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   Vol. 16 No. 76
Friday September 29, 2017

ATC Oktoberfest

Ingo Zimmer and Dagmar Hanau     A cherished tradition and the biggest and best Oktoberfest in Frankfurt aviation was held this week on Wednesday September 27, at “Anglerheim Moerfelden” located in a bosky dell quite close to Frankfurt Airport. The fifth “ATC Oktoberfest” hosted by Ingo Zimmer and Dagmar Hanau greeted more than 500 guests in attendance.
     Here was a veritable “who’s who” of German air cargo, gathered together to enjoy a grand tradition and an unforgettable evening.
     There was great food, beer, music, dirndls on the ladies and lederhosen on the men, and everyone took a step back to celebrate the air cargo harvest of 2017 with pied piper Ingo Zimmer as the Grand Marshal.
     In the quiet, forested setting, ATC arranged cartoon portrait booths, a coffee cart, a shooting gallery, and even a contest that offered therapy for some from everyday tension by pounding a nail into a log, with a shot of Jägermeister as reward.
     There was a good feeling here, a buzz of excitement and a palpable, collective release of everyday concerns in the air as the evening filled with friends, good food and music that lasted well into the night.
     Inside a gaily decorated tent heaping plates of local delights include everything traditional fare from Bavarian chicken and Weisswurst to Leberkäse with potato salad and other delicacies. All the food was delicious and sumptuously prepared, but special attention must be paid to the heavenly mushrooms that filled plates this special evening. Grown on the hills around Frankfurt and harvested at this time, alongside the various sweet and dry white grapes that make the Riesling wines, the "Pfifferling mushrooms" simply can’t be beat. The exceptional small trumpet Pfifferling mushrooms (also known as chanterelles) were presented in a cream sauce that to our taste were simply out of this world, and good on the plate all by themselves.
     And of course, wherever you turned there was great German beer and local wines, plentiful and always within arm’s reach.
     “The end of summer is a good time to take stock of things as winter approaches and to say a simple thank you in a relaxed and supple atmosphere, to the people who support our efforts and mean so much to us,” Ingo Zimmer declared
     “This is our fifth Oktoberfest gathering and for all of us an assemblage of people in the community that we work with and admire daily,” a beaming Dagmar Hanau, ATC Marketing Manager told FlyingTypers.

ATC Oktoberfest Collage

Digital India Great Expectations

     Despite all its brilliance and great expectations in 2017, India still remains one of the “toughest places” on the planet to do business, according a recent story in The Wall Street Journal.

Gusto & Red Tape

      For the record, of the first attempts that the almost three-year-old Narendra Modi government took up with gusto was to simplify rules and cut the bureaucratic red tape.

Numbers Hardly Moved

      The efforts of the government notwithstanding, India still remains at No. 130 among 190 nations in the World Bank’s computation of rankings at the end of 2016. In fact, the position improved by just one place over 2015.

The Digital Approach

      The difficulties of doing business in India today are nowhere more apparent than the air cargo sector.
      Realizing the need to facilitate the air cargo business, a panel set up by the Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA) recommended the development of an electronic platform to digitize key stakeholder interactions.
      The report from the Committee on a National Air Cargo Community System pointed out that “in India, to facilitate the Ease of Doing Business, it is recognized that an electronic platform be put in place to digitize key stakeholder interactions.”


ACCS In The Works

Renu Singh Parmar      The proposed Air Cargo Community System (ACCS), when put in place, will help reduce paperwork and bring in supply chain visibility while reducing inventory and lowering transaction costs.
      Dr. Renu Singh Parmar, Senior Advisor - MoCA, pointed out that the Indian air cargo industry was poised for significant growth. “To support sustainable growth, it is of paramount importance that right physical and digital infrastructure is put in place in the country which can facilitate the ease of doing business in India,” she mentioned.
      Dr. Renu also highlighted the fact that the Civil Aviation Ministry understood the need for a single window for the air cargo community that would interface with the Customs department single window and facilitate seamless movement of goods and information.
      The news about the creation of ACCS could not have come at a better time.
      With Narendra Modi’s political party winning and forming governments in four of the five states in the country, the government in Delhi has been strengthened to go ahead and fast forward much needed reforms.


Voice Of The Forwarders

Yashpal Sharma      While quite a few air cargo stakeholders welcomed the ACCS move, others maintained a cautious stance.
      Freight forwarder Yashpal Sharma, who is also the secretary of Air Cargo Forum India (ACFI), said that the ACCS initiative was in keeping with the aims listed out in the National Civil Aviation Policy (NCAP), 2016.
      Among these aims were the ‘Make in India’ and the ‘Digital India’ moves.
      “The ACCS,” Yashpal emphasized, “will cut down delays in the EXIM trade processes.”     
      Freight Forwarders’ Associations in India (FFFAI) Chairman Samir Shah was cautious. Pointing out that the ACCS had only cleared the first stage—it was still at the policy level—and the technological details had to be worked out to understand how well the system would work. He hoped that there would be “more interaction between air cargo stakeholders and the government to smooth all the obstacles that could be encountered before the ACCS is finally established.”


More Kales To Share

Amar More      Kale Logistics Solutions is a leading global IT provider focused on providing technology solutions to the logistics industry. Its CEO Amar More pointed out that the ACCS could face a number of problems even though it was “a great initiative taken by the government.”
      “The committee’s report,” according to the CEO, “had taken into consideration the fact that airports and even cargo agents had their own community systems.
      “One such initiative has been set up by Kale at Mumbai International Airport,” the CEO said. (India’s first air cargo community portal GMAX-GVK MIAL Air Exchange was launched at the end of 2013)
      “The investments,” Mr. More added, “made by the airports for developing and running such systems had to be kept in mind before the new system was set up.”
      Mr. More also said that the “idea is to make sure that efficiencies are created where there is a scope to do the same and not hamper where efficient infrastructure already exists.”
      He is of the opinion that quite a lot of what already exists “can be reused for the development of the national air cargo single window system.”


“Industry Sources” Chime In

      Other freight forwarders were vocal (albeit requesting anonymity) that the committee’s move was delayed because stakeholders had been forced to develop their own digital platforms to handle and manage larger volumes of business on their side.
      Pointing out the system used by Mumbai airport, which was working flawlessly, these stakeholders wanted to know when the new system would start operations.
      Many of the stakeholders FlyingTypers spoke to in gathering this story also said that the government should have taken the lead a long time ago and set up a system that would support global industry standard messaging.
      Many see something of a paradox today as the EDI system being used by India today continues to have problems, despite the fact that Indian IT rules the world.

Changing Fast

      IT leaders like CEO More of Kales believe that the Indian mindset has yet to adapt itself to global moves.
      The situation, however, is changing fast. Today India is number six globally in the e-AWB lineup and with the government taking the lead in the ACCS initiative, the whole industry will fall in line and shift to digitization.

Tirthankar Ghosh

chuckles for December 5, 2014

Online Air Cargo Bazaar

     There has been a lot of talk on adopting technology to make air cargo more efficient. While air cargo regulators and industry stalwarts have never hesitated to talk about technology, only a handful from the industry has risen to do something.

Chennai Start Up

      Enter Air Freight Bazaar (AFB)! The Chennai start-up could well claim to be India’s air freight aggregator.
      With offices in Delhi, Mumbai, and Dubai, it provides freight forwarding rates and information related to the air cargo industry in real-time.
      Launched sometime ago, AFB is the brainchild of Nivesh Jain, Jose George, and Vinay Sethia.
      AFB’s platform aims at addressing all the needs and requirements of the air cargo industry, bringing transparency, simplicity and efficiency into the process.
      Speaking to ACNFT, Jain said:
      “We have been in the freight forwarding and import business for over two decades.
      “We have faced a lot of challenges during these years.”
      One such challenge he pointed to is the lack of “a single platform that gives consolidated global information real time.”

Putting Heads Together

      “That got the three of us thinking and we felt that there is a need to transform the logistics sector.
      “There should be more choices given to both the airlines (i.e. suppliers) and importers and exporters (customers).
      “We have enhanced our platform with a lot more features.”
      Nivesh Jain also mentioned that “our competitive edge lies in the value-added services we provide, such as user-friendly and user-defined quotation formats, printable formats of customized AWB printing, Barcode Generator, information regarding airport tariff, demurrage charges, facilities with charges, flight schedules, flight status, and AMS information.
      “We provide these services in addition to the regular ones like information on export rates, import rates, cross trade rates, India domestic rates, airport codes, and cargo tracking services.”

The Works

      Explaining how AFB works, Jain gave an example:
      “To import machinery, for instance, from China, one gets in touch with an agent who might take more than a couple of days to generate a quote from a provider.
      “There is a certain level of ambiguity involved, not to mention, the absence of real-time data,” he said.
      “In addition, there are also challenges—the first being the undercutting of prices among the parties.
      “This is where AFB can help out,” Jain said, mentioning, “our aim is to reduce the turnaround time significantly and bring down freight costs across the board.”  

Members Only

      The company works on a Membership Model with a basic annual fee of $100 charged per user-per city for its services.
      “Among AFB members are not only airlines and freight forwarders but importers and exporters, custom brokers, air charter companies, airports, warehousing agents and transporters. Jain, however, said that AFB had “multiple models of revenue—ranging from marine insurance to advertisements.”

Two Months & Counting

      “In our barely two months of existence, AFB has been able to get a sizeable membership,” Jani said, adding:
      “The response has been amazing. Organically, without any advertisements, we have over 1,200 members—all freight forwarders.
      “These are operational in eight countries: India, China, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Oman, Iran, UAE, and Qatar.
      “We will be opening up for importers and exporters soon,” he said.
      “In addition, AFB has tied up with agents “who provide us with these quotes, and depending on the choice of the customer, business can be initiated,” said George.
      The founders of AFB believe they will be able to change the air cargo business now that Air Freight Bazaar has come in.
      Said Jain, “Global logistics is one industry which has seen very little change in many years. 
      “With Air Freight Bazaar, we are certain the air cargo business will transform, for good.
      “People will get real-time information globally, at the touch of a button.
      “Freight forwarders and other vendors will now get business from different parts of the world.
      “All other services related to air cargo can be handled through one platform,” he said.

Bringing Costs In Line

      AFB said that it is also seeking to reduce the spend on logistics.
      India spends 14 percent of its GDP on logistics in comparison to the 8-9 percent spent by developed countries.
      “Today,” the AFB founders said, “air cargo stakeholders rely on emails and phone calls to make inquiries.
      “Once they start using AFB, they will understand that we are game changers.” The ADB’s founders assure the ultimate goal is to organize and digitize the logistics industry, making it more efficient and increasing its contribution to country’s GDP.
      “We look forward to cutting logistics cost and facilitating real-time information dissemination, which in turn will encourage small-scale importers and exporters to sprout up in the country.”

Tirthankar Ghosh

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Miss Lillian Ross
     Lillian Ross, who the New York Times aptly described as “the consummate fly-on-the-wall reporter in more than six decades at The New Yorker,” died on Wednesday, September 20, in Manhattan, New York.
      She was 99.
      Countless generations of readers and writers appreciated this lovely, down-to-earth artist. She had a wonderful technique and style and become the heart and soul of The New Yorker, one of the truly great magazines.
      She retired in 2012.
      “You try not to get in the way of the person you’re trying to show,” she wrote of her technique.
      “You are trying to follow along the person you’re interviewing, to respond to him instead of coming along with a lot of prepared questions, you just get him going.
      “Don’t bother him.
      “And listen.
      “It’s just a question of listening.”
      People that knew her noted that “on assignment Miss Lillian asked very few questions and never used tape recorders but filled many notebooks.”
      “Miss Lillian preached unobtrusive reporting,” The New York Times wrote, “and practiced what she preached.”
      She outlined her credo in the preface to her book Reporting (1964):
      “Your attention at all times should be on your subject, not on you,” Miss Lillian declared.
      “Do not call attention to yourself,” she concluded.
      Here is a landmark essay from 1950 that Lillian Ross wrote about Ernest Hemingway:      https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/1950/05/13/how-do-you-like-it-now-gentlemen
      It’s best to savor these glorious words in a flight of fancy and fantasy during some quiet time that is truly all your own.
      Thanks, Miss Lillian…  

If You Missed Any Of The Previous 3 Issues Of FlyingTypers
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