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   Vol. 18 No. 28
Wednesday April 17, 2019

Virgin Cargo B0S-LHR ad


  “Our new 787-10 aircraft are now available for trans-Atlantic shipments from New York/Newark (EWR) to six international destinations (FRA, TLV, CDG, BCN, BRU, DUB).
  “The 787-10 has 15% more volume for cargo and is 20% more fuel efficient than the 787-9.
  “Book your next shipment on one of these new or upgraded routes!
  “You will be glad you did!”

Mike Oslansky, Director, Cargo Operations America at United Airlines Cargo

Bill BoeschBill Boesch is an air cargo pioneer but also a dreamer & doer across a distinguished and exemplary 40 plus year career. Bill served as President of American Airlines Cargo where he put that carrier on the world stage during the Robert Crandall era.
     Bill is also a key logistician for U.S. military forces who during the Iran & Iraq conflict created methodologies in transportation that delivered the goods while saving lives.
     For his effort Bill was awarded The Medal of Freedom at a ceremony on Ellis Island in New York harbor, in the shadow of the Statue of Liberty.
     Among his other activities, Bill has contributed a series of nine articles exclusively to
FlyingTypers offering his unique knowledge and perspective into the ongoing impact that the administration of President Trump is delivering to business and air cargo.
     In “Trump Effect Number 10” Bill goes four square into sharing both an up to date business recap, and look ahead into the latest thinking, as Amazon and other drivers change the landscape for air cargo in 2019.

President Trump has been in office for over two years now and – despite major political opposition from Congressional Democrats and some Republicans – he’s made good on many of his promises to enact sweeping change in America.

The Record So Far

     With the confirmation of Justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court, as well as a record number of lower court judges, he has established a conservative majority in the judiciary.
     Mr. Trump has taken steps to shift U.S. policy in a pro-life direction.

Promises Kept

      Building on his campaign promises, Mr. Trump has taken a hard line on immigration, rounding up and deporting record number of illegal immigrants, tasking the U.S. military to secure the southern border; arresting Central American illegal asylum seekers and placing increased restrictions on H1-B visas.

Tax Cuts & Trade Deals

      Mr. Trump's economic policy has included a $1.5 trillion-dollar tax cut as well as a new, assertive trade policy that rejected trade deals such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership, while forcing the renegotiation of others, as with the new U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) to replace the North America Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).
     In Veteran’s Affairs, he has pushed for the partial privatization of the VA health system, promising increased choice and higher quality of care for veterans and their families.
     His support for Israel has been unprecedented, including the recognition, both of Jerusalem’s status as the Israeli capital and the annexation of the Golan Heights, seized from Syria in 1967.

The China Card

      Mr. Trump challenged China with a tough package of tariffs forcing them to the negotiating table to establish a fairer trade deal and protection of American intellectual property.
      He has reasserted American sovereignty through his withdrawal from the Paris climate agreement, the Iran nuclear deal, the United Nations Human Rights Council, and the UN's Global Compact on Migration, as well as rejecting the G7's joint statement in 2018.

Fair Share Agenda

      Mr. Trump has challenged U.S. allies, pushing NATO allies such as Germany and France to pay their agreed share of defense costs.

The Report Card

      Whatever your opinion on these matters, it’s undeniable that Mr. Trump has shaken up the status quo.
      Economically at least, his policies have paid off, with U.S. GDP booming, a stock market taking off and jobless rates near record lows. But, while he has been busy, “Making America Great Again,” this has come at a cost for the U.S. commercial airline industry.

Cost To Air Cargo Not Favorable

      Not all of the challenges of the U.S. commercial aviation came out of his policies – record labor cost increases led by pilot and mechanic shortages resulted from trends and policies that predate the current administration.
      But Mr. Trump's fair-trade agenda is a factor hurting the U.S. air cargo industry.
      The industry’s scheduled air cargo service had dwindled to a single carrier – Amerijet, based in Florida, serving the Caribbean and parts of South America with a fleet of 767 freighter aircraft.
      Beyond that, the U.S. flag integrators, namely FedEx and UPS dominate U.S. freighter operations.
      The remaining U.S. freighters are operated by the American charter carriers whose predominant market is limited to ACMI contracts for companies like DHL and Amazon, with CRAF missions to fill out their product offerings.

Negative On China

      The great hope for growth in the air cargo sector, and somewhat in the passenger market, has been the Asia-Pacific region, with booming China as the crown jewel. This market had been experiencing tremendous growth in both revenue and yield, but American carriers now risk having reduced volume and lower long term market share as trade disputes bite into America’s trade with the region. Following the imposition of tariffs on Chinese goods, carriers have reported a 30% drop in the U.S.-Asia air cargo market.

Europe Is Oversaturated

      A second tier of effect in this decline has been the oversaturation of the U.S.-Europe market, where capacity shifted from Asia has resulted in a glut that’s driven down yields.
      These problems could be short-lived, but not before potentially claiming some vulnerable victims in the U.S. cargo industry.
      This pressure makes the ongoing transformation of the air cargo sector even more important.

Integrators No Longer Hold The Aces

      The dominant position of the integrators has already eliminated most scheduled U.S. air cargo freighter service, with former cargo carriers either bankrupt or absorbed into other airlines.
      Any serious observer of the industry will already be looking ahead to the consequences of current trends and what they mean for carriers.

Amazon Is The Elephant

      The elephant in the room is Amazon, which operates an unprecedented integrated business model.
      Unlike FedEx and UPS who solicit their express cargo from the manufacturers and e-commerce vendors, Amazon moves its own merchandise, effectively making it, its own air cargo customer.
      Currently Amazon meets its air logistics needs with ACMI contracts for 767 aircraft from ATSG and Atlas, like the long-gone Emery used to do.
      Amazon also just announced that it is negotiating with Atlas for a deal on 737F aircraft, which will give it increased penetration of the U.S. market.

Amazon Alibaba Deal?

      There are also strong rumors of an international startup in the next 18 to 24 months.                   Amazon must be looking at Alibaba in China with its 15,860 products from 5,286 vendors, possibly giving it and Alibaba access to each other’s home country as part of the final U.S.-China trade deal.

Amazon Can Control The Market

      By being both vendor and carrier, and through unprecedented data mining into customer preferences and habits, Amazon can control its market and flatten out seasonality peaks and valleys by adjusting prices and offering free express delivery, forcing many FedEx and UPS customers to demand lower rates from the integrators so they can be competitive.

What’s Next?

      As Amazon expands and starts to operate internationally, the situation is likely to worsen.
      The question is, what is Amazon's next move?
      Will it start to operate its own airline to lower its costs and control its own air transportation?
      If so, will it form its own 121 airline, “Prime” as its AMCI aircraft are already printed in its colors and name; or will it buy one or both of the air cargo charter operators it is presently using or maybe even an integrator?
      Or is it thinking more strategic as all it really needs to do is buy a controlling interest in any of these companies.
      Either move by Amazon would change the face of America’s air cargo industry and cause withdrawal or consolidation of the present U.S. cargo charter carriers, and maybe even one of the integrators.
Bill Boesch
My thanks to Kuba Wrzesniewski for his help in research and editing this article.

To Read Part 1 of This Series, Click Here
To Read Part 2 of This Series, Click Here
To Read Part 3 of This Series, Click Here
To Read Part 4 of This Series, Click Here

To Read Part 5 of This Series, Click Here
To Read Part 6 of This Series, Click Here
To Read Part 7 of This Series, Click Here
To Read Part 8 of This Series, Click Here
To Read Part 9 of This Series Click Here
To Read Trump Effect—India Walks Softly Carries Big Stick, Click Here
To Read Trump Effect—Implications Of A Trump Trade War, Click Here

To Read Trump Effect—Trump Across The Pacific, Click Here

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Bill Boesch has contributed a series of ten articles exclusively Flying Typers offering his unique knowledge and perspective into the ongoing impact that the administration of U.S. President Trump is delivering to business and air cargo. In “Trump Effect Number 10” Bill goes four square into sharing both an up to date business recap and look ahead.

Here just for fun we step back a bit and widen our scope to include one of most famous "airport happenings" in New York City history. The date was February 7, 1964 and the great international airport for New York City John. F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) said hello to the Beatles musical group and the city went wild.


The Air Cargo Forum India (ACFI) has taken on the task to make air cargo popular – both as a profession and a service.
      A tall order, no doubt – especially when passenger growth continues at a scorching pace prompting aviation stakeholders to look forward to the day in 2024 when if predictions hold, India will become the world’s third largest aviation sector.
      ACFI could turn out to be the right vehicle for the task since it is the only association nationwide representing the entire air cargo logistic/supply chain in India responsible for the transportation of 30 per cent of the total national trade & commerce.

First The Challenges

      The Indian cargo sector has been facing key challenges that have been hindering its growth.
      These challenges include the well known lack of infrastructure and visionary policies.       Coupled with that are long drawn-out processes and hesitation to use of technology and resources.
      To start with we take the constraints and procedural delays that have been hurting the Indian air cargo sector.
      This has resulted in low volumes.
      The combined air cargo traffic handled in FY 2017-18, for instance, put together at all the Indian airports (approx. 3.4 million MT) was still less than that handled by each of the top three cargo handling airports in the world in 2016-17.

I Want To Be Wanted

      In such circumstances, the only way to boost volumes was to make air cargo “wanted”. Forum President Tushar Jani – he is Chairman, Cargo Service Center (handling Cargo Terminals at Delhi and Mumbai among other places) and founder Blue Dart – gave an inkling of why the forum was keen to make air cargo popular.

Crying For Recognition

      Fact is that air cargo has always lagged behind passenger services.
      Jani mentioned that air cargo had been crying for its rightful place for quite a long time.
      “We are going to cry more and more,” he said during a recent meet, directing his words at the Civil Aviation Secretary, the top bureaucrat in the Civil Aviation ministry.
      One of the major reasons for popularizing air cargo, Jani pointed out, was that there were only a few who wanted to join the air cargo industry.

Air Cargo Gets No Respect

      As head of the Cargo Service Center, Jani said he faced an attrition rate of nearly 22 per cent every month.
      Most of those who quit working did not consider working in cargo “respectable”. The only way out is to change the mindsets of potential workers.
      If the people – especially those around airports – were taught to think differently and accept air cargo as easily as they do for the passenger side of the business, it would go a long way to enthusing youngsters to join the air cargo sector.
      To achieve popularity, the world has to know that air cargo is a great business with plenty of opportunities.
      If all goes according to plan, that would be the message that will be displayed around Delhi airport – to begin with – on TVs.
      The finer details would be worked out once the air cargo stakeholders agree along with the Ministry of Civil Aviation.

The Infrastructure Challenge

      Behind all this, there was a need to bring about a serious approach toward improvement and creation of infrastructure for air cargo.
      Along with infrastructure, the single window approach that has been created needed more support from participating agencies to eliminate delays.
      That is, as Jani said, “because cargo does not scream or shout”.

Hi Geoffrey and Family,

     It is good to hear from you. I have just listened to some of your PODCASTS.      Congratulations for your creativity and continued and unselfish drive in support of the air cargo industry. Another great way to get your messages across.
     Although in 3 months (July 2019) it will already be 5 years since I retired from the Dubai Air Cargo scene, I still read your FlyingTypers e-Zines, and I realize how fast memories and those of the people I have worked closely with (colleagues and customers alike) fade.
     One thing that strikes me when I read your e-Zines, how little, if anything has changed, in those 5 years, the good old story about people’s mistrust and reluctance to embrace (even positive) change. New people, same old politics unfortunately, democracy at its worse.
     Even my former pet subject, Calogi, while no doubt a system light years ahead of our industry's outdated processes, in terms of bringing players together, seems to have abandoned its ambitions to become a global portal and is only making its mark in its home market, Dubai, which without it, would not be the same, and struggle without a community portal like it.
     I have tried hard to leave my hopefully positive mark on our industry over the 40 or so years I was active in air cargo, but being retired since 5 years, I have to admit that looking at it from a distance and not being directly involved anymore, the same old subject, the same old suggestions, and the same old resistance seems still omnipresent.      At least, you stand out in not giving up preaching for a better industry, for which I admire and applaud you.
     With my warmest regards from my new (and totally different) purpose in life, MayLaka, Philippines. It really feels great to be retired.


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