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Family Aid 2020
   Vol. 20 No. 15
Monday April 19, 2021

Jenni Frigger-Latham

In March as Women’s History Month continued to march along, the world celebrated International Women’s Day March 8, and Jennifer Frigger-Latham, Vice President, Sales & Marketing at EMO Trans based in Long Island, New York was hard at work from home, away from the spotlight, with her husband Paul and the couple’s two small children.
     What Jenni experienced up close and personal makes for an interesting study of discovery and appreciation of life in the new world that is emerging post pandemic.
     How she manages to raise two small children whilst carrying forward her duties at EMO Trans and also giving back whilst thinking big thoughts serving as an active member of the Airforwarders Association Board is another story altogether.
     But however she does it, we echo what Maya Angelou said:
     “I love to see a women go out and grab the world by the lapels.”
     EMO Trans in 2021 is an exceptional multi-national privately owned company that began delivering logistics solutions in Stuttgart, Germany during 1965.
     Today with 85 offices in 19 countries and 250+ network locations in 120 countries, EMO has quietly become a global force delivering exceptional services to customers large and small everywhere.
     “We are deeply invested in understanding and internalizing the needs and goals of our customers,” Jenni said.
     “In a shipping world where there is often no tomorrow, our goal is to forge long lasting partnerships, by always delivering the most efficient, effective supply chain solutions.
     “Global Logistics is what we love doing,” Jenni declared adding, “some of our customers have been with us for decades.
     “I believe people have become part of the EMO family because they recognize that beyond rates, tariffs, and automated processes, and other enhanced bells and whistles of our offering, EMO Trans’ human touch of caring is always there, building value everywhere up and down the line.”

Getting Organized The New Balance

     Jenni maintains that for women and men as well keeping things in balance during the past pandemic year and moving ahead is a special challenge.
     No magic about it either as Jenni tells it.
     “I took a strong interest in the freight forwarding industry at an early age, as I loved the challenge of searching for solutions and solving complex situations on behalf of customers.
     “One thing that I have learned is that everyone needs to know what to expect and that whatever happens, communication is vital.
     “Along the way, as I advanced through the company, I became keenly aware of the importance of balancing life both inside and outside the office.
     “Unpredictability creates stressful situations that benefit no one.
     “So, one way in making accurate predictions and building skills in meeting or exceeding demand is to consistently go through your mental card catalogue and try to match known solutions to new problems and in that manner actually develop new procedures.
     “It is important for companies to not just focus on maintaining productivity but also on sustaining our teams, who are so important. As we try to accommodate new opportunities, we need to pace ourselves and help each other so that we create a plan that is sustainable.
     “These days when vaccine distribution is on everyone’s mind as a path to improve our lives quickly and get the world back to some kind of normal there is a lot of coverage about supply chain activities, as transportation of vaccines, in people’s minds, is delivering life itself all over the world.
     “We are serving as architects of transportation.
     “In other words, in our attempt to exceed the need we often might be tempted to think of our occupation in somewhat dramatic terms.
     “So, we need to pace ourselves while realizing we are delivering the goods for everyone all over the world.
     “The vaccination effort started out slower than people wanted it to, but it is important now to recognize that in many places because of the brilliance of the supply chain, the plan is working.
     “Currently as example the U.S. is ahead of other countries immunization schedule.
     “In some instances, countries that are struggling to vaccinate are having production or procurement problems, as logistics services stand by awaiting shipments.
     “As supply issues are ironed out, the logistics industry will continue to rise to the occasion and deliver the cure and everything else that we are tendered.”

Women In Logistics

     “Looking at the role of women in the industry, I want to question our cultural preoccupation with innate gifts or talent and the idea that women will have a different set of tools biologically.
     “I think the topic is much more complex than that.
     “A talented person who is not nurtured will fail, while a mediocre person who is highly nurtured might do well.
     “I don’t want to deny all differences because a different experience is enough to shift one’s perspective and give another view in the boardroom that might have been a blind spot otherwise.
     “Women are fierce problem solvers who are ambitious; more times than not, our thought process is the same as our male coworkers. We all want to solve interesting problems at work, and work to make a good life for our families. If you assume that others have a similar motivation, you will often be right. People want to grow in their career and their life. Funny enough, simply being part of Gen Z is a greater indicator of one’s expectations than whether or not a person is male or female.”

The Importance of Mentoring

     “I believe as women, we can embrace the maxim that a rising tide lifts all boats with the caveat that as we are moving on up the ladder we should not lose sight of the importance of mentoring others.
     “What’s more, be open minded about whom you are going to mentor. Don’t be afraid to mentor someone different from yourself!
     “I think mentoring is a quietly radical way to have a more diverse future with enhanced opportunities faster for women.
     “I was lucky to have a father who is a nurturing and mentorship force in my life.
     “Someone like that in your life undoubtedly could have as much impact as innate talent and grit to help be all you can be.”

EMO Trans Air Cargo Europe Munich 2019

Love A Forwarder

     “Thinking about the COVID-19 lockdown of the past, I can say again that freight forwarders are like firefighters and fishermen, bonded by our predicaments and, therefore, the same no matter where we’re from.
     “The camaraderie in this business is intense, and although it has continued reasonably well over video chat, it’s not nearly the same as meeting face-to-face.
     “When a bunch of forwarders get together, the excitement of new ideas and friendships and boisterous talking is always the music of those moments . . .”

Why EMO Trans

     “There is an optimism about our company and the services we bring to the table,” Jenni said.
     “EMO Trans people around the world are a dedicated tightly knit force in shipping that follows the course my father established.
     “EMO people simply just do not take no for an answer. We find a way to deliver.
     “But having to deal with challenges including rates and space issues, as well as equipment shortages, port congestion and securing the best routing for our service partners, although difficult at times has made EMO Trans even more efficient; more streamlined and most notably as we step off into a new world post-pandemic, paperless.
     “Although most of us at EMO Trans cannot wait to get back to in person contact with our customers the age of Zoom and other contact services has ushered in virtual contact everywhere in the world.
     “The payoff I believe is that EMO Trans is staged to emerge in a post-COVID period as an even stronger, more resilient organization.
     “I expect the “new” communication tools will continue to be developed and utilized as we move forward post pandemic.”

chuckles for April 19, 2021

Airforwarders Association
Brandon Fried

Of all the transportation executives at all the companies serving air cargo no one is more public or more involved in supporting the cause of U.S. air forwarders than Brandon Fried.
     Brandon is a one-person passion field that carries forward a point of view about what’s new and what things mean to air cargo people all across the nation.
     The thing that Brandon brings to the table every day is recognizing and making himself available to the hard-working, dedicated all-in people of air cargo especially where our business really counts, down in the trenches.
     During the non-COVID times, Brandon, when not conducting Airforwarders Association business, was the public face of forwarding found on trade show panels or out on the hustings making appearances, delivering keynote and meeting speeches at airport air cargo clubs all over the U.S. from New York to Los Angeles.
     Brandon has been situate atop the Airforwarders Association since 2005. Prior to that he was Chief Operating Officer of Adcom Worldwide.
     He is a valuable resource who has been around long enough to be very much part of the fabric of everyday air cargo in the U.S.
     But as organized air cargo struggles to get back to face-to-face meetings and event planning, we observe that the main sponsors of these events, namely the airlines appear to be in full organized cargo marketing retreat, despite all the positive uplifting business and good news as to how much air cargo meant at a time when passengers deserted the airlines altogether.
     No doubt that The Airforwarders Association is the organization that often backs the little guy.
     We think AfA is the association for everybody else, quite unlike the other, more powerful, albeit faceless associations and trade show groups.
     Airforwarders Association punches way above its weight with determination and style and actually gets things done.
     Here are a couple of truths.
     Airforwarders Association is unique as the voice of the freight forwarding business in the U.S., the country with the biggest market economy.
     Airforwarders Association has the lobby action at work in Washington, D.C.      Not much of that effort makes news but can be absolutely vital at times impacting all of air cargo because of the expertise and actions of Brandon Fried.
     Right now we can only hope that Brandon and Company catch a break in their efforts to energize both their base and that they are able to weather the current challenging climate of “no shows”.
     As I read the upfront, smart and even heartfelt answers to some questions we posed to Brandon recently, the words “you don’t know what you’ve got until you lose it,” start to rattle round my brain.
     Air cargo benefits from Brandon and the Airforwarders Association.
     Both together are a constant force with voices that need and should continue to be heard at every level of air cargo.
     Consider right now as the second quarter of 2021 begins, that first spate of retirements as companies worked furiously a year ago to trim payroll. appears to be morphing into a second round of good people leaving the industry.
     As example, we just learned that brilliant and promising people like Jim Butler at AA have retired and others at other companies are moving out of our business altogether.
     In a reviewable time in our existence as an industry, when business and attention from the rest of the world to our abilities to get the job done are being accepted at an all-time high, it’s also high-time to get behind the better spirited forces of the industry like Brandon and the Airforwarders Association.
     Joining with others in our industry that have served and that we will need to help guide business growth in the future, should be TOPIC-A as the world comes back from COVID.

Brandon In His Own Write

FT:   What has changed as the result of the pandemic?
BF:   The past year has been a significant change for freight forwarders, their service partners and of course, customers. First, years of technology investment paid dividends as increased reliance on automation became essential. While many administrative office staffers worked from home relying on Zoom and other communication platforms, those in the terminals moving the cargo wore face masks, practiced social distancing and of course, sanitized warehouse machinery and frequently touched surfaces. Finally, the most significant change may be that the 9-5 workday could be a thing of the past since technology allows easily accessible access to work-related information and operational automation, 24 hours a day.
Air cargo faces a unique challenge in that much of its capacity is driven by passenger demand and if people stop flying, a huge portion (almost 50%) of cargo space disappears.

FT:   We see record backlogs and no airplanes left to lease from the boneyards.
Why do you suppose people in our business seem to be pulling in their horns and just bumping along?
BF:   While some freight transportation businesses continue to experience pandemic-related challenges such as lower cargo volume and capacity issues, many Airforwarders Association members are posting significant gains due to their involvement in e-commerce, essential medical and other high demand business verticals that continue to demonstrate importance during this crisis.

FT:   Why is that (if you agree) a mistake?
BF:   The only error many businesses make is that they stop trying. Forwarders know that to survive in this constantly changing business environment, they must be creative and stay competitive to meet new customer demands. This requires increasing knowledge and education which is why our organization presents an ongoing webinar program and online learning designed to foster education and new ideas for our members.

FT:   How has your membership handled difficult choices between family (children, wives, husbands) and work?
BF:   While many of our members continue to commute and work from their offices safely, some choose to work from home which may be convenient, but requires self-discipline including separation from children and other family members who share the same house. Working from home can be a juggling act balancing interruptions and other distractions but its convenience and no significant commute may provide more time for work projects and meetings. However, there is no substitute for the creative energy derived from in-person, face-to-face interaction and many look forward to going back to their actual offices for that very reason.

FT:   Name some names and give a couple of short shout outs and examples.
BF:   Several Airforwarders Association members continue to thrive during these challenging times. For example, one of our members is EliteExpo from Chicago. When faced with a downturn in the trade show industry, they immediately started offering work desk partitions and pandemic-safe exhibit solutions for their customers. Theirs is a shining example of forwarder creativity responding to rapid change.

FT:   What is AfA membership telling you about the AfA post pandemic?
BF:   Our members are generally optimistic, especially since the vaccine distribution is ongoing and companies begin to reopen. They realize that once consumer confidence grows, manufacturing and product demand increases and so will their forwarding businesses. We are already seeing an uptick in passenger travel which will ultimately bring back much more capacity for belly freight.

FT:   List reasons membership should be maintained and even be expanded as in our unique position in this time as a premier way to move goods on the national and international stage.
BF:   Despite the pandemic challenges over the last year, our organization continues to provide essential information and advocacy for its members. For example, our engagement with government regulatory agencies including TSA , CBP, The U.S. Department of Commerce and others never stopped because the wheels of government continue to roll, creating ongoing challenges that must be addressed on behalf of the companies we represent.

FT:   What are the major issues ahead in 2021 and beyond that can benefit AfA members? at work?
BF:   The AfA has several issues on its radar screen including:

  The upcoming June 2021 ICAO alleviation of Account Consignor and its impact on cargo flown on international freighter flights.
  The ongoing airport and maritime port congestion issue which continues to cost our members significant time and financial resources.
  The constant threat of cybersecurity and ransomware attacks on our industry and its members.
  Engagement with the new Presidential Administration with a focus on recognizing the essential role of international trade.
  Assisting the Biden Administration and Congress in devising a new infrastructure package that funds our roads, airports, and maritime ports to keep goods moving efficiently.
  Climate sustainability and how our industry can support efforts to address the issue.

FT:   How long will you continue? You have been Mr. Air Freight Forwarder, a natural guy for longer than anybody can remember and must have set some kind of record of service for your years.
BF:   Our organization has accomplished so much but there is also more work to be done. Helping freight forwarders and their supporting businesses is the passion that fuels my energy, and I am not quitting any time soon. This continues to be a great job and aside from a loss of hair on my head, I am physically ready for the challenges ahead.

FT:   What work is not done? What are you most proud and satisfied with for your years in service?
BF:   I would like to accomplish more membership growth and increase our value to members.

FT:   Who do you admire in public service in air cargo over your years?
BF:   I have been so impressed with the caliber and intelligence of so many of the public figures encountered throughout my career. Most especially, the dedication and passion of those protecting our country including the TSA, CBP and our military leaders continue to inspire me to work hard every day.

FT:   Who are your heroes?
BF:   Aside from my wife, Kim and children being the significant heroes in my life, there are the many AfA members and Board Directors whom I continue to serve. But Fred Smith of FedEx is one of my noteworthy heroes as he created an industry segment that thrives while he serves as a valued statesman today.

FlyingTalkers podcastFlyingTalkers

Brandon Fried Forever

Jenni Strong Voice

Some Numbers

Philomena Pereira

     In Mumbai, India Philomena Pereira, Managing Director, P.V. Agencies Freight Forwarders Pvt Ltd (Customs Broker), Director, Grace Global Logistics (multimodal transport operator) and Partner, BBB Speed Services (a transport company) has seen it all.
     In the logistics and forwarding business for quite a few years, Pereira has helped break through what women have collectively smashed to smithereens—the glass ceiling, by approaching our male-dominated transportation industry with unusual skill, including having her priorities straight about what women have to go through – at home and at work.
     Here Philomena sets aside the business pitch, although her enterprises in all aspects of logistics underscore her dynamic leadership role.
     Women’s issues are the topic as Philomena speaks out about the state of women up and down the line across the sub-continent brought forward by the impact of COVID-19.

Opportunity Knocks

     “The pandemic,” Philomena declared,” has led businesses to explore and adopt technology as a substitute to manpower.
     “The processes which required people to visit their offices now has advanced for many electronically.
     “Also, the government – where once human interaction was required – has advanced exponentially to the digital platform.
     “Faceless, digitization has progressed much faster than expected.
     “This has resulted in human resources especially women seeing some opportunities in securing dynamic and challenging roles.”

The Balancing Act

Philomena Pereira and family     “Women have held the fort as true martyrs.
     “Household help were restricted entry to homes or in some places totally banned for a quite a long period of time because of the pandemic.
     “A few of us women took it upon ourselves to complete our chores and have ended up breaking our backs after a few months.
     “With children and husbands being at home, it has been difficult for the women.
     “They have had to stretch themselves far and beyond to maintain peace in their homes.
     “Also, space constraints in their homes for all the family members to be awake and kicking through the day has been a challenge for the women, yet most of them have endured the test of patience.
     “Some women with small or school-going kids had to give up jobs because they were required to be with them all through their online lessons.
     “Worse, In India at least, since women were at home, in-laws (grandparents, for example) refused to look after the children.”

When Women Farmers Protest Change Is Going To Come

     “As example presently, in the rural areas it has been observed that most of the men migrated to cities to work in factories or do other jobs.
     “Therefore, especially in rural areas, the women work in the fields.
     “The thing is these women do have some level of education or exposure to others in our society who will support them in their protest.
     “Make no mistake, when women take up a challenge, they will persist until they see some success.
     “Those in authority must come to an amicable closure to this protest.
     “India’s Farmers should be considered seriously because they have suffered and continue to suffer due to drought, floods, inadequate inputs leading to yield gaps, absence of markets to sell their produce.
     “Government should take serious steps to take up these projects.
     “Also, the women who are educated and residing in the same areas should be encouraged to take up these projects, to support their fellow womenfolk. They will contribute in bringing about the change.”


The Major Challenges For India’s Women at Work

     “Generally,” Philomena asserts,” women are not preferred over men knowing their dedication to their families and also the inherent nature of most women that they do not compromise and accept help by others.
     “Also, it must be said, some women have made their household members so dependent on themselves instead of making them self-reliant and involving them in household chores.
     “Women should stop considering their jobs/services less important and ensure they work on a timeline whether at home or work.”

India Violence Skyrockets Against Women

     “First, importance has to be given to education of women, especially in rural areas.
     “Women should be provided incentives to attend school.
     “Men and women should be at equal levels.
     “Our women should be involved in the decisions affecting the family.
     “There also needs to be a widespread educational effort directed at empowering women, including something as basic as managing a bank account.
     “It may seem unbelievable in 2021, but millions of Indian women don’t have their own personal savings account, and that is something that should be an essential.”
Tirthankar Ghosh

Frontier Airlines in Miami
     No masking the joy as Frontier Airlines celebrated the airline’s inaugural flight from Miami International Airport to San Salvador and Miami-Guatemala City April 12. Frontier is now serving both routes with twice-weekly service.
     Later this summer Frontier goes to four more cities this summer via MIA. Myrtle Beach, South Carolina (5x weekly) on June 10; Nassau, Bahamas (4x weekly) on June 24; San Jose, Costa Rica (2x weekly) on July 2; and St. Maarten, Netherlands Antilles (1x weekly) on July 10.

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Publisher-Geoffrey Arend • Managing Editor-Flossie Arend • Editor Emeritus-Richard Malkin
Film Editor-Ralph Arend • Special Assignments-Sabiha Arend, Emily Arend

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