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   Vol. 17 No. 1
Monday January 8, 2018

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     “There is a movement or perhaps a rush that could also be described as a trend in air cargo today – to go out and charge a rate and promise service that is not sustainable.
     “I have always believed that delivering value for money is the true path to building a world-class, reliable and respected air cargo service,” Jan Krems, President United Cargo declares.
     “Every member of our team shares the same spirit, and the result is that today United Cargo is a first-class operation in every aspect of our business from top to bottom.
     “Despite all the talk about competition and capacity, we have grown our business steadily throughout 2017. We’ve reached the point that when all the year’s results are in, we expect to be able to state, for the first time since 2012, that United Cargo is a billion dollar transportation enterprise.
     “When it comes to delivering value for money, we are leaving the temptation to chase the low hanging fruit in air cargo to others.”

A Very Good Year

      That’s the way it goes with Jan Krems. He is all about business with a smile and a team effort.
     We are inside Willis Tower in downtown Chicago, Illinois USA, in the middle of the peak season the likes of which air cargo hasn’t seen since the early years of this decade.
     “Yes, business is good but maybe there is bit too much capacity with several freighters being brought in for Asia and elsewhere,” Jan says.
     “We are the fastest growing cargo carrier as compared to 36 other airlines.
     “I put that down to the quality of our people and the fact that United Cargo is outperforming the competition.
     “We are in a good positive market where many carriers are doing well.
     “But we are always determined to build every aspect of our offering while developing close business relationships that will outlast the current boom,” Jan said.
     “A major concern among the positives is that our growth continues to be fast and furious, which challenges the ability to have all systems aligned.
     “So we are at work as we speak at our hubs in Newark, Chicago and San Francisco, advancing and refining every element of our service delivery.”

Never Confuse Altitude With Attitude

     On a window wall post is a picture of Dwight D. Eisenhower deplaning a United prop flight back in the late 1940s before he became U.S. President.
     Ike’s smile beams like the high wheat across the summer time prairie, whilst 17 floors below, the city of the broad shoulders unfolds itself west to the great plains.
     The visage of Ike plays against the room full of people in earnest to help each other and anybody else, where the airplanes land reminding us of how great and friendly America gets as you move west through this great city.
     “Rates as always are in play, but our approach is to collaborate with our forwarder partners – we both realize that by working together closely we can offer elevated all-in value through our combined effort that will be compelling for our shipping partners.
     “In all cases we never confuse altitude with attitude.
     “Even with our growth and success, we always stay right down on the ground and extra close to our partners to ensure we understand what they need from us. In the Air Everywhere S/H
     “The United Cargo market approach is not toward the bottom rate – instead we concentrate on value-added commodities where our network, product offering and service bring the maximum benefit to the customer.
     “Great examples are pharmaceuticals via our TempControl service, PetSafe and other unique offerings where we own a healthy market share that is expanding due to our focus.
     “We plan to boost that focus on products in 2018 as we deploy our new product team to bring all the aspects of product development, strategy, sales, operations and marketing together to ensure we deliver the high-quality solutions specialty product customers demand.”

No Limits

      While Jan Krems arrives in Chicago each morning with the sun and speaks to customers and colleagues all over the world to monitor sales and service in this busiest of seasons, he can’t resist thinking about what’s new and what’s next.
     “As we approach 2018, we’re beginning to plan our annual Cargo team meeting,” Jan muses.
     “And I believe the theme we’ve chosen says a lot about our team’s mindset as we get ready for the new year.
     “Last year our theme was ‘Unstoppable – we were aligned toward the goal of being the best belly carrier and aimed all our efforts at achieving this status.
     “We’re not cocky or satisfied, but we do think we’ve made great strides toward our objective. So in 2018 our theme is ‘No Limits!’
     “In other words, we want to develop a more ambitious vision, and we don’t want anyone to be confined by the thought ‘that can never happen.’ We have the kind of people who are inspired by challenges and possibilities, so I’m really looking forward to hearing everyone’s ideas on what a ‘no limit’ future could look like.”


   There was good news at the top with the late 2017 turnaround in the transportation sector.    Trains, planes and trucks that had remained flat for most of last year ended the fourth quarter outperforming the S&P 500 Index ratings, moving up 6.8% in December while everything else was advancing at a 3.85% clip.
   Amidst word that U.S. GDP could increase by 2.4% in 2018, higher than what was achieved in the last two years, added to the biggest overhaul of the U.S. tax code in 30 years, FedEx has already indicated that it will increase spending on its various logistics and delivery businesses.

IATA Predicts

    The International Air Transport Association predicts global net profit of $38.4 billion for the airline industry in 2018 up from $34.5 billion in 2017.
   In June 2017 IATA had said the airlines would deliver a net $31.4 billion, but numbers just kept moving upward as the year roared to a close.
   IATA says that the airlines could reach $824 billion this year.
   Cargo revenues should account for $59.2 billion in 2018, up perhaps as high as USD five billion over 2017 levels.

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