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Ukraine Red Cross
   Vol. 21 No. 27
Tuesday July 5, 2022

Michelle DeFronzo

     Talk about no guts, no glory, an overlooked, albeit quite courageous lady named Michelle DeFronzo has worked as an Airline Cargo Sales Agent (CSA) for 30 years.
     In 2000 she formed ImEx Cargo, a global logistics and air transport service provider.
     ImEx Cargo like many other companies over the past few years fought its way through tremendous negative COVID impacts and was just beginning to recover.      Then came the Ukraine war, and as a contractor for the largest Russian cargo freighter airline AirBridgeCargo, ImEx Cargo faced further challenges.
     Using ABC’s regularly scheduled service, ImEx had powered businesses and agency organizations transporting products, including pharmaceuticals, PPE, vitamins, equipment, machinery, aircraft parts, and livestock to specific global destinations.
     ImEx Cargo found its business with ABC Cargo shut down and had to return all shipments scheduled on Russian transports that were in various customs areas ready for export. ImEx customers, including shippers, end users, and ImEx itself have all been lost to each other at this time in some or all part, orphaned in the fog of war.
     Michelle DeFronzo talks about Putin’s war. She speaks about it with great expertise and certainly more experience that any other top female air cargo executive.
     Michelle tells it straight from the shoulder, right from the heart.
     “I have been in the industry for 30+ years and started seeing some positive changes for women over the past 10-15 years.
     “More women are coming into the field and taking on more prominent roles; although it is not very common to see women in leadership positions.
     “At the top, air cargo is still a very male-dominated business and exponentially more difficult for women to advance.
     “To secure contracts, I have had to learn more, know more, work harder for less money and prove myself time and again.
     “My goal has always been to continue building this business by implementing strategies for competitive advantages and providing high value-added service.”
ImEx Cargo has a compelling reputation in the local communities, and the community plays an essential role in expanding opportunities for airline partners.
     “We have earned the city, state, and federal government certifications for government contracts under the Supplier Diversity Program. This has been a work in progress, and we are developing partnerships for government contacts and companies with supplier diversity goals. We are certified for all states in the U.S., including Alaska and Hawaii.”

FT:     From an aggressive, high flying provider of lift to being shut down by war what are you able to do for your customers?
MD:   Currently, there is little I can do for my international customers. One day it was business as usual, and the next, we were returning shipments that were sitting in various customs areas ready for export. We are in active pursuit of airlines that may be able to fill the incredible gap that has been left by the suspended AirBridge Cargo airline operations.
     Our new relationship with Alaska Airlines as GSSA has enormous potential for supporting current needs and providing customers with new options. While we have not finished developing the growth plan strategy, it may include an international express service from the west coast because Alaska Airlines has daily services. We can easily connect with other providers from there.

FT:     When something terrible happens in business what is the best rule?
MD:   No stranger to adversity, my motto is never to give up and keep moving forward every day.
     Our business has endured unending setbacks from the bird flu, SARS, and COVID to drastic economic changes, war, and losing significant contracts. Competitors keep expecting us to fail. We pivot and persevere with each setback because we know the business and have a vast range of experience.

FT:     What is the feedback from the professional shipping market?
MD:   Shippers are understandably frustrated. They are experiencing service delays and disruptions, significant price increases, and labor shortages. There is a lack of transparency resulting in shippers unable to plan inventory and staff requirements and they’re also paying a lot more to move their goods.
     With staffing shortages prevalent throughout the industry and overstrained transportation systems, partners need our GSA services even more now than ever before.

FT:     What is your view of the overall markets in April 2022 and how do you plan to move forward?
MD:   I don’t see any substantial changes to the market in the near term, so we have formulated a strategy that allows us to move forward with agility.
     Last year, we secured our financial stability through the innovations of NOW Corp. The access to future revenue immediately, which will allow us to implement our growth strategies and scale up to meet our revenue goals.
     Continuous improvement is a core philosophy so implementing more effective technologies and optimizing processes are central to increasing speed, accurate information, and maintaining maximum productivity.
     Shipping container security has become a rising concern and earlier this year, ImEx Cargo contracted to represent leading technology provider of container tracking systems in New England. SecureSystems is an IOT-enabled logistics network management and intelligence solutions developed to enhance supply chain resilience and provide customers with peace of mind.
     I was struck by a recent video I saw with Federal Maritime Commission commissioner Carl Bentzel, where he stressed the importance of data to improve the broken links in the supply chain. Data is critical to the story; it can tell you about a shipment, a customer, a process, and the industry. It is why the SecureSystems container tracking device is so effective and why we rely on data for continuous improvement and growth.
     Part of the big picture is operational infrastructure. We are currently implementing a robust transportation management system (TMS) that will streamline operations and billing systems, as well as provide advanced technology for our customers to use. We are also in the process of looking at how our CRM can help us to automate workflow processes and incorporating that with AI for better predictive analysis of future forecasts.
     While we have historically focused on international shipments for private and commercial sectors, we are now looking at both domestic and global airlines for scheduled and non-scheduled flights to serve the government sector as well. We are particularly interested in joining forces with airlines and freight forwarders that have supplier diversity goals. As of April 1, 2022, ImEx Cargo is the GSSA for Alaska Airlines and Sun Country Airlines.
     Finally, we are building an advisory board and positioning ImEx Cargo for hypergrowth. The board will provide guidance on the company’s vision, innovation, risk management, and profitability.

FT:     How did you get into air cargo?
MD:   My introduction to the air cargo industry began with my fascination for air travel. My first job out of high school was at Eastern Airlines as a reservation sales agent. I learned about the U.S. airports and the Sabre software, which is still used by the airline industry. I excelled at sales and customer service and was the top sales agent for the duration of my employment.
     For the ten years that followed the dissolution of Eastern Airlines, I went to work for Bank of New England/ Fleet Bank at State Street in Boston. I worked in various departments at the bank which exposed me to banking practices, businesses and many fascinating entrepreneurs. I was a commercial lender working with customers of established companies who were manufacturers, inventors, importers, and exporters.
     From there, I went to work for one of the bank’s clients, a small independently owned freight forwarder in Chelsea, Massachusetts with about 30 employees. This is where I found my true passion, in shipping and logistics. I spent the next decade of my journey learning logistics supply chain, the type of bootcamp training you can only get in a small company that offers a broad range of services like trucking, warehousing, pick and pack, distribution, airfreight, ocean freight, import and export. I started as the EDI /3PL Manager handling some of the largest companies in the U.S. After nearly a decade as a freight forwarder and 3PL provider, the company went out of business due to unforeseen circumstances.
     At that point I took a leap of faith and started my own company, ImEx Cargo in pursuit of keeping my passion alive and realizing that I wanted to be my own boss.

FT:     Who do you admire..
MD:   I admire Oprah Winfrey, Sir Richard Branson, and Warren Buffet. I have learned to forgive, believe, and dream from Oprah's teachings. Sir Richard Branson and I share a passion for both airlines and music. Warren Buffet is humble, wise and simple and I appreciate that he shares his wisdom.

FT:     Would you choose this career if you had the opportunity to do it again?
MD:   That is a resounding yes! I appreciate the wide range of possibilities and experiences, such as getting to know different kinds of people, markets, services, tasks, cultures, countries, etc. Logistics fits my view of life; it gives me great satisfaction to bring all the pieces together and provide solutions for my customers.      I feel that my brain and heart are in excellent coordination when tackling and solving a problem or making an important decision.

FT:     Why would you encourage air cargo as a career for women? What can a woman bring to the business?
MD:   Air cargo is exciting; it is never the same. Every day is different. There is always something new – new people, businesses, and commodities. (Note: We’ll be shipping pieces of an Alaskan glacier in July). It is truly an honor to know that your work supplies basics—food, clothing, PPE, and vaccines to those in need. It feels like you’re a part of what makes the world function.
     Women are ideally suited for this business as they are generally thoughtful planners, detail-oriented, practical and also empathetic, a combination that is hard to beat.
     I am in the process of recruiting ambitious women in trucking and international logistics who are interested in owning their own GSA and 2.5PL business. My goal is to help women who are driven to succeed in business with the ImEx Cargo turnkey operational systems, software, finance, and training. In addition to benefitting from our 30+ years of experience, they will have the advantages and competitive leverage of WOSB and the city, state, federal certifications that come along with our brand.

FT:     What is the first thing you are telling the customers these days?
MD:   We have informed our AirBridge customers that due to the geo-political climate all operations have been suspended. We are monitoring the situation and will keep them informed. Our customers still need Europe and Asia air cargo, and we are forming new partnerships, generating ideas, and researching all viable solutions. We think that our new relationship with Alaska Airlines may be able to support some existing customers’ needs. What do you want air cargo to know about ABC and your business?
     We had a good relationship with ABC for seven years and are saddened, but understand.
     As a partner of AirBridge Cargo, one of the largest freighter airlines in the world with immense capacity, we were crucial to keeping the supply chain moving from the very beginning of the COVID crisis. We played a vital role in moving critical shipments like PPE, medical devices, and pharmaceuticals worldwide.
     Last year, we produced revenues of nearly ten million dollars with ABC, so we know how to generate cargo business.

Chuckles For July 3, 2015

Donna Mullins and Phil Jensen

     When it comes to future thinking in air cargo, Phil Jensen, Vice President Business Development and Industry Relations at Worldwide Flight Services (WFS) and Donna Mullins, Vice President Kale Logistics Solutions are all smiles after a test collaboration of the partners' Kale-provided Community Cargo System recently at the WFS JFK Cargo Building 9 in New York.
     We first knew Phil when he was fronting a small Long Island puddle jumper, whilst situate behind the service counter in the lobby of The Marine Air Terminal at LaGuardia.
     Jensen went into air cargo and wherever he has landed since, he has distinguished himself as a futurist supporter of the industry and its people, while building business.
     Donna, you should know, in addition to leading the USA charge for the brilliant Amar More, CEO of Kale Logistics Solutions, is one great human being. Donna has always rung true, especially as a heart and soul part of the Atlanta Air Cargo Association.
     Very early during the pandemic, this lady took it upon herself to help out truckers at ATL with shopping bag meals from Ruby's Chicken House (Ruby's is named in memory of Ruby Saggus, Donna’s Mom).
     What Donna did was to distribute at no charge, and unheralded, meals for truckers who were mostly stuck in their trucks with no place to dine.
     Now the Kale Team with Donna and others, and Phil at WCS are working to advance solutions together as handling seeks unique answers in 2022 moving general cargo and highly specialized verticals.
     More and more industry stakeholders must plan to exceed the need, deploying data analytics and data mining technologies to move consignments.
     Here comes the brave new world:
     “A single window ACS enables electronic communications in airports between private transport operators (airlines, agents, and freight forwarders), the private vicinity (pre- and on-carriage, usually by road), importers and exporters, the airport authorities, customs, and other authorities,” Donna said.
     “With technology at its core, the Kale Logistics Solutions’ Airport Cargo Community system can do it all,” she added.
     Worldwide Flight Service (WFS) began testing the Kale Air Cargo Community System (ACS), slot booking system at its JFK Building 9, on December 13, 2021.
Now six months later, with more than eighty stakeholders (about 74% participation) enrolled in the WFS ‘Time Is Money’ Program, WFS reports 1,600 transactions dock in to dock out process performed on the platform as of May 31, 2022.
     “The impact of Phase I is extremely noticeable, at Building 9, and the next phase of ACS implementation is ready to begin," Donna said.
     “There are significant challenges facing the industry, especially regarding lagging IT infrastructure upgrades.”
     Looking ahead, air cargo traffic is expected to go beyond thrice its current size, out-pacing passenger traffic and thereby providing airlines with greater revenue-generation opportunities.
     “Technological systems like ACS can bridge the gap between the standardization of processes and the technological needs of the air cargo value chain,” Donna said.
     Donna and Phil, these two air cargo foot soldiers for progress exude a force of hope and cooperation that makes the entire movement of cargo much easier.

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The Lady Declares Her Time Is Now

Sally RideSally Takes Another Ride Into History

  They dedicated a statue to Sally Ride on Friday June 17 that now stands in the entrance courtyard of the Cradle Of Aviation Museum in Uniondale, Long Island, New York.
  Created by Colorado-based sculptors and brothers George Lundeen and Mark Lundeen, working with fellow artist, Joey Bainer, the seven foot tall statue is executed in bronze and gold.
  On June 18, 1983, 39 years ago, Sally Ride became the first American woman to launch into space, riding the Space Shuttle STS-7 flight with four other crew members. Only five years earlier, in 1978, she had been selected to the first class of 35 astronauts—including six women—who would fly on the Space Shuttle.
  As the first American woman to travel into space, Sally was a national hero and a powerful role model. She inspired generations of young girls to reach for the stars and later fought tirelessly to help them get there by advocating for a greater focus on science and math in our schools.
  Before she died in 2012 after a 17 month battle with pancreatic cancer Sally Ride was asked how she would like to be remembered:
  “I would like to be remembered as someone who was not afraid to do what she wanted to do, and as someone who took risks along the way in order to achieve her goals,” she said.
  She fulfilled her dreams.

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Emily Arend at Yankee Stadium

     We’ve reached a fork in the road in New York City, as July 4th, 2022 found my New York Yankees, the most storied sports franchise in the world cooling on a rare day off, breaking a torrid winning streak so far this year, but still comfortably in first place with the best record in the sport
     Yankee Stadium in the Bronx is packed—the bright lights are on for a 154-game season this year for the first time in three years with Outfield slugger Aaron Judge and ace pitcher Gerrit Cole on the half shell for the summer.
     Having baseball back feels like a blessing at this time.
     Now we can think about the Boys of Summer.
     Now we can think about the game.
     The Boys of Summer will move through the remains of the year until Fall with that particular poetic grace.
     Watching baseball again will hopefully have the power to lift the millions of Americans, cooped up and stressed out for the past two years during COVID.
     We realize that many of our readers around the world may not follow baseball and certainly U.S. football carries a much bigger audience.
George Carlin     However the late, great George Carlin perfectly defined why baseball is so special:
     “Baseball is different from any other sport, very different.
     “For instance, in most sports you score points or goals; in baseball you score runs.
     “In most sports the ball, or object, is put in play by the offensive team; in baseball the defensive team puts the ball in play, and only the defense is allowed to touch the ball.
     “In fact, in baseball if an offensive player touches the ball intentionally, he's out; sometimes unintentionally, he's out.
     “Also, in football, basketball, soccer, volleyball and all sports played with a ball, you score with the ball, and in baseball the ball prevents you from scoring.
     “In most sports the team is run by a coach; in baseball the team is run by a manager.
     “And only in baseball does the manager or coach wear the same clothing the players do.
     "In baseball the object is to go home!
     “And to be safe!
     “I hope I'll be safe at home!
     “Baseball is the only major sport that appears backwards in a mirror.
     “Baseball has no time limit:
     “We don't know when it's gonna end - might have extra innings.”

Baseball Versus American Football

George Carlin wrote,
     “In football you wear a helmet.
     “In baseball you wear a cap.
     “Football is concerned with downs - what down is it?
     “Baseball is concerned with ups - Who's up?
     “In football you receive a penalty.
     “In baseball you make an error.
     “In football the specialist comes in to kick.
     “In baseball the specialist comes in to relieve somebody.
     “Football has hitting, clipping, spearing, piling on, personal fouls, late hitting and unnecessary roughness.
     “Baseball has the sacrifice."

Walt WhitmanWalt Whitman Leaves of Grass

     Walt Whitman, an American poet, essayist, journalist and humanist in his 1855 book of poems, titled "Leaves of Grass" said this about baseball:
     “I see great things in baseball. It's our game, the American game.
     “It will repair our losses and be a blessing to us.”

     Now let the fabled words echo through the land. Play Ball 2022!

This one is for Emily. Youngest daughter Emily Parker (pictured above) enthuses,“I'm so pumped for baseball to be back at full speed.”

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. 21 No. 24
May Was The Month That Was
ATC Best In Show
Adani India Big Time Operator
Chuckles for June 9, 2022
Throwing Caution In The Wind
D-Day In Bernay

Vol. 21 No. 25
PayCargo Follow The Money
WeQare A Children's Song
Chuckles for June 16, 2022
Ram Menen Looking At Tomorrow
Wear A Mask

Vol. 21 No. 26
The Human Rhapsody Of
Rudy Auslander


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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