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   Vol. 18 No. 55
Tuesday September 3, 2019

Neel Shah Of Flexport

  Neel Jones Shah is a smart guy and a dreamer and doer.
  He is no shrinking violet either, but rather someone who is actively on the front lines of change having moved rather easily from top management at the airlines into top management at the wunderkind bunch at Flexport where he serves as EVP and Global Head of Airfreight.
In addition, Neel sits on the Board of Directors of Amerijet International Holdings, Global K9 Protection Group and is a Senior Advisor to The Boston Consulting Group.
  Prior to Flexport, Neel served as the Senior Vice President & Chief Cargo Officer for Delta Air Lines.
As the head of Delta Cargo, he led approximately 2,000 employees worldwide and oversaw over $1 Billion in freight & mail revenue.
So while unrest in Hong Kong ahead of the vaunted end of year rush continues to cloud an otherwise lackluster 2019 Neel leans in with some thoughts of what’s up and likely to happen.

FT:  What impact has Hong Kong unrest having on cargo to and from China & Intra Asia Pacific?
NJS:  The bulk of disruption at the Hong Kong airport was to belly cargo. Since the vast majority of our capacity is via our own Private Air Service or other freighters, we did not face many issues. We’re keeping a close eye on the situation. Things can change overnight so we’re staying close to clients and partners to keep everyone informed.

FT:  Looking ahead, what will be the impact on the traditional Christmas rush?
NJS: It’s too early to speculate how the unrest in Hong Kong will impact the holiday rush. However, with the level of volatility in the market, airlines will have to plan accordingly to handle the increased demand for capacity, on top of any unforeseen issues like regional unrest or new tariffs.

FT:  What other impacts?
NJS: Near term: There may be isolated volume increases ahead of the Sept. 1 and Dec. 15 tariff deadlines, which will strain the supply chain further downstream.
  West coast warehouses are already saturated with inventory from companies front loading in late 2018 and early 2019. We’ll see rate increases across trucking, rail and warehousing to accommodate spikes in demand.
  Long term: Uncertainty is the new norm. All stakeholders will need to plan and allocate resources appropriately.

FT:  What should shippers do; What are you advising your shipping partners?
NJS: Start planning now. We may see continued volatility this year, including renewed unrest in Hong Kong, a hard no-deal Brexit, or a flare up of Middle East hostilities coupled with annual holiday shipping capacity constraints. With all of these events coming together, shippers will need to have a plan.

FT:  Any other thoughts about this year, such as the tariff situation.
NJS: You know, no one wins in a trade war. Our mission is to make global trade easy for everyone, so any obstacle in the way of trade is one too many. The U.S.-China market could be hit with a capacity crunch as shippers assess the potential savings to avoid tariff impacts, especially at the end of August 2019. Many shippers will try and take advantage of the available capacity, especially the capacity that Flexport is able to offer, in order to avoid the additional cost from potential tariffs. This uptick will tighten the capacity from China to U.S. and potentially justify the need for greater freighter capacity on the trade lane.

Chuckles For September 8, 2014

FIATA New World Order

  Ex-DSV executive Steve Walker called on FIATA to “become a safe haven for forwarders to discuss a wider new industry strategy,” in the face of vertical consolidation by shipping lines, and the attempt to control data via platforms such as TradeLens, a join partnership between IBM and Maersk.
  Mr. Walker questioned if FIATA is “still fit for purpose,” citing that if one was to mention FIATA to any young forwarder, they probably think they are an events company for old forwarders.”
  “FIATA is fit for purpose in terms of deliverables for all its members. But there is clearly a new world order coming up, an IT revolution,” FIATA Acting Director General Steve Morris told FlyingTypers.

Getting Down To Business

  “The challenges [for forwarders] in terms of what Maersk is doing,” Mr. Morris declared, “can’t be underestimated, it is vertically integrating, as it realized it couldn’t do much only as a shipping line.
  “In many places, companies such as Uber are getting rid of the middle man, which in the supply chain is the forwarder.
  “But forwarders have been part of the process for a long time.
  Do forwarders need to see this as a challenge?
  Yes indeed!
  Is FIATA aware?
  “Yes, we are,” Steve said emphatically.
  “If you control the data,” Steve Morris said, “you control your destiny.
  “Give away the data, you give away the destiny.”

Ahead of the Curve

  “FIATA had already been ahead of this development back in 2017 at the FIATA World Congress in Kuala Lumpur, when Working Sea Chairman Jens Roemer argued that FIATA and forwarders should make better use of supply chain data or risk losing out to shipping lines and IT-driven logistics start-ups,” Steve Morris said.

Time After Time For 5,000

  “FIATA, an international body works to gain consensus through a truly democratic process from FIATA’s 106 National forwarding Associations and approximately 5,000 individual members.

How FIATA Works

  “FIATA is comprised of national associations that have their individual interests, however they are keenly aware and invested in being leaders and not taking a passive position,” Mr. Morris explained.

Keep The Change

  “Everything points to forwarders being under huge pressure from the outside.
  “Therefore, FIATA is doing everything to equip members and the forwarding community with tools, training, platforms, expertise and much more to ensure a healthy and competitive industry that continues to promote trade and provide economic prosperity,” Steve Morris said.

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United Front Line Cargo Connection

FIATA Not Old Men


     Nice work on your recent edition and Bill’s writings. Amazon is certainly a case history for the logistics business.
     I don’t know if you knew Dick Wiebe passed away a couple of months ago. He was 94. I think he and Dick Malkin must have had a pact - see who could go the longest - Malkin won! They were 2 incredible human beings!
     Dick and Pearl Wiebe and his family will always be mine as well. I was fortunate to have worked with Dick - he was unselfish, bright, innovative, caring and always had a birthday card for everyone in headquarters and was the truest of gentlemen. Many personal stories are indelibly etched in my mind with fond memories!
Jeff Lehman      Hope all is well with you and your entire family. I send my best.

Jeff Lehman
President & CEO
Greeley Pond Technologies LLC


Hi Jeff,

     Jeff, thanks for your kind and lovely note to the memory of the life and times of a truly wonderful human being.
     For the record, I still remember the first time we met in Oakland where you were humping cargo for old Ed Daley at World Airways.
     I remember, at the time Ed was reportedly packing heat with a brace pearl-handled revolver in a desk drawer, and you advised with a smile:
     “Watch what you write!”
     And I did!
     And I still do!


Every good wish,

Remembering Dick Wiebe

      Richard William 'Dick' Wiebe was educated in elementary schools in Newark, NJ and graduated from Lyndhurst High School, Lyndhurst, NJ in 1942. In 1943, he joined the U.S. Army and became a B-17 pilot in November 1944 and trained navigators for B-29 Pacific Missions. In 1945, he joined the Air Traffic Command as a Traffic Officer serving in Salzburg, Austria and Rome, Italy and was honorably discharged in 1946.

Air Cargo Man 79 Years Ago

     On March 29, 1947 in Lyndhurst, NJ, Dick married the love of his life, Pearl.
     Dick then joined Eastern Airlines in 1947 and worked in New York City until moving to the air cargo section at Newark, NJ.
     In 1950, he joined Emery Air Freight Corp as a supervisor for the three New York Airports, Idlewild (now JFK), LaGuardia, and Newark. Dick then went on to become Manager for Emery Air Freight in Albany, NY and next became Assistant to John C. Emery, Jr. in the Emery home office in New York City.
     In 1961, Emery moved their home office to Wilton, CT where Dick became Assistant to the Vice President in charge of advertising, public relations, sales promotions and direct mail.

Great Life After Air Cargo

     After 30 years with Emery Air Freight, he retired and became a consultant for Emery and other companies to handle their meetings and conventions.
     Dick and Pearl (they were married for 70 years) operated their own consulting company PR Ltd., (Pearl and Richard Limited). Pearl was Vice President of the company and together they worked on meetings and conventions all over the U.S. and in several international locations.
     Dick oversaw all visual aids and logistics while Pearl handled all dining functions and floral arrangements.

A Forward Thinking Man

     Thinking about Dick in September 2019, I must say he has shone bright in memory, though out of sight for some years now.
     But his decent kindness will remain with me forever.
     Many people thought it odd that a book to save Building One at Newark International Airport titled “Great Airports Newark” and, another a year later to save The Marine Air Terminal titled “Great Airports LaGuardia” would carry the logo and also the patronage of Emery Air Freight.
     One day at a meeting I mentioned to Dick that we should stand for something else in air cargo—and saving our airport history would be a good thing.
     Dick, as top corporate communications man for John Emery Jr., picked up the sword and said to me:
     “Go ahead and do those books and send us 5,000 copies each.”
     So I did, and he did, and way ahead the TWA Building at JFK International being saved in 2019, we did our books, and managed to save both the Marine Air Terminal at LaGuardia in 1980 and Building One at Newark in 1990 (now the manager’s office), with help from Bob Aaronson.
     Both are national landmarks.
     Today as LaGuardia gets a total overhaul, amongst the last buildings from the original 1939 airport, the Marine Air Terminal, protected by landmark status, remains.
     The simple truth is—our books, which Dick Wiebe helped bring into being, worked to fasten attention to the vital importance of understanding the future, by remembering the past—the history of our precious aviation industry.
     In 1982, when we put a program called Air Cargo News on New York City Public television, once again Dick backed our effort to bring the air cargo story out to the public at large, by sponsoring our show.
     Richard William “Dick” Wiebe was such a straight shooter and a wonderful human being.
     He shall live in our hearts forever!


Fall CalendarULD CARE
September 16-18, Montreal
Breakthrough To Excellence

October 1-4 Cape Town
Where Technology & Logistics Meet

Air & Sea Cargo Americas
October 29-31, Miami

Logitrans Turkey
November 13-15, Istanbul

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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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