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   Vol. 17 No. 69
Tuesday October 16, 2018

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Juan Cruz Racana, Vladimir Zubkov, Warren Jone, Sebastian Scholte
TIACA Air Cargo Forum is back flying high, wide and handsome in Toronto starting today October 16. Left to right—Juan Cruz Racana, CEO Americas Alliance SAL; Vladimir Zubkov, Secretary General TIACA; Warren Jones, Executive Director TIACA and Sebastian Scholte, Chairman TIACA.

The clouds hung low over the tall buildings on Monday, but inside the gleaming downtown Toronto Metro Convention Center, Greater Toronto Airport Authority hosted a bright and enthusiastic welcome luncheon for a roomful of executives from the industry. Amongst the attendees were the Canadian International Freight Forwarders Association (CIFFA), Air Forwarders Association (AfA) Board of Directors, Miami International Airport officials and other invited guests.
     The International Air Cargo Association (TIACA) Air Cargo Forum officially opens for business on Tuesday, October 16.

Vlad Glad & He Shows It

     “It’s an exciting time and many of the people in this room worked very hard to make our show a success, especially Greater Toronto Airport Authority,” said Vladimir Zubkov, TIACA Secretary General.
     “It’s going to be a great conference, enthused Sebastian Scholte, TIACA Chairman.
     “We are expecting more than 3,000 visitors and will feature the most prolific sessions ever attempted at any organized air cargo industry event with over 90 featured speakers.
     “Technology is on the half shell here,” Sebastian enthused, “as TIACA pushes the envelope encouraging the industry to change.
     “We are excited to be a major thought leader in air cargo.
     “As example, a year ago TIACA embraced Cargo Service Quality (CSQ) that offers what shippers want, better transparency across the entire supply chain.
     “CSQ is like a Trip Advisor for air cargo, as TIACA is also working toward greater transparency.

Kim Stangeby

Toronto Night Move On Air Cargo

     “We are on the move,” said Kim Stangeby, VP & Chief Strategy Officer for Greater Toronto Airport Authority.
     “As the ninth largest airport in North America, YYZ has come a long way since our gateway facility opened for business in 1939.
     “Cargo is very important to the airport. South Ontario is an export-oriented economy and there is an imperative need for a vital airport for the shipping
community, which is our mission to provide.
     “Perhaps even more significant is that our major growth, a great leap forward has occurred during the last ten years.
     “Our gateway is a world leader in terms of connectivity, with 175 destinations serving 70% of the world’s GDP.
     “Cargo is top priority here as we build tonnage that is expected to double in the near future.
     “We hope,” Kim said “that everyone at the TIACA event will stop by our display, have a cup of coffee, and learn of the exciting plans in store for air cargo in Toronto.”

Airforwarders Association Board Of Directors

AfA Goes Face To Face at JFK

     Next up, AfA goes Face To Face at JFK International Airport on November 13.
     “We support TIACA with our Airforwarder Association (AfA) Board Meetings ongoing in Toronto this week,” a smiling Brandon Fried, AfA Executive Director declared.
     “Our big news is that AfA will conduct a one-day gathering for the New York/New Jersey air cargo community at Building 14, Port Authority of New York & New Jersey on November 13 from 4:00 to 7:30 pm.”
     The meetings will address various topics challenging air cargo growth, including congestion at the airports.
     “AfA wants to work with the local community toward the betterment of the cargo business by strengthening the airline forwarder partnership up and down the line.
     “We will hold discussions inviting participants to drive change by raising their voices.
     “Edited transcripts of our discussions will appear in FlyingTypers and be available on the AfA website as well.
     Cost to participate with cocktails and an excellent variety of ‘food to nosh on’ in a relaxed professional atmosphere is $55 for members, $75 for nonmembers.
     “We care about the state of business in every community we serve.
     “AfA is dedicated to building a better business and hope that others in New York/New Jersey will participate in “AfA Face To Face at JFK,” Brandon Fried, said.
For more information Contact:

chuckles for October 16, 2018

Richard EliesonRichard Elieson is the President of Cargo at the world’s biggest airline. He came to that top post in March 2017.
     Here are some fresh takes on an industry in change, as Rick evaluates everything (including himself) a year and a half after he assumed command.
     What emerges is a gift to air cargo. The lines to the future are clear and in sharp focus, and the fire of adventure and discovery burns brightly for Rick Elieson.
     Lucky us.
     “I am awestruck by how much the average consumer is dependent on air cargo,” Rick declares.
     “On some level, people are aware of that when it comes to e-commerce or perhaps auto parts or other big-ticket specialty items.
     “But I can’t walk into a grocery store without being struck by the impact we have on the daily lives of our neighbors.
     “It isn’t one thing, it’s practically everything.
     “Maybe cargo veterans become numb to this and begin to take it for granted like everybody else, but I’m still amazed at the fabulously fresh fish I can get at my local market even though Dallas is 300 miles from the nearest ocean.”

Maybe I’m Amazed

     “Admittedly, I am also amazed at some of the inefficiencies that still exist in a business that is all about getting things done as efficiently and smoothly as possible.
     “Many years ago when I was on the passenger side of the house, I formed a team to close the gap between the pricing and inventory that we intended to distribute and what was really happening in the market.
     “Some of what we came up with was shutting down gaming, fraud, or secondary markets, but most of it was simply redefining policies or practices that allowed us to get the most out of our limited assets.
     “For example, by leveraging data and increasing accountability you can reduce the variability of bookings that don’t show up, or eliminate them all together. “

Making The Customer Happy

     “You can make customers happier by increasing the capacity you make available while eliminating waste and improving revenue.
     “In cargo, I believe we have loads (pun intended) of room to grow in this regard.”

Air Cargo Report Card

     “One of the things my team does really well,” Rick Elieson said, “ is collaborate across functions.
     “Beyond the expertise they demonstrate within their respective area of responsibility, it is the dynamic of how we work together that makes me most proud and that has greatly contributed to making this a fun and really rewarding role.
     “When you have a team that loves what they do, and loves doing it with each other, that dynamic shows up in positive ways over and over.
     “I hope our customers see it too and that it spills over into great customer service.”

Once More Into The Breach

     “We have big plans for the coming year.
     “With projects like the implementation of a new IBS technology platform, and all of the change that it will require, I can't imagine a better group of people to go through that with.”

The Changing Scene

     “Competition is always good.
     “New entrants are a gift to the industry for the way in which they highlight inefficiencies, missed opportunities, or services that we’re failing to deliver as an industry, as well as the way in which they compel or accelerate innovation and investment in a better customer experience.
     “As a team, we talk a lot about maintaining a growth mindset and embracing feedback.
     “It isn’t always easy to feel appreciative for ground that is constantly shifting beneath your feet, but it will keep you fit!
     “That doesn’t mean I'm content to lose ground to new entrants—quite the contrary.
     “We pay them a lot of attention, and respect the insights that come from doing so.”

The Airline Forwarder Partnership

     “We will always need forwarders.
     “I’m not pandering.
     “I often hear airlines say this sort of thing, but I’m not always convinced they are sincere.
     “Based on the way many forwarders react, I don’t think they believe them either.
     “It’s unfortunate because that lack of trust is an inhibitor to the kind of things we can accomplish together.

AA Cargo HalloweenJust For Instance

     “Allow me to share an experience from last year and try to convince you to believe like I do, that the airline-forwarder relationship is here to stay.
     “It was just over a year ago when a trio of hurricanes devastated parts of the U.S. Puerto Rico was especially impacted and given our former hub in SJU, we have a lot of team members with family or friends still on the island.
     “We immediately launched an employee program where any of American Airlines’ 130,000 team members could send relief items to SJU for free.
     “The massive response was both touching and quite overwhelming. “In the first month following Hurricane Maria, we shipped almost a million pounds of relief items from individual team members.
     “This was a direct person-to-person program where employees brought their items to the airports and their family member would pick it up at the airport on the other end.”

Partnership That Works

     “So what does this have to do with forwarders?
     “It not only became clear, but became a dilemma for us, whether to move, for example, 100,000 pounds of aid from 250 individuals (who each tendered separately) or 100,000 pounds of aid from a handful of forwarders that was already built up and that we could just roll through the warehouse and onto the plane.
     “The solution became clear as only one of those options was sustainable.
     “We don’t have the infrastructure, nor will we ever invest in on-airport facilities to support that kind of direct-from-consumer demand.
     “That doesn’t play to our strengths and doesn’t make sense as a strategy for a passenger airline, no matter how attractive it may appear in theory or on paper.
     “Our forwarders run certified cargo-screening facilities, so a lot of shipments arrive pre-screened and ready to roll out the back door and onto a plane.
     “Of course, we do a lot of build up, too, but our capacity for that kind of traffic has physical limits that will never keep up with the fragmented way in which demand for air cargo is growing.”

Forwarders Add Value

     “That is but one lesson Hurricane Maria taught me, but good forwarders add value to what we do as an airline in many more ways.
     “The more openly we work together along with forwarders and shippers, the better we understand and can address each other’s needs.”

Future Cast Starts With Digitalization

     “Digitalization is a pre-requisite to a lot of efficiency and improved utilization. I am absolutely convinced that better access to data will lead to innovation.
     “Tell me, what's your favorite technology buzzword; big data, blockchain, cloud, AI, machine learning, IoT, VR, AR, something else?
     “I'm not aware of any Silicon Valley startups applying those technologies against paperwork stored in boxes in a warehouse.
     “We can argue about the benefits of eAWB, but we have to go digital and we have to accelerate our progress if we want to avoid being disrupted by new competitors who don't have the legacy systems and processes to overcome.”

Get It On American

     “This year we’re operating 150 widebody aircraft, and have placed an order for an additional 47 Boeing 787s, with deliveries starting in 2020
     “Now, these new 787s will represent increases in capacity, but our growth isn’t going to be confined to growth in capacity.
     “Improvements in utilization represent significant opportunity too.
     “I am confident that American is not alone in that regard because many of the drivers to this sub-optimal utilization are industry practices.

Admires Jose Ubeda

Jose Ubeda      “I have met a lot of people whom I have come to admire and I have been especially impressed with the entrepreneurial spirit so prevalent among forwarders. But one name that comes immediately to mind is Jose Ubeda at Expeditors.
     “Jose is focused on investing in and defining the industry’s future; he’s action oriented and he’s passionate about workplace culture.
     “Jose is self-made and dedicated to giving back to the community in which he lives.
     “Based on the way they work, it is clear to me that Jose places a high value on trust and collaboration.
     “These are all qualities that are easy to admire.”

A Common Misunderstanding

     “I don't like referring to the items we carry as ‘commodities,’” Rick said.
     “The things we move have unique value in people’s lives.
     “Live organs or pharmaceuticals are pretty obvious, but I feel the same way about produce and a lot of other things we carry.
     “We have an incredible impact on the quality of people’s lives.
     “The IATA study from a couple of years ago concluded that while air cargo represents less than 1 percent of trade volume, it represents 35 percent of the value.
     “I’ve seen BTS estimates that has the percent of volume remaining pretty steady over time, but with the percent of value sharply rising.
     “That doesn’t sound to me like we’re carrying commodities.”

The Legacy Thing

     “I don’t aspire to be somebody or something that I’m not.
     “I honestly just want to do my best every day. I feel like I’m about to start quoting lines from the movie Bull Durham!
     “I’ll put it this way.
     “Growing up, I loved western movies. My Name is Nobody was (and still is) one of my favorites.
     “The central theme of the movie is that ambition or fame has a way of backfiring.
     “Happiness is found in authenticity or honest relationships, hard work, and caring for others.”

The Last Word

     “This year we’ll turn in record volumes along with record operational performance.
     “We’re having a strong year.
     “Although there’s a lot of noise in the market around trade wars, I haven’t seen anything that has dampened my optimism.
     “If you look at the macroeconomic trends, incomes are up, unemployment is down, and consumer confidence is strong.
     “And I don’t know anybody who is planning to do less online shopping next year.”

If You Could Change Something

     “I would like to change two things about air cargo: capacity utilization and digitalization, both of which I’ve already ranted about.
     “I believe they would ignite our industry, and would be genuinely good for everyone.
     “I don't think these are competitive issues and I believe that each of them will require progress as an industry in order to really make meaningful change, and so I hope I’m not the only one who feels this way,” Rick Elieson said.

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Why TIACA Shines In 2018

Publisher-Geoffrey Arend • Managing Editor-Flossie Arend • Editor Emeritus-Richard Malkin
Film Editor-Ralph Arend • Special Assignments-Sabiha Arend, Emily Arend

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