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Family Aid 2020
   Vol. 20 No. 4
Tuesday February 2 , 2021
If you have any words you’d like to share, any of your own playlists you’d like us to help distribute, or other content that has helped you navigate this difficult time, please share them with us. Air Cargo News FlyingTypers hopes to be like an online hearth for our cargo family. #AirCargoCoronaContent

Seeking Networking

     OK you are desperate to get out to a meeting.
     But hear this . . . it is February, a grim anniversary of the world in the grip of COVID-19, and the pandemic is still raging everywhere.
     So do the math, and take a reality check:
     From that view, there is about an ice-cube’s chance in hell that any air cargo trade shows or live gatherings make much sense right now, or will take place in 2021.
     Those words are the consensus thinking almost everywhere else in the world as you read this blurb.

The Inconvenient Truth

     But there’s more.
     Have you noticed that since every single organized event, trade show, Expo and the like from companies or organization that put an event on has stopped cold now for over a year, that air cargo is doing just fine, thank you?
     Business is brisk and the bright shining star in the airline firmament is air cargo and people who yearn to a return, even after the pandemic finally goes to hell where it belongs, will have to stand back a bit and consider a new reality.
     “Well I got along pretty well without these expansive trade shows, maybe it’s time to reevaluate spending all that time and money and allow Zoom and other methods of contact with my colleagues and customers to take over,” is how we hear the conversation advancing.
     We are not suggesting that air cargo give up trade shows forever. But we are absolutely certain that the days of a number of these events continuing as cash cows for some companies seem to be numbered.

The Show Must Go On 2021

     But paddling against the current, IATA has announced, “World Cargo Symposium will be held” October 12-14 in Istanbul. IATA has also said it will hold CNS Partnership April 25-27 in Miami.

How About TIACA SFO September?

     Looking at another announcement that came to light last week from Transport Logistics and TIACA pitching a September event in San Francisco, we get it—the cabin fever rages but what is going on here?
     Right now the vaccine is not available in sufficient numbers to grant the broad-based immunities that these getting “back to normal” air cargo trade shows seem to indicate.
     UK is in total lockdown as February begins. So is France, Netherlands, Portugal, Ireland, Greece, Austria, parts of Germany, vast areas of India, Latin America, areas of Beijing and elsewhere in Asia.
     Last we checked, the place to be anytime if you have to be some place during this pandemic may be Florida.
     At least that is where people who live in New York and California reportedly are moving to in droves.
     It seems a bit confusing, right?
     Here is another thought.
     Rather than suspending disbelief, continue to brush up your techno-skills to hold Zoom discussions, join a Cisco WEBEX meeting and watch webinars.
     If we are right and the law of a predictable outcome comes in 2021, expect as the date approaches, the live event becomes a webinar or online encounter then what do you do?
     Remember what happened last year.
     Don’t get fooled again.
     Look for a money back guarantee that if the “live event” is cancelled, you get your money back, including hotel.
     That is the reality of 2021.
     Consider for a moment how fluid the situation is regarding regulations. Air cargo events are global gatherings. Currently corona tests are required for international travel and subsequent quarantines, if test is positive. Here in the U.S., federal agencies are looking at a potential requirement that domestic travelers test negative for the virus before boarding planes.
     Just last week, WestJet Group announced that it would temporarily cease flying to 14 destinations in Mexico and the Caribbean at the request of the Canadian Government.
     We’ll leave you with this.
     Gary Kelly, CEO Southwest Airlines said, “The fact of the matter is, we’re not in control. We don’t know what twists and turns that this pandemic will take.”
     American’s CEO Doug Parker said about the same thing recently, “There’s a lot of unknowns when or how quickly demand will return.”
     Be safe. Wear your mask. WE finally made it to 2021. Don’t let the blues make you bad.

And What about Virtual . . .

     What abut virtual cargo conferences and also those never to be forgotten virtual award ceremonies?
     Well first off all, the thing about any, if not most, conferences is networking.
     Sure, the big extravaganza conferences like Munich certainly have attraction because of their bigness, but the thing that really works is the networking.
     CNS, the yearly Cargo Network Services Partnership Conference is a mid-sized affair that offers a lot of across the table meeting room business accented by some public mixers that offers the best of both worlds.
     Digital conferences that try and tell you they got the networking platform are basically whistling in the dark.
     There is not yet been a televised or virtual encounter that can possibly offer the effect of the human touch and feel that a face-to-face encounter offers in spades.
     Networking is unpredictable, a human journey of discovery. Networking is reassuring and never the same.
     Much in the same way weather forecasters cannot ever tell for sure what the weather is going to do, the anticipation and uncertainty of another opening of another trade show renews and refreshes our senses and makes us feel good that there is something new to discover.
     You simply cannot do that on an iPhone or a computer.

More Rewarding Experience

     As for virtual awards. We still think what the great director Billy Wilder said about the Academy Awards in Hollywood.
     “Awards are like hemorrhoids,” Billy laughed. “Once in a while every asshole gets one.”
     But awards as it turns out do not seem to go away; some people even pay for them, we hear.
     So, our crack research team at FlyingTypers has been thinking about the hijinks of celebration virtually and has come up with what we think should be the ultimate celebration.
     Well maybe this is not our idea exactly, but rather an adaptive reuse of a Christmas tradition from Fortnum & Mason, our favorite retail resource full of good ideas in London.
     It’s called the table bomb. (click photo to view)
     Winners should invite their lockdown partners, (think about how nice it is when you are together in the same routine for a long time to do something completely different) to come close and have a party, some canapes and plenty of adult beverages. Send out an invite saying something like:
     “Meet at 1800 and we will get bombed.”
     What better way for award givers to show the love then to send award winners their own celebration for a job well-done?
     Imagine the host MC announcing “Best ULD Provider” winners, and everyone joins in around the world applauding as the bombs go off?
     Plus, everyone who gets an award and their entourage gets masks, balloons, party favors, party horns in a shower of sparkly flutter!
     Is anybody happy?

chuckles for february 2, 2021

Why Lionel Matters

Most people in air cargo transportation know Lionel van der Walt for the time he served as President of Cargo Network Services (CNS).
     A short term perhaps, but it was Lionel who came to CNS as an agent of change and delivered a much-needed shot in the arm that favorably impacted the pioneering global organization dedicated to advancing the airline/forwarder partnership.
     But what you might not know about Lionel, who remains on the leading edge of change in air cargo serving as CEO of PayCargo, is that Lionel began his transportation career at South African Airways.

Nice Guys Finish First

     The thing about Lionel is that he is a genuine good guy.
     He listens well, is not fearful of tough decisions and stands up for what is right. Most endearing is that he is somebody who is always available to lend a helping hand.
     I thought when he departed from CNS that we had lost a great industry leader but Lionel gently suggested successor Mike White, who as it turned out joined Lionel and Tony Calabrese as the greatest to serve as Presidents of that organization during the past 30 plus years.
     Now as 2021 dawns, we asked Lionel to share his thoughts in the light of the unprecedented sorrow and challenge of the COVID-19 global pandemic.
     At this point let’s face it, it is a new world for all of us.
     We are all in toward bringing inspirational leaders in transportation logistics to the fore.
     Here Lionel joins Jan Krems, who we featured on January 8 in the first of this series. Lionel takes the gloves off, whilst providing some moving thoughts, and a well-reasoned roadmap to tomorrow.
     Jan is revolutionizing cargo at United Airlines, and Lionel van der Walt is a leading edge of building a payment system that will lift our global industry forever. It turns out both are dealing with the same every day challenges as most everyone else.
     Somebody once said nice guys finish last.
     Lionel is counterpoint to this rough and tumble century.
     He is always a reasoned and considerate thinker, dreamer and doer.
     There is life well lived, that is quite evident in his calm and eminently decent demeanor. There is a quick smile and always attractive air about Lionel.
     So pull up a chair and share some thoughts here with Lionel as we climb onboard for 2021.

FT:   When was the last time you had lunch somewhere with a good friend or an important business colleague? What aside from COVID-19 do you think 2020 will be remembered for?
LvanderW:  I recently had the opportunity to have dinner with Ken Nieze, who was recently appointed VP of Sales West Coast, here in Coral Gables, Florida. This was our first dinner together since he joined PayCargo and I really enjoyed the opportunity to connect in person and enjoy a good meal despite the formalities of adhering to COVID protocols. This is what I miss most since the start of the crises: face-to-face interaction with colleagues, clients and friends.
     2020 will certainly be remembered as the year that air cargo came to the rescue, both in terms of generating much needed revenues for the airlines at a time when passenger travel was almost non-existent, and for the key role it played in distributing PPE, and now the vaccine.

Imma, Lionel, Ilonka and Danelle van der Walt

FT:  What are the lessons of 2020, what have you learned?
LvanderW:  On a personal note, I am amazed at how resilient and adaptable my daughters are. Despite many changes and challenges such as working from home, limited contact with others, limited outside entertainment opportunities etc., they have adjusted well and make me proud! My youngest daughter, a senior in high school, achieved straight A grades across all subjects and has been accepted into Honors Society despite all these challenges, always with a smile and happy disposition. How can I then complain with such role models?
     Life is fragile and passes us by at the speed of light. I have learnt not to take my family for granted and to ensure that I make time to be present and enjoy activities together with them. It is the small things in life that ultimately matter most. COVID has certainly changed my perspective towards appreciating my loved ones.
     I have a newfound respect for people working from home. My experience has been that working from home means longer hours. Maybe it is just because I really enjoy my work and getting things done, but I found myself starting earlier, taking fewer breaks, shorter lunches and ending later. Curious as to how others experienced the impact of working from home? My assumption is that I am not alone in this.

FT:  How did 2020 change your business life? What is your greatest regret of this time?
LvanderW:  As with many others, I ended up working from home in Clayton, North Carolina for an extended period of time. This was a bittersweet experience, as I have never before spent so much time at home with no regular travel. My office is in Coral Gables, Florida, so my usual week starts with a trip to Miami on Sundays and then back home again to Raleigh on Thursdays. And then you add on all the domestic and international business trips. Staying at home for such an extended period was truly a system shock for me!
     As mentioned previously, what I miss most is face-to-face interactions, be it with my team, industry colleagues or clients. Zoom and other communication platforms are great, but it is not the same and I feel we lose a lot of value when you are not in the same room and do not have the opportunity to cultivate deeper meaningful relationships as done prior to COVID when getting together during meetings, at conferences, dinners etc.

FT:  What is the price tag of success?
LvanderW:  For me this has been not being able to spend as much time with my family, especially when my daughters were younger, as I feel I should have done. There is only so much time in the day and I found myself focused on an industry that I love and passionately devoted my time to work at the cost of not giving them as much attention as I would have liked to. I have no regrets though, as this amazing industry has afforded me the opportunity to develop an incredible career and through that the ability to provide my family with a once-in-a-lifetime international experience, quality of life, and many other opportunities that would not have been possible without all that hard work.

FT:  What in your work routine do you plan to do differently in 2021?
LvanderW:  Travel! On January 10th I started my weekly commute to Miami again. Love being in the office and having face time with the team. And once it is safe to do so, add additional domestic and international trips to meet with industry colleagues and customers. And my family and I are looking forward to an international vacation again; our planned 2020 trip to Scotland was cancelled due to COVID. Looking forward to that trip, hopefully soon.

FT:  Do you see accelerated benefit to IT as the result of the 2020 experience?
LvanderW:  Yes! One lesson learnt in 2020 is that those companies that had the foresight to invest in new technology and digital transformation were well positioned to respond to the challenges that COVID posed across the supply chain. Those that were not so fortunate ended up having to scramble to implement technology and processes that enabled them to continue doing business in the new era of remote and contactless work practices; not an easy objective when solution providers were drowned with similar requests from many others who were in the same boat. Additionally, if these businesses were lucky enough to implement the technology to respond to COVID, it probably came at a higher cost than those that had the foresight to already start the process of transforming their businesses prior to the pandemic.
     COVID has certainly accelerated digital transformation across the logistics supply chain and with the current momentum, I predict that this trend will continue. However, one question that remains uncertain is as to how long the air cargo industry will maintain its “hero” status and the business priority it has gained the past year. My fear is that once passenger travel picks up, much of the attention at airlines and airports will refocus again on passenger related priorities. However, that does not appear to be the case in the near foreseeable future if you go by what IATA and other associations are predicting. I am sure that everyone in the industry is praying for that day to come sooner than later, but in the meantime, we have a silver lining around this cloud of doom, and that is the accelerated transformation of our industry. We should use this opportunity to get as much done as is possible while we have this bright light shining on our industry and the attention of governments, industry leaders and company board of directors.

FT:  Will there be less or more emphasis on trade shows and group gatherings ahead?
LvanderW:  Our business has always been built on relationships; this is a people-focused industry filled with passionate individuals. As such, I would wager that, like me, many are looking forward to the day that things get back to normal and we can once again attend trade shows and group gatherings. You can count on me to be there as things normalize. However, I think we need to be responsible and face the very tangible risks that COVID poses and ensure that it is safe to do so before rushing out to meet up again. We owe our loved ones, our teams and our industry colleagues the respect and consideration they deserve to ensure that we are not placing anyone at risk before doing so.

FT:  Will Zoom become the new normal when you want to generate attention, hold meetings, build contact via social network?
LvanderW:  In my opinion, Zoom and other online communication platforms are going to play a big part in our daily lives in 2021 and the foreseeable future, however, I have no doubt that face-to-face interactions will ultimately prevail once we have COVID behind us. As an eternal optimist I am hopeful that we will see some sense of normality by the end of the year but am certain that 2021 is going to be another challenging year for many. So yes, Zoom will continue to be the new normal for now.

FT:  Will you work from office as before or have we, like Caesar, crossed the Rubicon and from now on now our way of doing business will be different?
LvanderW:  Addressed in answer above, I am already travelling weekly and back working at the office.

FT:  Would you share your feelings about weakness, old age and luxury? As the page turns on another year after one like no other, what do you want your service partners to know about PayCargo? Thanks.
LvanderW:  Complacency and arrogance are two of the most dangerous traits both in business and in our personal lives. I never take anything for granted, be it good health, friends, family, success, income etc. and constantly remind myself that today’s success and good fortune are not guaranteed tomorrow. This drives me to always try and be as humble as possible, irrespective of the situation and to constantly be on the lookout for opportunities that will stretch me beyond my comfort zone and enable me to achieve personal growth.
     My message to our service partners is that in 2021, we are aiming to further cement ourselves as the leading global logistics online payment platform of choice, and to continue growing our 3,000+ Vendor and 19,000+ Payer network to the benefit of all participants. We are committed to serve all Payers and Vendors across the entire value chain and provide each of them with best-in-class, efficient online payment services that are cost efficient and offer transparency, security, and an exceptional user experience. And finally, we thank each one of them for their continued support, without which our success would not be possible.

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Why Lionel Matters

Desperately Seeking Networking

United Readies for V-Day 2021

Here is the top performing cargo-in-cabin airline operation in the world that today has been engineered and delivered to United Airlines by Jan Krems and his team.

Are you concerned that due to vaccine shipments, there may be space restrictions as we approach Valentine’s Day and Easter 2021?

We truly value our customers and we will always try to find solutions that work for them. Of course, there is a strong focus on transporting the vaccines to where they need to go, but we will work closely with all our customers to meet their needs. We are committed to providing the same levels of quality and service that our customers have come to expect from United Cargo. While the number of daily flights from all airlines has been reduced, our team is here to partner with customers to find creative solutions for all their shipping needs.

Kindly include a best practices view.

We provide exceptional care and handling for flowers both on the ground and in the air, with flights available seven days a week to fit your schedule. We have refrigeration facilities in over 100 locations, and all of our cargo compartments are temperature controlled to assure freshness throughout the journey.

Should flower industry folk plan on booking earlier?

We warmly encourage customers to open the dialogue and share their plans and goals in terms of flower distribution. Especially with deadlines associated around Valentine’s Day and Easter—the sooner we have an idea of our customer’s needs, the better we can put a plan in place and that we can execute against the plan. With many years of experience delivering flowers and perishables during this time, we have a certain level of expectation, but open dialogue and advanced plan notification is always welcome.

What can regulators do to make movement easier?

This is not necessarily a regulator issue to make movement easier. Once passengers begin returning to the skies, we will have more regular flights scheduled throughout the world.

What is the action plan upcoming to handle flowers?

We have incredible products and processes in place to handle a wide variety of shipments in different seasons. We have also shipped flowers and perishables throughout the world and have plans in place to make sure we are meeting our customers’ expectations during different parts of the year. This coming winter/spring holiday season presents some unique challenges, but we are tackling these like we do every year. We may come up with creative solutions such as using a combination of flights and trucking if needed. We are prepared.

What has surprised you in the year of COVID in addition to your biz soaring to 1.7b?

It’s a humbling figure, to say the least. I am so proud of my team rising to the occasion, creating our cargo-only flight program, and being the first airline to transport vaccine shipments into the U.S. I am also grateful for our customers who we have partnered with throughout last year. We couldn’t have done this without them. I wouldn’t say that our success has surprised me—it has just demonstrated that we have a great product, fantastic teams and amazing customers.

Air Canada just converted two aircraft into freighters. Any plans in that direction?

We currently don’t have any plans to retrofit aircraft. United Cargo and United’s International Network Planning teams are continuously analyzing cargo and passenger demand trends and adjust the schedules accordingly. We will continue to evaluate our passenger and cargo-only flight schedule on an ongoing basis making regular schedule adjustments throughout 2021, with a goal of optimizing our global network and fleet and best supporting our customers.”

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If You Missed Any Of The Previous 3 Issues Of FlyingTypers
Access complete issue by clicking on issue icon or
Access specific articles by clicking on article title
Vol. 20 No. 1
We are Stronger Together
Chuckles for January 11, 2021
Get it on Volker
When Cargo Qares

Vol. 20 No 2
Our Martin Changed Air Cargo
Chuckles for January 19, 2021
Vaccine Arriving on Global Runways
Operation Warp Speed USA

Vol. 20 No. 3
Take a Tip from the Tulips
Chuckles for January 24, 2021
Petal to the Metal
LH Cargo FRA Facility Revamp

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