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   Vol. 17 No. 40
Tuesday July 3, 2018

Recently a mixed, yet optimistic message came from a white paper entitled “The Evolving Freight Forwarding Market (2018).” The report, published by LTI and based on just 50 responses to their survey, reveals optimism among the forwarding community in spite of technological change, e-commerce challenges, and the new collaborative enterprise pressure toward change.

Summer 2018 Signposts

     Almost surprisingly, forwarders are “expanding (or opening) fulfilment facilities in key locations and combining these with their airfreight forwarding expertise to provide fast delivery services to customers.” On the other hand, there is no shortage of literature sentencing forwarders to rapid decline if they are not ready to evolve into a new dimension of logistics.
     So we hear on one side that Amazon, Alibaba, and others tend to unconventionally invest in logistics, sending shivers up the spine of logistics enterprises in doing so, but we also see the expanding market of the freight forwarders who are ready to act.

FIATA IATA Cooperation

     This debate, albeit not really new, happens precisely whilst FIATA and IATA are trying to stay ahead of the curve and experiment the roll-out of their new and ambitious IATA FIATA Cargo Program, which promises to bring air freight into the future landscape of trade.

What’s In A Word?

     The essence of airfreight serving the international trade is the epitome of what the term global means, and the cultural intelligence necessary to implement any credible program across 200-plus countries is a pre-requisite to even start discussions. These are not easy discussions: enormous interests are at stake.
     Women and men patiently involved in this effort are really testing the depth of their diplomatic and business intelligence in this awesome work.

People That Matter

     A sense of reverence surrounds their personalities.
     Readers of FlyingTypers have learnt much about Joana Nunez Coelho, Rudi Sagel, Keshav Tanna, Bill Gottlieb, and many others. These are all exceptional personalities; there is, however, another guy who can be rightfully considered as the mastermind steering FIATA into the agreement with IATA by managing and interpreting the complex landscape of the FIATA Airfreight Institute.
     This person is Jean-Claude Delen, who has been playing his cards shrewdly within the AFI negotiating group and in other areas of FIATA’s extended constituency vis-à-vis the IATA positions.

The Belgium Dynamo

     If you have been involved in logistics and airfreight in Belgium in the last five decades, Jean-Claude is the person you have probably heard about quite often.
     It was my privilege to come to know Jean-Claude years ago and spend the second part of my career at the service of the associations where he was firmly at the steering wheel.
     Today Jean-Claude is the President of the FIATA Foundation for Vocational Training in Zurich, after serving many years as FIATA President and then FIATA Treasurer.

A Lifetime of Leadership

     Jean-Claude is originally from Liège, the Ardent City and heart of the Belgian Ardennes; in his long and straightforward career, Delen has collected a number of high-level positions in logistics and transport, both in his home land (25 years at the top of BAFI and CEB) and abroad.
     Heading CLECAT, the EU-level representing body of freight forwarders in Brussels when I was working there, he has been a President for whom it was fun to work and in that period good results came like rain.
     His personality can elicit a sense of envy in the young guy who approaches our thriving, yet tumultuous sector.
     The hindsight of these extraordinary career achievements should not confuse us, if we have a look at where all this started in 1965 as a junior clerk helping the morning clearance of the afternoon deliveries coming by air to Brussels for Air Express International (later to be acquired by Deutsch Post DHL). Having reached the position of CEO Benelux and France in DHL Global Forwarding, Jean-Claude held his head high up in the air, but his foot was planted on the gas of his rather eye-catching car.

Jean-Claude Takes A Ride

     Today JC’s plate number is JCD 501, a feat in Brussels’ randomly chosen registrations. Delen drives an exclusive Mercedes, as JCD has never made any mysteries of his passion for fast cars.
     Jean-Claude has always been a restless worker. In those days it was imports by day and shifts at night exporting Caterpillars, a customer Jean-Claude carried with him all the way through his long and extraordinary career.
     No wonder his president was pleased with his work; no wonder, either, that Jean-Claude knows what you are thinking ahead of your own awareness.

Life After DHL

     When Jean-Claude left DHL in 2014 he was immediately contacted by the CEO of Brussels Airport and became his Senior Advisor, yet still serving as the president of the “Social Funds & Pension Transport and Logistics,” a fund providing pensions and welfare to some 64,000 workers in Belgium. We shall stop at that, but we could continue . . .

Self-Made Man

     Jean-Claude writes himself as a “self-made man, easy approachable in all circumstances by all level of employees.” When you put this together with other qualities (which he modestly keeps concealed behind thick curtains) such as steely determination, decent health, patience, anticipation, repartee and stamina, and you have a first-class negotiator who managed to pull the diverging ideas surrounding the airfreight business together and, significantly, get two heavyweight signatures on the last page of the deal.

Runs In The Family

     With this kind of pedigree, one might think that Jean-Claude works 24 hours a day and doesn’t have time for a family.
     Well, that would be a mistake.
     He runs a rather comfortable life in the outskirts of Brussels (where well-to-do Belgians actually live, the center of Brussels being more attractive for expats than Belgians) with his wife, Hélène, a charming, intelligent lady who calls him from time to time to inform him of small disasters caused by his dogs. Jean-Claude is no longer young, but you would not suspect his age if you met him, and you should be especially wary of confronting him on a golf course.
     So the question remains open: is Jean-Claude doing better as the mastermind of logistics or as a golfer?
     If you wish to discover this you might test his own statement, which describes him as easily approachable.
     In order to do that, you might have to become his employee, but that would actually be quite a rewarding experience.
Marco Sorgetti

  Chinese ground crew members welcome an Atlas Air Boeing 747-400F in service for DHL Global Forwarding at the Sunan Shuofang International Airport in Wuxi City, East China’s Jiangsu Province, on May 18, 2018. Afterwards, it headed to Frankfurt-Hahn Airport. DHL is offering twice weekly services.

  Keeping Track . . . Commercial aircraft of Chinese airlines stand on the runway of the airport in Parchim, Germany.
  The Chinese logistics company LinkGlobal has operated the former Russian military airport since 2007.
  The oft-promised expansion of ‘Parchim International Airport’ into a cargo flight center hub for air traffic between China, Europe, and Africa—as well as the opening of what promoters have dubbed “Europe's Greatest Duty-Free-Center”—has yet to occur.

  Delta Cargo named Lindsey Jalil Managing Director – Commercial. She will lead Delta Cargo alliances, distribution, marketing and communications, products, technology, reporting, and revenue management.
  If that roster of responsibilities seems like a lot, Shawn Cole, Vice President Cargo, is impressed:
“Lindsey’s strong analytical skills will continue the commercial team’s momentum by championing enhanced reporting tools and technology, as well as the introduction of new industry leading products and services.”
  Lindsey joined Delta in 2005. For the past eight years, Lindsey has been part of the Operations Analysis and Performance (OAP) team.
  Prior to OAP, Lindsey held roles in Revenue Management and was Cargo’s Manager – Revenue Forecasting during the Delta and Northwest merger.

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Union Minister for Civil Aviation Suresh Prabhu addressing the recent U.S.-India Aviation Summit in Mumbai.

India’s Civil Aviation Minister Suresh Prabhu recently announced that a blueprint was under preparation for ways to deal with infrastructure constraints in the aviation sector.
     Named the ‘Vision 2035’, the roadmap for growth will not only look at enhancing and improving existing airports and runways but also the development of unserved and underserved airports. This would be especially helpful for the government’s ambitious UDAN (Ude Desh Ka Aam Nagrik or "Let the common citizen of the country fly”) initiative that seeks to boost air connectivity to small cities and towns. Incidentally, Vision 2035 will also provide a clear plan on cargo infrastructure development.

New Deal For Air Cargo

     Coming as it does on the cusp of the civil aviation sector’s phenomenal 19 percent annual growth in the last four years, Vision 2035, according to air cargo stakeholders, has been a welcome move, though a tad delayed.
     They point out that infrastructure moves to accommodate an additional 2 million metric tons to meet the projected air cargo demand (cargo handling capacity of airports: 4.63 million tons) in the next five years – have been taken with the government planning to invest around $133 million USD at airports for infra projects that include air cargo.

Adding Enhanced Cargo Facilities

     The Airports Authority of India (AAI) has put up already 21 common user domestic cargo terminals at its airports. Significantly, measures are being taken to reduce cargo release time to two days for air imports and only one day for exports.
     Infrastructure hurdles notwithstanding, foreign cargo carriers have done exceedingly well.
The Cathay Share
     Take, for example, Cathay Pacific. Cargo from India was "certainly playing its part" in that positive first quarter, according to Anand Yedery, (right) Regional Cargo Manager, South Asia, Middle East and Africa (SAMEA) with “each of our six ports reporting tonnage growth of more than 40 percent”.
     Yedery, who served as top Cathay cargo executive in India before taking up the SAMEA position – mentioned:
     “We are pleased to have a positive story to tell after some challenging years.
     “We have operated additional freighters, including 18 to Delhi alone.
     While the number of passenger aircraft operating in the Indian market is growing, this means the additional cargo capacity is in belly holds.
     “There is, therefore, a continuing opportunity for operators to handle demand for main deck shipments.
     “And we seem to be getting the balance right between flexibility and guaranteed space for our customers.”

Air Cargo Policy

     It can be pointed out that barely a month ago, Minister Prabhu had spoken about drafting a policy that would boost air cargo.
     “We are trying to make a policy for air cargo so that the aviation market can grow, which in turn will boost the trade and economy of the country,” he said.
     Lauding the cooperation and participation of private players in helping aviation grow, Minister Prabhu noted that the country would need similar participation by entrepreneurs and private entities to create cargo infrastructure.

Celebi Checks In

     Ramesh Mamidala, CEO, Celebi Delhi Cargo Terminal Management, is certain that some airports do possess the capability to do faster transshipments.
     He cited his own airport as one that is in the process of having a dedicated transshipment facility with “3, 6 and 12 hours connection windows for different products and commodities.
     “The facility,” he said, “will have the necessary infrastructure, as well as standard handling equipment, large screening machines and ETDs.”

The Singh Song

     Manoj Singh, (left) Senior Vice President and Head of Cargo, GVK-Mumbai International Airport (MIAL), is optimistic about transshipment.
     He pointed out that the gateway airports could be transformed into air cargo hubs, once the regional connectivity program takes off.
     It will be beneficial if the regional airports are connected to the “established major gateway airports. This will facilitate a strong hub and spoke model that will promote air transshipments,” Mr. Singh notes.
     He was quick to mention the upcoming Greenfield Navi Mumbai Airport, where work has already started.
     “Its proximity to the seaport will make that location an ideal transshipment hub,” Mr. Singh added.
Tirthankar Ghosh

If You Missed Any Of The Previous 3 Issues Of FlyingTypers
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