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   Vol. 17 No. 90
Monday December 31, 2018

Atlanta Airport Ad

Richard MalkinOne of the most important pioneering journalists in air cargo history, Richard Malkin is the only air cargo reporter who covered the Berlin Airlift; with that one act, he practically invented air cargo journalism.
  Richard died in July 2017 at the age of 104.
  Richard Malkin was part of our print publication from 1990 until 1994. He returned to FlyingTypers at age 100 and wrote continuously until mid-2016, supplying a flurry of final of interviews, comments, and feature stories.
   It is worth mentioning that Richard left us with a living legacy of yet-to-be-published stories created in his final years. They cover his exploits during an amazing 65+ years covering the air cargo business.

   Richard created "True Confessions", a series of interviews with past and present air cargo industry leaders, the ultimate in out-of-the-ordinary, air cargo think pieces, worth revisiting as we end 2018.
   Here we present three of the profiles. Please be sure and click to read the entire story. Enjoy.

No Desk Job For Him
Appeared originally on January 20, 2015.

It was Samuel Johnson who observed that languages are the pedigrees of nations. And it was Oliver Evans, chief cargo officer of Swiss International Airlines and chairman of The International Air Cargo Association, who leaned on those pedigrees to broaden his executive and managerial talents in a global air cargo universe.
      Master of five languages, he has directed his attention toward the growth of new business capabilities to meet today’s challenges head-on. Over the decades in the transportation industry, Mr. Evans has “deliberately shaped” his career to amass experience as part of different logistical thrusts in different countries.
      Asked to comment on the current state of the transatlantic cargo market, Mr. Evans noted that despite media reports of economic recovery, “especially in the United States,” he stated that “the opposite is true of Europe where many countries are stagnating or even threatened by recession.” (On the other side of the world, Japan has fallen into another recession.) There was hope in the fact that 2014 experienced a recovery of air freight volumes, but that bit of good news took a steep nosedive under the impact of a “spectacular increase in capacity.”
      He held that overcapacity on the transatlantic run drove rates for many large general cargo traffic to a point where “they no longer cover variable costs.” Add to the foregoing shifts in modal transportation, miniaturization, and “gadget convergence,” and re-engineering in the supply chain. Insofar as Swiss WorldCargo is concerned, its principal focus is on “care-intensive” products that require solid reliability—an area of service that brings “a reasonable return.”
      The iron dictates of geography have imposed certain constraints on Swiss WorldCargo whose home base is landlocked. Long ago it turned its back on competing for volume, instead focusing on specific markets.
      The carrier’s concentration on market specialization—temperature-sensitive pharmaceuticals and laboratory and high-tech material, for example—has proved to be a wise course to follow. Remarking on the tough year 2014 turned out to be for the industry, Mr. Evans drew obvious satisfaction from SWC’s results which were “ahead of budget for the year to date.”

For the rest of the story click here.


Appeared originally on March 10, 2015

At first blush, it appears that Jim W. Butler 42-year-old president of American Airlines Cargo is not much of a desk man. In his first year as the airline’s top cargo officer, he logged close to 200,000 miles touching base throughout its domestic and international systems, which he acknowledged left him somewhat “terrified”.
     He felt encouraged that the flights enabled him to effect personal contact with many people “who deliver service to our customers every day”.
     Of equal importance was the opportunity to interact with a large number of customers.
     In a period of an improving U.S. economy and widespread softening abroad, how does American interpret the challenges? This, said Butler, was precisely what he has devoted considerable time to, “especially in the past few months”.
     He drew attention to a particularly “interesting aspect” of the air transportation business is that the “ebbs and flows” of global economies suggest a vital requirement: “Be prepared to act on the next opportunity.” Underscoring this remark, American’s cargo chief added:
     “Our network places us in a unique position to do so as we are able to link the largest freight entities in the world together, and that requires us to constantly be mindful of optimizing the mix on our aircraft.”
     When a decision is to be made on how to optimize the mix on the aircraft, an unusually large number of factors are taken into account—for example, to name just a few: currency fluctuations, upline and downline demand, short-term versus long-term opportunities. How does the airline react when challenges appear? The airline quickly shifts focus and looks to see “where the next great piece of business might come from”.
For the rest of story, click here.

United Cargo Ad

Dan Muscatello Airport Target
Appeared originally on February 10, 2015

Described in its simplest terms, the design and construction of an airport are for safe aircraft takeoffs and landings; and in between is Dan Muscatello who has spent more than three decades in the public and private sectors wrestling with all manner of cargo problems and strategies. Over the years, like a planter sowing seeds he has applied his expertise and progressive outlook around the world. His proven talents as a development strategist for “both the business and physical facility planning of an air cargo complex, as well as the integration of an ancillary and logistics support services,” rank high as an authority.
     In my interviews with top-level air cargo executives, it has been a common practice to seek respective designations of the world’s three best cargo-handling airports. When I put the same question to Muscatello, he declined, asserting that to do so was “virtually impossible.” He explained that airport operations are vastly different, especially since “comparable criteria” are not immediately apparent. Also—and this is strikingly significant—the airlines, not the airport, perform the cargo handling, and “their levels of emphasis and performance vary dramatically.”
     In contrast to the above, Muscatello suggested three characteristics that a “good cargo operation” will have and open to airport contribution: (a) physical planning for transfer and/or O & D activity; (b) a rate structure that produces a fair profit for cargo operations and building management; (c) along with off-airport businesses, “strategic integration” of airport cargo operations.
For the rest of the story, click here.

PayCargo ad

American Tantrum

     Give the gift of laughter this holiday season with American Tantrum.
     American Tantrum is a hilarious, cutting satire that imagines the contents of the 45th President's Presidential Archives in interviews, classified documents, illustrations and more.
     Buy the book and audiobook here now.

If You Missed Any Of The Previous 3 Issues Of FlyingTypers
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Vol. 17 No. 87
Herd At The Airport
Air Cargo To The Rescue
FT121218Vol. 17 No. 88
Deck Us All With Boston Charlie
A Christmas Story
Winter Solstice

Vol. 17 No. 89
A Tree Grows In Hollis
Chuckles for December 24, 2018
Kelly's Christmas Playlist

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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