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   Vol. 19 No. 17
Saturday February 29, 2020


IATA Istanbul World Cargo Symposium

      IATA’s World Cargo Symposium (WCS) website confirms that the 14th edition WCS scheduled for Istanbul March 10-12 will go on as scheduled.
     “The health and safety of our delegates are of the utmost importance to us,” IATA said.
     “Our Emergency Response Plan has been activated as we closely monitor developments in the Novel Coronavirus situation.”

No Restrictions On Turkey

     “Our approach is to follow the World Health Organization (WHO) and local authorities recommendations,” IATA assures.
     “At this juncture, no concern has been raised with Istanbul or Turkey and there is no travel or trade restrictions in this region.”

COVID -19 Is A Moving Target

     “This whole COVID-19 matter is a moving target,” a leading air cargo executive told FlyingTypers.
     “It's difficult to make forward decisions other than to sit tight and hope we can come through this with a minimum of human suffering and that the economic and financial impact will not be too severe.”
     Standing back and looking things over a bit, the situation may be under control in Turkey, however WCS is a gathering of people from all over the world.
     In point of fact, World Cargo Symposium is an outgrowth of the mandated yearly meeting of the top cargo executives of the IATA trade group member airlines.
     In the face of a situation, that is possibly developing into a global pandemic, World Health Organization’s recommendations aside, the question must be asked, is this meeting absolutely necessary at this time?


Conferences Cancelled

     Elsewhere the COVID-19 coronavirus has taken down one high-profile cargo gathering in Zurich. The FIATA Headquarters Session scheduled for March 26 was cancelled, with FIATA saying that the event will not be rescheduled.
     In news from another global industry, major tech conferences around the world have cancelled events, including Facebook’s annual F8 developer conference in San Francisco.
     The Vox website last week ran a list of cancelled high-tech conferences reporting,      “Facebook said that due to concerns about the virus, it’s canceling F8 — its biggest event of the year, which last year attracted thousands of attendees from dozens of countries.
     “Instead,” Vox wrote,” Facebook will put on smaller “locally hosted events, videos and live streamed content”.
London Breed     Interestingly San Francisco, as this is written Feb 29, has yet to report its first COVID-19 case, but the thinking seems to be focused on risk factors and lack of control on who might show up at a large gathering of people at this juncture in time.
     San Francisco Mayor London Breed (right) has declared a local emergency amid coronavirus fears.
     “Although there are still zero confirmed cases in San Francisco residents, the global picture is changing rapidly, and we need to step up preparedness,” Breed said.
     “We see the virus spreading in new parts of the world every day, and we are taking the necessary steps to protect San Franciscans from harm.”

Google Offices

COVID-19 Wrecks Tech

     Here is a running list of notable tech conferences, which typically draw between 500 to 100,000 attendees a year, that have been canceled so far due to coronavirus as reported at www.vox.com:
     Mobile World Congress in Barcelona (March 23)
     Facebook Global Marketing Summit in San Francisco(March 9-12)
     Facebook F8 in San Jose, California (May 6-8)
     EmTech, Asia in Singapore (Postponed to Aug 4-5)
     Google News Initiative Global Summit in Sunnyvale, California April 22-23.
     Shopify’s developer conference, Unite, in Toronto (May 6-8).
     “It’s an unprecedented disruption to the usual packed lineup of annual tech events every spring,” Vox reported.

IATA Assures Precautions

     “We are preparing to welcome the delegates of the World Cargo Symposium (March 10-12),” IATA said, “and are looking forward to seeing you all in Istanbul.”
     “All necessary precautions will be taken to provide a safe and conducive business environment to our delegates,” IATA said.
     More click here.
Read Part I of The COVID-19 coverage here.

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FIATA Cancels Annual Zurich Session

Shanghai Port

  As March 2020 takes off, global awareness of the COVID-19 virus continues. The virus has shut down China and claimed victims in countries around the world, spreading uneasiness while wreaking havoc in financial markets.
  On the west coast of the United States, the slowdown in ships arriving from Asia is in marked contrast to the standard post-Lunar New Year, when the goods usually pour into the U.S. and backhaul in large movements to Asia.
  Now marks an uncharacteristically slow time with diminished business travel and cancelled industry events, and workshops in logistics giving way to company advisories.
  Logistics and air cargo is focused primarily on figuring ways to transport indispensable products like pharma and other essentials, while elsewhere consignments—specifically for ships that import finished goods—are still stuck, having trouble even loading 10 percent capacity in ghost town Chinese ports where movement has ceased.
  The logistics chain is frozen, feeling the rippling effect of what has been described as a Chinese economy that the virus “has flatlined.”
  California ports are slow walking the passing days with little to no volumes handled.
  There are reports of surface ships departing Shanghai with less than 25 percent load factors with their normal consignments of cargo containers sitting empty in factories spread out over China.
  Even when containers are loaded at manufacturers, they cannot get to port as workers and truckers struggle to get back to work.
  It is apparent that even when the production spigot turns back on it will take weeks for shipping and logistics to return to normal.

By The Numbers

  World ACD Friday said that January chargeable weight came in at -5.8% year-over-year (YoY); -9.7% month-over-month (MoM).
  General cargo: -9% YoY, Special cargo 0.5% YoY.
  Direct Ton Kilometers (DTK’s): -5.6%
  Yield stood at USD 1.74 (-5.6% YoY, -3.5% MoM). The yield in EUR stood at 1.56.
Cargo load factor dropped by 1.9 percentage-points YoY, and by 4.3 MoM.
  High-Tech & Other Vulnerable Goods increased by +4.6% YoY, whilst Pharma & Temperature Controlled Goods rose by +6.5% YoY. In perishables, meat did best (+6.7% YoY), followed by Flowers (+2.2%), but all other categories declined (-2.7%).

Red Flag From World

  On Friday February 28 ACD said that it thinks that the first quarter of 2020 (and quite possibly the months beyond) will turn out to be an extraordinary period for the world and for world trade, and thus for air cargo.
  “COVID-19 leaves traces in almost all aspects of life, not just in China but increasingly elsewhere as well.
  “Supply chains have been disrupted around the world, to varying degrees, marking how much we have come to rely on Chinese production.
  “First reliable figures on how individual markets around the world will be affected, will hopefully be out by mid-March when detailed February data on air cargo volumes and yields will have been reported,” World ACD added.
  Interestingly at about the same time World ACD released these figures, in Amsterdam, KLM was announcing major cut backs from top to bottom as the struggling airline copes with a precipitous tumble in its global business.
  As February came to an unfamiliar halt moving into leap year, the World ACD figures; the KLM news; and even the weather on Friday in Amsterdam, where a harsh rain storm descended on that beautiful city, was like something out of a gothic tale.

IMFAlways Looking Up

Kristalina Georgieva  So, as the U.S. stock market wild ride continues, IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva said that it is reviewing its projections for 2020 growth in China, while looking at the impact of the epidemic on the global economy.
  In January, IMF said global growth is projected to rise from an estimated 2.9% in 2019 to 3.3% in 2020 and 3.4% in 2021.
  “We are still hoping that the impact will be a V shaped curve with a sharp decline in China and sharp rebound after the containment of the virus,” Ms. Georgieva said.
  “But we are not excluding that it might turn to be a different scenario like a U curve where the impact is somewhat longer.”

IATA Asia Airlines Heavy Hit

  Last week IATA reset projections for 2020 airline business, from a previous prediction of 4.1% to a contraction of 0.6%, the first reversal in the fortunes of the airlines since 2009, a time in which declines were driven by the financial collapse of Wall Street in 2008.
  IATA predicted that in addition to suspensions and reduction in services, COVID-19 is projected to result in a USD$27.8 billion revenue loss for Asia-Pacific carriers in 2020. The majority of that would be carried by airlines registered in China, with USD$12.8 billion lost in that domestic market alone.

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