the U.S. FlyingTypers learned that several small freight forwarding
companies have gone out of business since the COVID-19 Pandemic has shut
down the nation and many more are teetering on the edge of insolvency.
“The coronavirus scourge has so far
adversely impacted countless companies and millions of American workers,”
declared Brandon Fried, President of the U.S. Washington-based Airforwarders
Enough Pain All Around
“Our nation's airlines are suffering
from decreased passenger demand brought about by global travel bans and
isolation orders, so they need as much support as possible to remain viable,”
Mr Fried said.
Widespread Forwarder Layoffs
Referring to the $25 billion U.S. Government
bailout for major USA flag airlines, Mr. Fried said:
“The U.S. Government financial aid
program includes eligible support businesses such as maintenance and overhaul;
and ticket agents will be sharing the money as well.
“Cargo carriers will be receiving
No Specific Provisions
When asked, what about the hundreds of small-to-medium
freight forwarder companies, the backbone of the air cargo industry, that
get no government aid, Mr. Fried replied:
“Aside from the broad-based Paycheck
Protection Program and the Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program, there
are no specific provisions in the financial relief package for the freight
forwarding and affiliated express trucking community,” Mr. Fried
Pandemic Slashes Forwarder Revenue
“The Airforwarders Association believes
that while our airlines need support, so does the freight forwarding industry
and its affiliates that depend on these carriers for their livelihoods
In a recent AfA member survey, 50% said
that their revenues had dropped in excess of half and 65% said that employee
layoffs were either imminent or underway.
Show Me The Money
“Forwarders need the money,”
Brandon declared, and we are going to help them obtain this crucial assistance.
“Since the most recent small business
relief package is only about $360 billion compared to the $14 trillion
annual U.S. payroll, the allocated amount is likely to be consumed quickly.
Will Phase Five Deliver Relief?
“We expect that Congress will hopefully
pass a new phase five legislative initiative, so we are approaching Congressional
representatives and Senate offices in expectation of this increased aid.
Freight forwarders are an essential component
of the supply chain, handling complex logistical challenges that assure
the efficient and timely delivery of crucial medical supplies, pharmaceuticals,
and perishable foods.”
A top forwarder added, “but what also
must be faced in this situation, is the reality that everyday people and
government lawmakers, by and large, have little to no idea what a freight
“It’s past time that the public
be aware that without forwarders and brokers by the thousands all over
the world who are mostly small-to-medium companies, the air cargo industry
will grind to a halt.
“Many of these companies are right
on the edge without the deep pockets to sustain themselves during this
total shut down.
“Others are just gone and will never
Enough Pain All Around
A realist, but still positive, Brandon Fried
looks at the current landscape and notes:
“Regrettably, those that focus on
tradeshows, automotive, entertainment, and other industries shuttered
by this unfortunate situation are suffering.
“This situation is undoubtedly a challenging
time, but there is a brighter future ahead,” Brandon concluded.
Forwarders Get No Respect
The situation is no laughing matter, but
when Brandon mentions “no specific help to freight forwarders,”
but “a brighter future ahead,” a few minutes later, we think
of Rodney Dangerfield and a speech we delivered in Dublin, Ireland in
2016 as Keynote at The FIATA World Congress.
In 2020, it is way past time that our great
freight forwarders get some respect.