) Merritt has stewarded 270,00 daily flights to more than 800 destinations. That gives her 270,000 reasons to be front and center at Jones Day in Washington, DC, on September 6, when A4A partners with Cargo Network Services at the 2017 U.S. Air Cargo Industry Affairs (USACIA) Summit.
      “This year’s event builds on the success of 2016 with a streamlined, one-day powerhouse session that brings together airlines, brokers, forwarders, ground handlers, service providers, and government representatives and covers a number of critical issues including policy, customs, security, safety, e-commerce and infrastructure,” winsome Liz assures.
      “Air cargo is a key component of the airline business and of the supply chain, transporting goods of high-value, urgency, and perishability that provide businesses and consumers with a wealth of choice and convenience.
      “As we move through a world changing ever faster in terms of innovation, IT connectedness, and business model diversification, keeping all stakeholders informed and moving forward is critical to our relevance and competitiveness, making the USACIA Summit a valuable and essential event,” Liz Meritt insists.  
      “Facilitating legitimate trade and supporting the competitiveness of U.S. companies and exporters are goals shared by both A4A and CNS.
      “We enjoy a productive working relationship with close cooperation on many issues important to the airline membership of both organizations, especially in the fields of customs, security, and e-freight, and we are looking forward to this year’s USACIA Summit.”


Sign Up Here: https://www.cnsc.net/events/Pages/usacia.aspx

CNS USACIA Video conversation

To Read More About This Event:
Where Cargo Reaches The Ruling Class

USACIA Must Attend Event
Cargo Affairs From The Heart
Airports? Don't Get Ashley Started
Two Organizations One Mission

China-Europe Cargo Rail On Track?

  Rail logistics on the China run from Asia into Europe is reportedly experiencing delays of up to a week. Shippers having discovered a price and service alternative to ocean and air, also find that all their best friends had the same idea.
  “Currently,” says the Hong Kong-based Global Supply Chain Council (GSCC), “there are 53 weekly trains into Europe and 23 headed back to Asia as of May 2017.”
  “During 2016, 40,000 containers moved by train between Asia and Europe,” DB Schenker adds.
That number Schenker said could almost triple by 2020.
  Other estimates put potential 2020 volumes at a lofty 500,000 FEUs.
  Next week on August 29, in Shanghai an event titled “The GSCC Rail Logistics Forum,” addresses issues between China and Europe for rail freight proponents.
  The one-day meeting will look for answers on how to keep cargo on track and the rails singing, as Christmas 2017 picks up steam.
Your move: http://cn.raillog.asia

In Case You Missed This
Women Powering AA Cargo
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RE: Famous Last Words

Good morning Geoffrey,

  Great insight article on leisure Cargo this past Friday issue (Aug. 18).
  Actually leisure’s statement about not being effected negatively by the Air Berlin collapse could not be further from the truth. Word up in Germany is that they are looking desperately for an investor that could take over leisure Cargo.
  The current management succeeded in burning through millions of Euro’s during the last two years after Ralf Auslaender departed, tossing his money-making jewel into a loss-making trash can.
  What happened at the company is that a great team of people departed leisure Cargo back in the late summer of 2015.
  Many insiders saw the reality coming as it presents itself right now.
  The involvement of Etihad especially had turned out to be an exercise in cannibalism of leisure Cargo activities.
  Mr. Auslaender’s failed attempt at buyout in 2010 was caused in large part by an unrealistic asking price by Air Berlin management at that time that actually just didn’t want to sell.
  Thanks for remembering Ralf.
  He is, by the way, alive and well and still as good a human being as you might ever meet. Today with wife Sabine, Ralf is taking in his retirement years living in Portugal.

Name withheld

Rick Elieson, Jennifer Stelling and Eric Mathieu

Eric Mathieu

     In today’s world of instant global communication, everybody has the ability to be a reporter. The modern world has offered up customer experiences for public consumption, turning the management of expectations into a delicate balancing act.
     As American Airlines Cargo Director of Customer Experience, Eric Mathieu is a key force in walking that tightrope and securing the emerging air cargo fortunes at the world’s largest airline.

Accentuate The Positive

      “If you make a mistake,” Eric says with a slight, pleasing French accent, “you must admit what happened, provide your customer with the exact details of the fix, and prove it.”
     It’s a simple sensibility, says Eric.
     “Customer service is all about keeping it simple. And pleasant.
     “I came over to cargo from the USAir side, having joined the airline at Paris in 1991 out of the tour business, where I worked developing the North American market.”

Challenge At American

      “Sales, operations and customer service were the set up when I joined American Cargo, and all three were involved in handling customer concerns.
     “But that meant up to 19 people might get involved at one level or another to handle a single call before the question or complaint or even compliment was routed to the people that could action a response.”

Spray & Pray

      “I call that approach ‘spray and pray,’ so when Jim Butler brought me on, my first action was to move headfirst into the task of centralizing the process. That action has continued through both the American and US Airways (note: at the time of AA US Merger, USAir was US Airways) combining of services.
     “Today at AA Cargo we offer the shipper a contact point in customer service that is an interdependent advocate.
     “I can tell you from my vantage point: air cargo is complicated.
     “Many moons need to be aligned for success.
     “The idea for me is to keep things simple, human, and tell the truth.
     “At American Cargo when you write or talk to us, we endeavor to make the experience personal for each customer by building interpersonal relationships.
     “Often in the cargo business, customers are wary of someone other than their salesman (meaning the airline salesman) getting involved when there are questions or issues.
     “So we put our customer relations team together with our sales team and made a series of joint customer calls, putting a face on both services and humanizing the process.
     “Today at American Cargo our customers can look forward, as mentioned earlier, to a total interpersonal experience.”

Tracking and the Proactive Factor

      “Throughout the shipping process, we aim at keeping the human factor important, we also continue to develop and introduce modern self-service tools for our customers. Like our new online tracking tool.
     “Once upon a time,” Eric notes, “most incoming calls were from customers looking for an update about their shipment journey.
     “Today, three years later, our centralized approach and tracking tools has lowered that number significantly we expect that will continue to diminish as we continue to enhance our online tracking tools.
     “We also believe in being proactive. For example, if we notice that a shipment will experience a missed connection, we proactively rebook it on the next available flight and inform the customer before we get the call.”

Passengers & Cargo

     “I consider my time in the passenger division very valuable in preparing for air cargo.
     “Today when you look at it, one experience is above and the other below the wing.
     “But both require immediate attention when things become an issue, and failure is not option.
     “Service and sales is like a marriage where both parties really have to make an all-out effort to work together.
     “For our part, cargo service enhancements have been approached in terms of what is right in front of us.
     “That can be viewed as the low hanging fruit.
     “So for example if (god forbid) a shipment goes missing, American Cargo has a CRM system installed that launches a search within two hours.”

Measuring Success

     “Let’s face it, you cannot do better than also internally measuring performance data because as we review our aggregated monthly reports, we discover patterns.
     “So if Miami passenger loads are robust and that impacts cargo we can make adjustments on how we conduct our business.”

All About E-Freight

      “No doubt in 2017 and moving forward American Airlines cargo is about growing both its international and domestic footprint to serve many new destinations, and that requires dealing with different forms and systems in air cargo.
     “A year ago (June 2016) AA was 34 percent E-awb.
     “Then during December 2016 that number rose to 62 percent.
     “By the end of this year we expect E-awb to land at 75 percent.
     “The ongoing challenge is bringing on our small freight forwarder customer, but in all cases we will expand and enhance our offering to make it easy to electronically do business with AA Cargo,” says Eric.

Transformational Eric

     “I like cargo,” Eric declares.
     “It is complicated, but I thrive on challenges.
     “I like it because I can see the impact of what I do and the result a great air cargo service can have on peoples lives.”
     Eric is 54 years old.
     When he was offered the job, he accepted the post on the condition that he could work in Dallas, where he is based today, but continue to live in Miami, Florida, which he described as his favorite city in the world.
     “I work in Dallas but live in Miami because three years ago my partner Andi and I fostered a son, Alex, who was four months old.
     “My greatest joy has been to see this beautiful child grow into this world.”
     Eric says for relaxation he loves Mediterranean cuisine, running, and skiing.
     “You know I was born and raised in Lyon, where good food and skiing are a way of life,” he confides.

The Fixer Looks Ahead

     As he continues his yeoman work at American, Eric Mathieu is very much “The Fixer” in the great challenge of perfecting customer relations.
     “We want to be like [Apple’s] Siri, always having an answer,” says Eric Mathieu.
     “Making it easy to do business with us and being pleasant whilst lessening the administrative burden rings true to us.”

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Stamp Of A Total Eclipse

     Eclipse PhotoMore than 110 U.S. Postal Service offices in or near the path of the full solar eclipse, which cut across the United States from Oregon to South Carolina on Monday, offered a special postmark.
      Postmarks were unique in some locations, while most used this one designed by the national office.
      “Post offices used the special postmark only on Monday, but others are also using it before and after the eclipse,” a USPS spokesman said.
      The US Postal Service has also issued a heat-sensitive eclipse stamp.
      The Total Eclipse of the Sun stamp is the first U.S. stamp to use thermochromic ink, which reacts to the heat of your touch. Placing your finger over the black disc on the stamp causes the ink to change from black to clear to reveal an underlying image of the moon.
      The image reverts back to the black disc once it cools.
      The USPS has the forever first class stamps for sale in sheets of 16 at $7.84.


If You Missed Any Of The Previous 3 Issues Of FlyingTypers
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Access specific articles by clicking on article title
FT081017Vol. 16 No. 64
Airports? Don't Get Ashley Started
Chuckles For August 10, 2017
Back To School Offers New Career
Season Of The Witch
Notes From The Backyard
FT081517Vol. 16 No. 65
ATC-Always Takes Care
Chuckles For August 15, 2017
SWISS Streamlines Americas
Air Berlin Goes Bust
Euroshippers Overview Summer 2017

FT081817Vol. 16 No. 66
Two Organizations One Mission
Chuckles For August 18, 2017
Famous Last Words
Air Canada Magic India

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