Pay Cargo Ad

FlyingTypers Logo
Family Aid 2020
   Vol. 20 No. 27
Monday July 12, 2021

Brendan Sullivan

  Brendan Sullivan was named IATA Global Head of Cargo Monday July 12.
  That post has been vacant all of this crucial pandemic year, ever since Glyn Hughes took the package and flew off to new horizons atop TIACA, The International Air Cargo Association.
  Sullivan’s Linkedin page states that Brendan delivers “20 years of experience in air transport, primarily in air cargo in a variety of operational and leadership roles.
  “He is a positive and engaging leader with extensive network across the complete air cargo industry.”
  Linkedin also says:
  “He (Brendan) is a role model in providing valued expertise to the industry on cargo markets, e-commerce, operations, safety issues and a well-respected voice in the industry.”
  Stay tuned.

FlyingTalkers podcastFlyingTalkers
Turgut Erkeskin A Force For Good
Sullivan Travels To Head IATA Cargo?

Turgut Erkeskin

     In early July as FIATA, the largest organized air freight forwarder organization in the world announced a major deal with PayCargo, I began thinking about the forces that are moving that organization forward in 2021 and Turgut Erkeskin of Istanbul came to mind.
     FIATA has some very fine people in its leadership group as that 95-year young organization continues its march through the pandemic and other challenges facing us all, with calm and reason and innovation.
     As example, right now whilst others may be talking about it, FIATA supports the best young people’s educational outreach in transportation.
     As mentioned, FIATA is also driving that landmark arrangement with PayCargo that offers a new deal for the global forwarding industry.
     On another front, sadly the hoped for cargo cooperation with IATA for now is toast.
     But hope runs high amongst forwarders and others that maybe when and if IATA gets its air cargo act together, (after all the layoffs, retirements and consolidations at that agency) as things get back to normal, the global airline organization might eventually see its way toward more cooperative thinking.
     I can tell you, having delivered the keynote address at the signing of the IATA/FIATA accord at Dublin in 2016, hopes ran high on both sides for a step change in the airline and forwarder relationship.
     Now in 2021, at least at FIATA, they still do.
     A part of all of this, as a member of the FIATA Board of Directors, is Turgut Erkeskin, a seasoned, yet youthful, energetic and quietly confident presence.
     But make no mistake about it he is all there, albeit just below the radar, a most interesting transportation executive from Istanbul.
     Turgut doesn’t shout for attention.
     In fact, a major force in Turkish cargo as a long time shaker and mover of UTIKAD, the high-energy forwarder association of Turkey, Turgut is best known and respected as a reasoned consensus guy.
     Perhaps the key quality about Turgut when you talk to him, is that he actually listens, and is able to pivot and broaden his thinking to move things forward.
     Turket Erkeskin, as the pandemic finally begins to subside in 2021, emerges as an enlightened force for good in transportation and increasingly FIATA’s man for all seasons.
     Here Marco Sorgetti and Turgut talk about life and business and what lies ahead.

Expecting The Unexpected

     My hectic visit to the last FIATA Headquarters Sessions in Zurich in 2019 came to mind by contrast during the last flawless Zoom FIATA General Meeting. I was thinking of my old friends, trying to figure out how their life had changed due to the pandemic, looking at their small faces on the screen, more importantly how the younger ones among them looked at their future after this unexpected crucial experience.
Turgut and Elif Erkeskin     Turgut Erkeskin was one of the first ones to emerge from the group. When I met him first, he was relatively new in the FIATA Presidency, even though his international experience was as good as gold. Here is a man born in Turkey in 1964, who finished Sisli Terakki High School in 1980, graduated from Istanbul University Faculty of Economics in 1984, then continued his education abroad to improve his command of foreign languages.
     In 1985 he joined a leading maritime enterprise active both sides of the Bosporus and in 1988 opened his own company in Istanbul.
     He married Elif, the inspiring elegance of his life, mother of two, who is now Vice President in his company, with responsibilities in Sales and Marketing.
     I asked Turgut whether he would have time for some questions, he replied to me with his gentlemanly nod and here we go . . .

Turgut, I am so glad to talk to you again. How is your business in this period? How did 2020 change your business life? I guess Istanbul, which is the largest European city, always so active and joyful, must have suffered enormously for the safety measures imposed on the people by the pandemic, correct?
TE:   The pandemic was a big shock for all of us. It was not too long to understand the negative impact on our business and social life. At 24 I created Genel Transport ( and the expansion has been rapid and continuous in these years. We deal with aerospace, healthcare, life science, chemicals, live animals, heavy lift and project cargo.
     The pandemic severely disrupted production, consumption, and even behavioural habits. We had to develop a systematic understanding of changing habits of both our clients and personnel. The very first thing we have realized was that the pandemic had accelerated the existing trends rather than changing them. Things that we expected to happen in about 5 to 10 years have become today’s reality.
     Take e-commerce. It wasn’t something new, but the demand, the volume has increased exponentially. Digitisation of work-flows is the new normal. We were probably expecting this to happen in the near future, but it is happening just now on a greater scale than we imagined. In any case, other than e-commerce, life science and, to a certain extent, chemicals the rest of the business has decreased as in other countries, even though Turkey was not among the hardest hit, if we consider its population (82 millions).
     As you know I live and work in Istanbul, I am now 56, so my perception of the city spans several decades. As you say Istanbul shines in a restrained light in these days and people have become wary of their ways, even if we did not have to shut the shop completely as others had to do. I must say I miss the frenzy and the surprise that Istanbul so abundantly possesses.

FT:   And the food… I think Istanbul has among the best food in the world. When was the last time you dined with a good friend or a business colleague on the Bosporus, as we did once?
TE:   You might be surprised but it was not so long ago. You surely remember: it was the Poseidon, the same place that we went to together. Facing the sea, in the open air, so we had no trouble to observe the safe-distance measures. In this season the weather is no longer so good to have dinner outside, so we are a bit more confined. The best we can do is to take our drinks at hand and meet online. It is still fine with your friends, but formal meetings at an online platform are not what you are really looking for. I am waiting for the season to change and we shall be back there and enjoy the food and the view.

FT:   What aside from COVID-19 do you think 2020 will be remembered for?
TE:   I daresay 2020 was not a year of great happiness. Aside from COVID, we have had some other controversies, damages and turbulence: Black Lives Matter, bushfires in Australia, West Coast fires in the USA and the explosion at Beirut Port.
     I could continue… but in the end what matters most is the way we stood up against COVID19 and the spectacular speed at which modern science has managed to produce vaccines. This is a great achievement. Let me just mention that Biontech has roots fromTurkey . . . No intentions to claim anything, but I could not repress the pride in this case.

FT:   What are the lessons of 2020, what have you learned?
TE:   The most important lesson was the fact that health is really wealth. Not only physical but also our mental health is important. I am in admiration of how limited the damage is, even though humanity has been affected by a really serious pandemic, one we had not seen for over 100 years. This makes me confident in the future, I am sure many have learnt a precious lesson and the young will be stronger.

FT:   What in 2020 and 2021 is the price tag of success?
TE:   We all want to succeed. Success needs your commitment, your hard work, lifetime learning, and sacrifice. These were/are/will be the price tag for success under any circumstances. COVID19 may have created many changes, but it has no effect on these basics that everyone should bear in mind.

FT:   What in your work routine has changed?
TE:   No doubt 2020 was indeed a difficult year to find your work/life balance. All our routines from before the pandemic have changed. We have extended our workday. We found ourselves 7/24 online and dealing with the day to day operations, solving complex challenges from a distance, in video meetings, team-building events, etc. At the beginning of the lockdowns, it was something inevitable, as we were not ready to have almost all our staff working remotely, yet have them all performing as one team. Today we are much better, with the experience gained over time.      Probably we will have to find a new balance. Personally, I will try to go offline after normal working hours, have weekends for myself and my family, learn something new, probably learn some coding and plan some of my time for self-development.

FT:   Do you see accelerated benefit to IT as the result of the 2020 experience?
TE:   The Pandemic is bad. But it brought a great opportunity to entirely reconsider how we do our jobs and how we run our companies. I believe IT is and will be an integral part of all that we do. We should relentlessly work on digitizing every process in the management of our businesses. Technology is the necessary enabler of the virtual work environment. Almost all data is now saved on the cloud, access is designed according to individual requirements and apps allow virtual collaboration. The technology is there, we need out habits to follow and adapt. It is a learning curve, but we shall make it.

Turgut Erkeskin and Emre EldenerFT:   Will there be less or more emphasis on trade shows and group gatherings ahead in your view?
TE:   Trade shows are a must in every business and industry. We cannot think of development / knowledge sharing / learning / networking without them. I do not see any less emphasis in future, but the structure or the configuration of those gatherings will most likely change. Even under today's conditions, where we cannot travel, we desperately need to attend such events, even if these are just substitutes: they are all made on online platforms. Tomorrow we will have to accommodate both physical and online gatherings within the same event. We all know that COVID will not disappear overnight and some people will still choose not to travel, so we must accommodate for their presence in different ways. Besides, we have learned that some expectations can be amply satisfied by online meetings.

FT:   Will Zoom become the new normal when you want to generate attention, hold meetings build contact via social network?
TE:   Yes, definitely. Such meetings will help a lot. Obviously, you need face-to-face meetings and socializing, but a quick meeting on Zoom or similar team-work platforms would help expedite things as well. Like we need every type of transport and there is a need for all of them, all sort of meeting types, physical, virtual, video calls or just voice calls will have their existence in a diverse communication system.

FT:   Will you continue working from office as before or have we like Caesar crossed the Rubicon and from now on our way of doing business will be different?
TE:   I think we have learned to work remotely and better identified which tasks can be done outside of the office. Besides we have developed many SOPs that can be fulfilled digitally. I think in the future we will have a hybrid system that while we have some tasks still to be done in the office environment, others will be done from a distance. Yet there is quite a number of employees who prefer to work from home.
     I was already doing so, even before COVID as I was traveling a lot and dedicating a good part of my time to associations, both home and abroad, as you know.

FT:   Would you share your feelings about weakness, older age and luxury?
TE:   Weakness is something temporary – should I feel to be weak in anything, I prefer to resort to learning, developing other skills and closing the gap. Older age – I do not know yet what it is to be old, but being young is surely good, even when you start realizing the passing of time accelerates.      As you grow older, if you are not unlucky, you also become more affluent, but today the biggest luxury is having your family around and enjoying their company in good health. I am very fortunate on both sides and grateful for my lot.
Marco Sorgetti

Chuckles For July 12, 2021

Maple Terrace Hotel

     Getting back on the road again as COVID-19 fades in the rear view mirror, there may be bigger hotels in Williamstown, a well- heeled Western Massachusetts community where the College and Summer Theater Festival get a lot of attention nationwide.
     But no hotel in the Northern or Southern Berkshires, and that would include Pittsfield to Great Barrington with Lenox and Lee and Stockbridge thrown in for good measure, comes close to instant comfort of sanctuary and well-being and the simple elegance surrounding you as you step into an immaculately clean and well equipped, nicely laid out room at the Maple Terrace Motel.
     Everything you hate about hotels you will instantly love about this place.
Maple Terrace hits all the highs, both expected and unexpected. Of course, that means comforts that begin at the reception office, where you are greeted by Ashwan and Rita Malhotra and the entire Malhotra family who operate the Maple Terrace.

The Malhotra family, Maple Terrace Motel

     This place and these dedicated people make sure that your experience is seamless and every need that might arise is met.
     There is a straight look into your eye and a genteel civility about these people and their hotel that is as welcome as the coffee service and small sweet roll that awaits each visitor in every one of the 11 rooms at Maple Terrace.
     Our room was quite comfortable with a fridge and microwave, a writing desk, an iron and board and was in a word cheerfully comfortable, with pleasantly understated bed covers.
     You are surrounded by an absolutely whistle clean space, so clean, in fact you could eat off the floor. When was the last time you spent the night in a place like that, if ever? But just in case you might want it, we noticed that discreetly placed in the corner by one foot of the desk was a bucket with cleaner and some wipe up towels.
     The bathroom was scrubbed to perfection and small details were attended.
     As example, towels are double thick as you might expect at The Ritz. There was a small dispenser in each combo-tub-shower delivering shampoo, conditioner and soap at a touch.
     The shower by the way is instant hot, the water is good and plenty.
     The hotel is quiet, just astride Main Street; you might expect a 20-wheeler would rattle things, but that is simply not the case.
     Speaking of the great outside, in the center of the hotel grounds is located a lovely sitting area encased in high shrubs with tables and Adirondack chairs, so you can feel the beauty of the everywhere, resting your bit in the Berkshires.
     Alongside and behind the hotel are picnic tables and more very comfortable Adirondack chairs for two dotting the acreage, with great views, including a farm mountain beyond the split rail fence where horses are gently grazing in the morning.
     Perfect setting to take a swim in the lovely pool or to just relax and decompress; to enjoy a lunch or sit and watch the clouds and birds with the grab and go breakfast of yogurt, cereal and coffee available gratis every morning. Or spread a blanket and go to sleep.
     Speaking of breakfast, if you want more to eat after all that country air, enjoy maybe the best breakfast you have ever had located about a quarter mile down the road in the direction of North Adams to just past the Cumberland Farms where The Moonlight Diner & Grille is open at 07:00 am every day, closed Sundays. This eatery is a local spot; the food, especially the omelets and waffles are simply outstanding: the portions are enormous so that after you dine until your hands get tired, the price will make you smile.
     But it is the simple things you will remember about the Maple: the call when you are checking out asking you an easy gracious question, “Wouldn’t you like to stay with us another night?”, the father up early at 06:00 watering the hanging plants all over the place; the post holding clean up bags for four legged guests.
     You suddenly realize that this place is operated as you might, if handed the keys to run a hotel. Suspend disbelief, everything has already been thought about and actioned. Maybe, best of all, Maple Terrace is a moveable feast because simple, decent human kindness in a thoughtful caring place that was the hallmark of your overnight, keeps coming back to mind for several days after your visit.

Subscribe to FlyingTypers

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. 24
Air Cargo Needs Ability To Hit The Curve
Chuckles for June 23, 2021
Turnover Leaves Air Cargo At a Loss
Doing The Can-Can
Lulu Loves Physical

Vol. 20 No. 25
FIATA And PayCargo Mega Deal
What Makes Jason Berry Run?
Chuckles for July 1, 2021
Baseball High As The Flag on July 4

Vol. 20 No. 26
New USMCA Rules
Man Bites Dog for Cargo Security
Chuckles for July 7, 2021
Pumping Traffic for July 7, 2021
COVID Devastation of India
Contrails Days May Be Numbered

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

Send comments and news to
Opinions and comments expressed herein do not necessarily reflect the views of the publisher but remain solely those of the author(s).
Air Cargo News FlyingTypers reserves the right to edit all submissions for length and content. All photos and written material submitted to this publication become the property of All Cargo Media.
All Cargo Media, Publishers of Air Cargo News Digital and FlyingTypers. Copyright ©2021 ACM, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

recycle100% Green