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   Vol. 19 No. 1
Wednesday January 8, 2020

Wenceslas Square New Year's Eve
Celebrating New Year's Eve on Wenceslas Square in Prague, Czech Republic.

Will 2020 Be Year  Mouse That Roared

     Happy New Year!
     In our 45th consecutive year here, we get back to work, sharing the views of people that make the global logistics industry a success.
     Today FlyingTypers is the longest continually published industry media source under the same ownership and Publisher/Editor in the history of air cargo.
     But what will happen in 2020?
     After a less than memorable 2019, it seems everybody is looking for answers.
     Will this new decade be the ‘Roaring 20’s’ or as we celebrate Chinese Lunar New Year later this month, will we step off during 2020 as an industry into “The Year of The Mouse?”
     We open our 2020 effort with some thoughtful words shared by American Airlines Cargo President Rick Elieson offering a plan, featuring a wider perspective of things.
     Rick’s thoughts, as he approaches four years guiding the cargo fortunes of the world’s biggest airline, advance the feeling of his landmark treatise on ‘Leadership’ published here in 2019.
     Then Brandon Fried, the outspoken Executive Director of the USA-based Airforwarders Association gives us his take on things right now.
     Additionally Brandon, in a lively and intriguing interview, continues our exclusive multi-year “Leadership Series,” sharing his thoughts with a revealing overview of his world and the freight forwarders’ perspective.
     As 2020 begins, it feels good to know that sincere, smart thinking is at work for the betterment of our industry worldwide.
     Our series will continue all month long.
     Again, Happy New Year and the best of the best to all our readers in 2020.

Rick EliesonIn 2020 Be It Resolved

     “A couple of thoughts came to mind when thinking about the new year,” Rick Elieson said.
     “I grew up in a household that took goals and goal-setting very seriously. I suspect that is why I actually enjoy the process and the convenient reminder that we get each January to reflect upon and plan for the coming year.
     “Yes, I plan to eat better, exercise more and find ways to improve my sustainability and conservation efforts.
     “But before any of that, my first step is to reflect upon and find gratitude for what was accomplished in 2019.
     “In my case, I have a lot to be grateful for, and at the top of that list is the opportunity to work in such a meaningful industry and among so many inspiring men and women.
     “Eating right, exercise and environmental impact are fundamentally about what we consume, the energy we expend, and the waste or the inefficiency of the process.
     “And so it is when we evaluate the health of our business.
     “Foundational to improvement in each of those areas is my goal to help our team members find greater satisfaction and meaning in their jobs—to solidify the connection between what they do, and why they do it.
     “First we must build on our shared belief that our purpose is to care for people on life’s journey, and that both clarity of direction and motivation result when team members see how their work contributes directly to that purpose of caring for others.
     “This perspective naturally translates into continually striving to improve the customer experience—a major theme of ours in 2020.
     “Second is to be ruthlessly focused on what specific initiatives we will tackle.
     “There are more great ideas than we can possibly accomplish and being intentional and disciplined about what we will set aside is as important, and perhaps even more difficult, as decisions about what we will accomplish.
     “This is challenging to do, while still allowing for entrepreneurship and innovation, but it is super important in unifying us as a team and being as successful and productive as we can be in 2020,” Rick Elieson concluded.

UK Cars For Sale
In UK, January 7, thousands of new cars looking for owners at a compound near Sheerness in Kent. Car sales sunk to a six-year low in 2019. Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) said 2.3 million new cars were registered in the UK in 2019, down 2.3% from 2018.

Brandon FriedMoving The Century Forward

     “2020 could be a challenging year for the logistics industry,” Brandon Fried declared, “due to many global concerns.
     “These challenges include ongoing trade issues, a possible war in the Middle East, impeachment, and the upcoming presidential election here in the U.S., now generating uncertainty.
     “Creatively responding to change has always been the foundation of the freight forwarding industry, so we view many of these challenges as opportunities.
     “Forwarders provide solutions to complex logistical problems using a variety of transportation modes, so they need to remain flexible and ready to help their customers react quickly in an uncertain environment.
     “But regardless of the volume softening seen throughout 2019, a recent survey of Airforwarders Association members indicates increased positivity for 2020. This optimism comes from the need for faster delivery times mandated by perishable companies, e-commerce shippers, and other industries requiring dependable delivery performance. Also, there is the hope of the U.S. reaching a trade deal with China and more favorable global economic conditions prevailing in the upcoming year.
     “U.S. forwarders also remain concerned about increasing airport truck congestion, poor road infrastructure, the impending excessive governmental regulation, the upcoming maritime low-sulfur fuel requirement, anticipated changes to U.S. export regulations, new worker classification laws and lithium batteries (dangerous goods) shipped by companies not adhering to existing laws and manufacturing standards.
     “But despite industry and global economic concerns, freight forwarders are seeing more customer demand for faster order processing and vendor flexibility. Both continue to be the primary deliverables within our business. As a result, our members are increasingly investing in significant financial resources in technology development to provide more efficient customer experience and increased information transparency. Automation is a popular and essential tool for continued growth. Still, we should never forget that people remain our industry’s most valuable asset.
     “Our country has seen nine straight years of economic expansion since the Great Recession, and freight forwarders have benefited as a result of this prosperity. Now, as the economy begins to shift, we look forward to thriving on its changes and continuing our industry success,” Brandon Fried said.

chuckles for January 8, 2020

Brandon Fried Leadership

Brandon Fried, longtime Executive Director of the Airforwarders Association is one air cargo executive in a world of change that seems to transcend time.
     While it has become fashion and even rule to flip and change top executives regularly at other industry associations, there goes “Steady Brandon” out there seemingly unflappable as counterpoint to that action.

Airforwarders Association

    As 2020 debuts, Brandon with The Airforwarders Association Board Members, from left to right— Richard Fisher, BTX Global Logistics; Sandy Gregory, RIM Logistics; Chris Connell,
Commodity Forwarders; Jennifer Frigger-Latham, EMO Trans; Rick Bridges, Roanoke Trade; Sasha Goodman, Rockit Cargo and John Peery, Mercury Air Cargo, keep AfA, not the biggest organization of its kind in the world, punching above its weight.

FT:   What are the most important attributes of a leader?
BF:   Never, ever, fall in to the trap of thinking you’re the smartest guy in the room because the odds are you will be wrong, and the results can be embarrassing. Also, you need to be passionate, committed and positive with a strategic focus since those working with you depend on your outlook and vision for their own success. Treat your team members well by listening to their opinions and providing feedback to help them in achieving overall objectives.

FT:    Why is mentorship important?
BF:   In the history of man, no 12-year-old ever said, “I want to be a freight forwarder when I grow up”. Those who do stumble into forwarding often find themselves fascinated by the daily variety and challenges and those are precisely the folks we want to attract. Teach them right, instruct them well, and they will become tomorrow’s leaders.

FT:    How do you handle customer experience?
BF:   Rule #1 is shut up and listen because this is not a one-size-fits-all world. Every customer has their own hot-buttons, their own needs, and their own unique perspective on what’s important. As important and exciting as the new technology is that is rolling out across the supply chain world, they are after all only tools and, be it a hammer, a saw, a wrench, or a scalpel, are only as good as the hands that wield them. Craft solutions that fit your individual customer’s needs and you will succeed.

FT:    There are many venues along the service chain, including outsourcing that forwarders cannot control, but impact the customer and service partners impressions.
BF:   That’s what successful forwarders do – they manage relationships and must understand that vendors, just like customers have unique needs. As much as we are focused on technology in today’s world, we must never lose sight of the fact that relationships matter more so.

FT:    How can forwarders extend influence to touch points that you do not even have responsibility for?
BF:   Build true and meaningful partnerships with your service providers and understand that loyalty is a two-way street.

FT:    How do you promote great collaborations?
BF:   Foster win-win relationships in which the vision is clear and the strategy concise with easy to understand objectives. If the mission is too complex for the group and its people, many will simply give up in achieving the overall goal.

FT:    What is your idea of happiness?
BF:   Being interviewed by FlyingTypers, but a close second would be a love of commercial aviation and vintage automobiles. I love airports and cargo and am a sucker for the old school style of driving where I’m still in charge and not some damn computer buried under the dashboard somewhere. But the most happiness is spending time with my family and good friends because no plane or car beats those moments.

FT:    Your idea of misery?
BF:    Doing just about anything else for a living. I am passionate about the freight forwarding industry and the Airforwarders Association and am honored to be associated with such a wonderful group of people.

FT:    What do you consider your main fault?
BF:   I worry too much and have come to realize that most of what we worry about never really happens. On the other hand, being concerned drives the passion that helps us accomplish important objectives.

Rx For January—Laughter

     Let’s face it, we have more or less, all been home surrounded in the sanctuary of family and friends for the past weeks and now it’s back to work.
     As soon as the weekend comes around, we will be back home minus the lights and gaiety of the season, looking ahead maybe at some unpaid bills and in some climes, to nine or ten more weeks of winter.
     The weekend might be a good time to watch a movie together at home filled with laughter to bring us all back together once again while the spirit of the holidays still lingers on.
     “The Mouse That Roared” from 1959 is my favorite Peter Sellers movie.
     You might know the late Peter Sellers from ‘The Pink Panther’ or maybe ‘Dr. Strangelove’, a Stanley Kubrick film where he played six different roles.
     Here he plays three different people.
     But even 60 plus years after this movie was created, ‘Mouse That Roared,’ is laugh out loud funny, brilliantly written and acted and wonderful family viewing.
     Mouse is just the ticket for a mid-January weekend.
     Here is the plot.
     In Europe, when the tiny nation of Grand Fenwick’s (that is almost impossible to find on a map) only export revenue, a special wine, begins to be produced in California, their entire economy collapses.
     Things look dire until Prime Minister Rupert Mountjoy (Peter Sellers) points out that no country that has declared war on the United States has ever gone hungry.
     When Field Marshall Tully Bascombe (Peter Sellers) and the 23 other men in the Grand Fenwick army invade the United States, their plan to immediately surrender unravels.
     “In January,” as my grandmother Flossie always said, “laughter is the best medicine. It’s good for what’s ailing you,” she insisted.
     Watch ‘Mouse The Roared’ and believe.
     It’s available on Vudu, Fandango and Google Play. It also can be found full length (dubious quality) on YouTube.

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Publisher-Geoffrey Arend • Managing Editor-Flossie Arend • Editor Emeritus-Richard Malkin
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