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Family Aid 2020
   Vol. 20 No. 10
Monday March 15, 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

Ingo Zimmer and Dagmar Hanau

     “When we review 2020,” Ingo Zimmer, CEO of leading global innovator ATC Aviation Services, the GSSA force in European Cargo that has grown into the global leader during the past dozen years, “we first remember all the people who suffered and died during this terrible pandemic.
     “Our thoughts are with their relatives and families.”
     “Fortunately,” Ingo said, “at ATC most of our team members who were infected with COVID-19 were able to ride it out and recovered completely.
     “But there is no letting our guard down, as 2021 gets into a rhythm.
     “ATC, as example, continues our weekly COVID CALL, wherein our global family of country-managers update on the local situation and actions taken.
     “A key element in our strategy from the outbreak of the pandemic was repositioning our team into home office operations. That very early move that continues in 2021 softened the impact of the raging virus.
     “For team members who remained at the office we instituted weekly shifts under closely watched conditions with all the defensive sanitary conditions for better control of possible infections.
     “But we didn’t take “home office” for granted either.
     “People have space in their ultimate sanctuary, their homes, allotted for living.
     “To make the transition from the office easier and more familiar, we handed over office equipment, including ATC laptops and personal computers and also even office furniture for use at home.
     The idea out of the gate as COVID hit that continues today is a team at ATC Global that is well prepared and equipped to be both comfortable and efficient with hardware anywhere.
     “No laptops on an orange crate at ATC Home Office,” Ingo Zimmer smiled.

Digitization Business As Usual

     “All during the pandemic, the ATC experience, due to our belief and investment in an industry-leading, high grade of digitalization, has allowed for smooth sailing in every aspect of our offering.
     “The past year underscores that even after the Covid 19 crisis has passed, Team ATC will continue with our home-office concept for some of our employees.
     “The idea here is not unique.
     “We take what we have learned from this otherwise jarring and life-changing, year-long experience and are working to provide the best creative environment for all of our transportation professionals.
     “The results up and down the line tell us, that as a company, our attention to people first is a formula that works for customers and employees alike,” Ingo said.
     “Our acclaimed ATC COVID-19 Task Force handled an amazing number of PPE charters.
     “ATC innovation logistics in 2020-21 have filled the skies with freighters and phreighters full to the brim with pharma, masks, gloves and ancillary equipment.
     “ATC has flown relief material in never before imagined quantities between the continents.”

Looking At Tomorrow

     “Looking to the future as the threat from the pandemic subsides, we expect less activity in vaccine shipments.
     “Firstly, because although not predicted, the need for capacity has been lower than expected.
     “You can ship a million doses of vaccines on a single B787 pax freighter.
     “Secondly, we note that most of the transportation agreements are directly between governments and national carriers.
     “But I believe that digitalization was the most important challenge we have addressed with some very positive results, that have been critical to our success.
     “Just in time, you might say, new reservations software was up and running after being efficiently implemented in our 34 ATC country organizations worldwide.
     “We also moved to Microsoft 365 cloud solutions.
     “Power BI is a software to visualize information that ATC has linked into a data lake that now contains all financial information as well as market information and statistics.
     “These digitalized tools of the trade that will one day become normal with others, are up and running today at ATC.
     “In enhancing digitalization in transportation, there is no hocus pocus.
     “Information transparency benefits our service partners and is a helpful tool for our sales departments and our effort all around.
     “Right now, the ATC reservation department bots transfer information into our customers’ systems and that eliminates the need for costly manual double entries.”

Leading The Way In GSSA

     “In 2021, ATC is among the first Cargo GSSAs offering a global e-booking solution.
     “Within the next 14 days in March will see the roll out in all 50 offices in 34 countries where we operate, so that airlines represented by ATC can easily book via our ATC webpage.”

ATC Works Together As Partners

     “Just like all stakeholders in our industry ATC has suffered from loss of capacity due to reduced passenger flight operations.
     “But always working in close contact and complete cooperation with our airline partners we continue to pioneer inventive solutions put into force by the best, most experienced and dedicated team of transportation specialists in the world.
     “We have managed the yield and our airline customers have benefitted.”

ATC Delivers No Excuses

     “Last year during 2020, ATC business was strong and much better than the market.
     “ATC turnover was 235,000 tons of air cargo generated.
     “For our airline customers however, the greatest satisfaction is that our efforts impacted the world in a positive way as it struggled to manage the terrible crisis.

Dagmar Hanau and ATC team


     “As we are celebrating Women’s Month right now, I would like to say, being in the industry for more than 30 years I have met a lot of great woman in leadership/management positions.
     “In our 54 offices around the world we are pretty much equal when it comes to gender balance.
     “However, we still have room for improvement in terms of women in management positions.
     “One particular person that I must acknowledge is Dagmar Hanau, known for her open, friendly manner and warm hearted and professional behavior.
     “She gives everybody a feeling of high appreciation.
     “She works with great commitment and always sets a good example. Her ability to correctly assess the strengths and weaknesses increases the productivity of the teams she works with.
     “With her eloquence and determination, she is particularly impressive in international projects. Her unconditional loyalty to the goals and values of our company qualifies her as a top manager.
     “We benefit from her self-awareness, empathy and social skills that helps to navigate complex situations.
     “She is the heart of our company.”

The Year Ahead

     “Outlook for 2021 is very good,” Ingo Zimmer declared.
     “In January and February, ATC achieved pre-COVID period tonnage numbers and the demand and yields are still very strong.
     “Cargo tenders are on a very high level.
     “Some passenger airlines converted pax aircraft into freighters or even bought freighters.
     “No doubt, after 2020 airlines are under some mandate to control costs, and this presents an opportunity for good and reliable GSSA solutions.
     “We are here to help, ready, willing and able.
     “ATC continues building because it wants and is able to handle more business,” Ingo Zimmer concluded.

WOXOF Update

In aviation the letters spoken as a word reporting atmospheric conditions is WOXOF.
     "Weather: Overcast, Ceiling Obscured, Visibility Zero in Fog."
     Pronounced like it looks: "WOXOF," when spoken most often gets the same response from everyone, especially pilots: “you're not getting me up in that.”
     In 2021 as the year progresses and Spring begins, are the universal questions we seem to be asking air cargo people. Some of what is happening or is likely to occur gets lost in the daily fog of shouldering the huge responsibility of our time, delivering the vaccines.
     So here for air cargo comes that question again: WOXOF-“Where Are We Now?”
     FT talked to several disciplines of our business all over the world. Here are the latest responses.
     It is finally starting to look like folks are seeing a bit clearer with 2021 taking shape as a year of gradual comeback.

Webinar & Survey Blitz

     Get ready for a webinar blitz and surveys, and even more uncertainty as air cargo attempts to get a grip or at least a bit firmer hold on its developing activities in digitization, dealing with the growth of e-commerce in every aspect of retail including grocery delivery at home, and advanced pharma handling.
     Of course Topic A in all of this is the gigantum amount of paperwork our industry still generates every day, (reportedly a sky full of B747s).

Hope Springs Eternal

     But everyone who pays attention to these things knows the passenger business traditionally has dictated where and how much cargo the combination carriers will move.
     There are signs that the runaway success of United Airlines Cargo under Jan Krems and the superstar efforts at Qatar Cargo by Guillaume Halleux and at Virgin Cargo by Dominic Kennedy are but a few examples of excellence in air cargo. We are hopeful that these results have delivered some impact to the passenger-minded airline bosses to take a ‘greater than before’ view of air cargo.
     Last we heard, it appears that the UA “Flying Dutchman” has access to as many aircraft as he can fill up with cargo.
     It is therefore reasonable to assume that, not only has the playing field changed but also, recent widespread air cargo demand has altered thought about what might be possible for air cargo, past pandemic.
     And let’s not hear any more talk about serious constraints ahead for air cargo.
     Cargo people need to get some respect everywhere, especially without any dismissive “don’t look a gift horse in the mouth” thinking by some companies.
     We need some attitude for sure, but first let’s get our numbers straight.

The Searchers In the U.S.

     In the U.S. the Airforwarders Association, the National Customs Brokers and Forwarders Association of America, and the Airports Council International-North America have combined forces to send a survey to a mailing list of 3,000, looking for answers.
     Although the view is North American, if they receive enough participation, the results might be interesting.
     Meantime down on the ground where the rest of the world operates we talked to some people asking:
     Report on your air cargo business and outlook ahead right now? What went well and what didn’t? What needs to be changed?

The American Way

Jessica Tyler     Jessica Tyler, President-American Airlines Cargo told FlyingTypers:
     “Since the FDA issued the first Emergency Authorization Use (EAU) for the vaccines in December, we’ve partnered with our customers to move as much vaccine and vaccine-related material as requested. With the Johnson & Johnson EAU approval by the FDA, we expect our volume to increase in the second quarter with peak distribution occurring in the 3rd and 4th quarters of this year.      
    “With the world’s largest network, we’re doing our part to extend the reach of the integrators who are doing the majority of the distribution effort, shipping to destinations they can’t efficiently reach in the U.S. and beyond. With the strength of our network combined with our CEIV-certified temperature- controlled product, we are well-suited for the task and are proud to be a part of the efforts to help our world recover.”

Bob RogersThe Voice of the Cans

     “Vaccine transportation, from my perspective,” Bob Rogers, Hong Kong-based ULD Care, getting right to the point told FlyingTypers, “has two major angles:
One is the temperature management and the other is the tracking/monitoring of the shipments.”
     Whilst the earnest Mister Rogers of ULD Care didn’t say much, he did indicate that advances in tracking abilities are on the table with some breakthroughs expected sooner than later.

5,000 Reasons Plus 1

Jason Berry      Why does Canadian air cargo in 2021 deserve higher profile and some well- deserved attention at Air Canada?
     Here are 5,000 reasons.
     Jason Berry, the new Vice President Cargo at Air Canada proclaims:
     “Five thousand cargo only flights and counting! “Thanks,” Jason said, “to everyone at Air Canada and our partners around the world that continue working 24/7 to keep our customer’s cargo moving!
     “We are making sure we take care of customers that rely upon us for capacity in a time of challenges all around,” Jason assures.
     We can also expect that export of those shipments of Canadian lobsters favored everywhere have somehow gotten into the mix.
     “We have some freighters coming on line and our drone program continues,” Jason concluded.

Vito Cerone+1 A Fond Farewell Vito

     Vito Cerone, a man for all seasons, plus a decent guy and a force for good to boot, who served as Vice President, Cargo Sales & Commercial Strategy at Air Canada, buttoned up a 31 plus year career at the carrier, where he covered many bases including leading the customer charge in air cargo.
     Best of luck ahead, Vito!

Looking Out For #1

     “Vaccine distribution may have perhaps been an over hype considering that one has realized that the U.S., Europe, Russia, China and India will be the main regions where the manufacturing facilities are located and therefore have also featured the majority of the movements.
     “It is important to keep in mind that the first preferences may be given for local consumption,” said Keshav Tanna, member, FIATA Board and CEO of Links Cargo Agency Forwarders based in New Delhi.


Keshav TannaThe Reality Check

     Mr. Tanna, who counts several decades in the freight forwarding business, also noted:
     “The talked about need for thousands of jumbo 747 vaccine freighters, as these shipments ramped up, now definitely does not seem to be a reality.”
     But with that comes a warning:
     “Vaccine distribution, being complex in nature,” Keshav said, “reveals that the small and medium size forwarder might not have the same competitive edge that integrators or the MNC forwarders may have, especially considering that the aforementioned bigger companies have made significant investments in this regard.
     “Not to mention that Governments too are very involved in the workings of vaccine logistics, this being a life-threatening issue.
     “So looking at the current situation from a an exclusively profitability perspective, might prove to be short sighted,” Keshav Tanna said.

Wide Open Delivery

     “We cannot overlook that there are significant hinterland areas where vaccines must reach, particularly in countries like China, Russia and India, where a large number of population is regionalized away from the main city centers.
     “This challenge requires significant domestic distribution capabilities in terms of road transportation coordination and regular operations under suitable conditions,” Keshav Tanna noted.

Cargo Rates Bloodbath

     “India,” Keshav said, “as elsewhere has seen a significant drop in volumes, both inbound and outbound.
     “With international passenger flights coming to a virtual halt from one day to another, India, like many other countries, relies mostly on freighter capacities.
     “The drop in capacities in excess of 30% or so has taken a direct toll on the airfreight rates.
     “Rates have spiraled like never before and there was a virtual blood bath in the market place. Initially rates shot up by 300-400% and only certain high-end commodities like pharmaceuticals could accommodate the increases.
     “In time, as more freighter capacities came into the market, there was some stabilization, but today rates are still far from affordable,” Keshav said.
     “Charter flight operators saw this as an opportunity and there are quite a few private charter operators now active in the market.”

Across The Bubbly Waves

     “All this,” Keshav assures, “had an immediate and direct impact on ocean freight.
     “Rightly or wrongly, ocean too went out of control and with virtually no affordable inventory available; the India trade took a hit like never before with many a small business forced to shut down their international trade.”

Time Will Tell If The Goose Lives

     “So for many, with air cargo unaffordable and ocean freight with no affordable inventory, time will tell if this situation has killed the goose that lays the golden egg?
     “Only time will tell.
     “Something, needless to say, has not been right!” Keshav declared.

The Upside

     “E-commerce is always rising at rates like never before and COVID spring boarded it to another level.
     “Lockdowns and work from home conditions have led to a boost in online shopping, but can airfreight survive only on that and certain high-end commodities, is the question?
     “No doubt, air cargo is a very volatile commodity but trade needs sustainability and we are a far cry away from it as yet.
     “Of course the world is still not an ideal place and with many a lockdown still in place, we can only keep our fingers crossed going ahead,” Keshav Tanna concluded.

Control Towers Above All

Jan Krems     “To date we are proud to have flown approximately 10 million doses and are more committed than ever to providing reliable air cargo options for critical shipments,” declared Jan Krems, President United Cargo.
     “At United, we believe the wide distribution of a vaccine is the key to reopening global economies and are proud to play our part in that process.
     “The creation of a company-wide COVID Vaccine Readiness Task Force here has resulted in our ability to implement special handling procedures, a special handling code, visibility throughout the entire enterprise, and increased dry ice limitations – all handled by United’s dedicated Vaccine Control Tower.
     “Working with our customers enhances our ability to react quickly to demand.
     “The entire supply chain needs to work together to help save lives and bring this health crisis to an end,” Jan Krems concluded.

Atlanta From The Ground up

     Where Do Airports Land In All Of This?
     “"Not enough vaccines, now," is the phrase that comes to mind,” Elliott Paige, Airport Director, Air Service Development at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport told FlyingTypers.
     “This is not surprising as we are requiring a ramp-up of a complex supply chain project in pharmaceutical to be able to satisfy close to 7.8 billion people since this is a global pandemic.
     “Everyone in the cargo logistics sector that I have engaged with is doing all they can to make sure vaccine shipments move securely and fast.
     “Most are the integrators since they have closed-loop systems for track and trace plus control of every transport segment from the supplier all the way to the medical practitioner holding the syringe to your arm.
     “We have been able to keep functioning while keeping staff safe in the logistics sector.
     “I believe that distribution is working and will improve as more vaccines become available.
     “The authorization of the Johnson & Johnson single-dose, COVID-19 vaccine is great news.
     “It's valuable, especially to countries in the Global South that need a vaccine that does not require storage in ultracold temperatures.
     “It makes it easier to get more people globally vaccinated and pushes us to herd immunity.
     “There is no other way to solve COVID-19, other than a global approach.”

The Long Strange Journey 2020-21

     “ATL had a reasonably good year in 2020 for cargo,” Elliott said.
     “We were down only 6.27% taking us to 639,276 metric tons.
     “In May 2020, we were expecting a 20% fall in cargo, so we are ecstatic with the demand for air cargo service in Atlanta.
     “Capacity is catching up so much we are seeing a surge of flights in January and February 2021.
     “We are juggling space, but doing our best to accommodate anyone who wants to fly into ATL.
     “Here are some points in terms of the outlook for ATL:
     •  E-commerce will continue to grow in leaps and bounds as online orders penetrate deeper as people in lockdowns order from home.
     •  ATL will continue to see an increase in PPE shipments, including from passenger planes flying cargo in the belly of planes and also on seats.
     •  Airlines like DL are shedding older widebodies like 767s to reduce the cost of assets, with many being purchased by Amazon Air as they expand service.
     •  Additional flights will provide more employment, 75 people more per flight, which means we are having a greater positive economic impact on our community.”

What Worked & What Didn’t?

     “From my answer above, we see that cargo volumes went well.
     “Maybe too well.
     “We have an RFP out now for a Modern Air Cargo Terminal to be able to handle e-commerce, perishables including pharmaceuticals, live animals, plus servicing our regional industries like aerospace, and automotive sectors.
     “We extended the deadline for responses to early June 2021.
     “I wish we had put that RFP on the road five years ago. Perhaps by now, we would have had some space to accommodate the large demand for cargo ground handling service that we are receiving these days,” Elliott said.

Beware The Paperwork Jungle

     “Cargo is one of the few sectors that still likes to hang on to paper,” Elliott said exhaling.
     “It's the one industry that still wants to do things the old fashion way, despite the availability of technology.
     “This attitude towards modernizing must change.
     “If Atlanta Airport and other major airports had implemented complete Airport Cargo Community Systems in 2019 when we launched, we would be in a much better place in terms of efficiency.
     “I would worry less about our ability to handle the sharp growth of cargo we have seen in the last few months.
     “All stakeholders must stop making excuses and adopt digital cargo.
     “Besides, we will have no choice in a few months because of TSA's implementation of the requirement for 100% screening of air shipments on all-cargo aircraft.
     “The deadline is June 30 as issued by members of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).
     “The best solution to achieve this is through implementing digital cargo technology like Airport Cargo Community System,” Elliott Paige concluded.

Know Your Priorities

     So with thanks to this diverse and interesting group of transportation leaders, who despite their focus elsewhere 24/7, took time to share their experiences and outlook, we close by going back to our WOXOF reference at the top here.
     WOXOF has an opposite.
     The letters CAVU signify “Ceiling And Visibility Unlimited”.
     Both aviation terms apply to our current situation in air cargo and maybe even can point the way ahead because each can also be viewed here to define priorities.
     Right now air cargo is positioned to make some decisions about where we will land in the future.

Stand & Deliver

     The endless stream of information that we are bombarded with 24/7 must be sifted through carefully.
     Organized cargo like IATA, FIATA and the rest, including those companies and enterprises that organize trade shows, webinars, podcasts and bow tie award parties should also come forward and deliver some meaningful platforms for dialogue that truly advance air cargo.
     We cannot afford to miss this opportunity during a time unlike any other, when air cargo is indeed sitting on top of the world.
     Let’s not allow ourselves to get stuck in a situation that is either WOXOF or CAVU.
     Let’s build with the purpose of creating a predictable environment in all of air cargo so we can prosper in a vital, important industry that the world now recognizes as the way to ship from now on.

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    There may be always an Ireland and, beyond that lovely prospect, a special day this week as the first flowers of spring are peeking out of the ground as we celebrate St Patrick’s Day on Wednesday March 17th.
     But alas, this St. Patrick’s Day in New York City and everywhere else, will once again be minus the parades. In New York the annual procession would march up Fifth Avenue, past St. Patrick’s Cathedral at 50th Street, all the way up past the Metropolitan Museum of Art at 83rd Street.
     The St. Patrick’s Day Parade in NYC began even before there was a United States of America in 1766, when Irishmen from Ireland’s Revolutionary War brought the tradition here.
     Military units continued to march each year until after the War of 1812, when local Irish fraternal and beneficial societies began sponsoring the event.
     In those days, the parade was quite small, marching from local Irish meeting halls to Old St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Lower Manhattan on Mott & Prince Streets.
     By 1851, the groups had banded together, nominating a Grand Marshall and increasing the size of the parade.
     This was when the Irish 69th Regiment (now the 165th Infantry) became the lead marchers, and the Ancient Order of Hibernians became the official sponsor.
     We love St. Patrick’s Day.
     It’s when the “Irishrey” of New York come out in full celebration. Look into the faces of the uniformed services, especially the NYC Firefighters, and as a matter of fact most every true New Yorker, and you will get it right away.
     We also like that the St. Patrick’s Day Parade, when it is held, remains true to its roots by not allowing floats, automobiles and other commercial overkill.
     Okay, lingering COVID-19 has cancelled the parades for 2021.
     Thankfully we can raise our voices with friends and family and a drop of stout as we celebrate this Wednesday March 17 with these words for all:
May the road rise up to meet you
And may the wind always be at your back
May the sun shine warm upon your face
And the raindrops fall soft upon your fields
And until we meet again
May God hold you in the small of his hand.

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Vol. 20 No. 7
Basil Brings the Rainbow to FIATA
Chuckles for February 23, 2021
Where Nights Are Brighter Than Day
The Wings Of Man

Vol. 20 No. 8
Charlie In a Box
Chuckles for March 2, 2021
Regulating U.S. Skies
Wings Of Hope
Voyage of Discovery
In Memoriam

Vol. 20 No. 9
Let's all choose to Challenge
Chuckles for March 8, 2021
Where a Woman leads Air Cargo

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