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   Vol. 21 No. 46
Thursday December 8, 2022

Lionel van der Walt

     Lionel Van der Walt has been in world air cargo news quite often during the past decade for his service to air cargo as part of IATA and then as leader of Cargo Network Services (CNS) and then as part of the leadership team that changed air cargo forever at PayCargo.
     But then everything changed almost overnight when Lionel riding high, his daughter Imma all of a sudden facing a life-threatening health situation, decided being a Dad would own his life, as she struggled for survival.
     Today we find Lionel about a year since we last reported returning to the fold, this time based in the UK, but not without some thoughts of what has been a very tumultous year.
     One thing for certain when it comes to thinking about resting his brain about the challenges of life these days, Lionel counts his blessings instead of sheep.
This time of year, here is a story we can all celebrate.
     “Over the past few months I have on numerous occasions reflected as to how blessed our family is and cannot under any circumstance be taken for granted.
     “Life is back to usual, and I can't believe it has been nine months since Imma’s surgery; it all feels so surreal!
     “Imma’s tumor has been successfully removed and she has made a full recovery.
     “She has lost all hearing in her left ear, but this is a small price to pay considering what could have been; no facial paralysis, no eyesight loss, no balance issues or any other complications.
     “What a blessed young lady she is.
     “Imma is back at work and in the evenings she is completing a marketing-focused MBA.
     “You would never guess that a few months back she underwent a nine-hour surgery with the surgeons warning that her recovery would most probably be an extended, lengthy ordeal with a high-risk of serious complications.
     “Yes, she had an amazing medical team from Duke University Health in USA taking care of her, but I have no doubt that this miraculous outcome was in no small part due to all the prayers and best wishes we received from around the world.
     “Words cannot express our gratitude to each and every one of you who kept her in your thoughts and prayers. Thank you!! What an amazing, compassionate industry we have! “Imma is blessed to have such an extended global family.
     “For me it is back to work now, and I am grateful to have found another amazing opportunity, this time focused on serving freight forwarders as Chief Growth Officer at Raft.
     “And with this opportunity comes more substantial change for our family as it includes a relocation from Clayton, North Carolina to Tunbridge Wells, Kent in the United Kingdom (UK). The irony being that despite both countries having “United” in their names, there doesn't appear to be many united in either location, but I digress.
The van der Walt family     “Ilonka (Lionel’s wife and partner) and I are now settling into our new home in the UK and we are looking forward to having Imma and Amy join us here for the holidays in a few weeks.
     “And yes, it has been a tough transition!
     “Over and above the international move, we are now also officially “extreme” empty nesters.
     “Why “extreme”, well Imma and Amy have decided to stay in the U.S. for now, so we are parenting from a distance.
     “Transitioning to empty nester status is challenging in itself, never mind being separated by continents.
     “It was a family decision with both our girls encouraging us to make the move; it quickly became apparent though that they highly value a free UK holiday destination versus having mom and dad on their doorstep each day, go figure . . .”
     So why Raft?
     “I have always been attracted to opportunities at high-impact companies that are leading transformational change across our industry, and Raft is certainly that!
     “The company has an amazing team, including two exceptionally talented founders, who are leading the charge to open the industry’s mind as to the tremendous value and benefit of automating operations with AI (artificial intelligence) technology.
     “The company has humble roots starting as a supply chain first AI focused service provider in 2017, then called The focus was initially on helping Freight Forwarders solve data extraction challenges. The key issue being how to extract the necessary information from physical and scanned documents into a digital format that can then be used in their existing TMS or other systems.
     “This has however proven to be just the basic foundation that is needed in order to add real value. The biggest value comes from how the extracted data is integrated into existing systems and how that data is then used to optimize processes and deliver efficiencies through aspects such as insights, workflows and business rules.
     “This learning has led us to where we are today, the industry’s first intelligent freight command center, a central platform, still doing data extractions and using cutting edge AI technology at its core, but now focused on adding downstream value through the automation and optimization of operational processes.
     “In essence Raft has developed a centralized platform specifically designed for freight forwarders, that helps them to automate and optimize their operations across the entire lifecycle of a shipment, and across globally distributed offices and teams without having to switch between numerous applications and communication systems.
     “The platform covers areas such as Accounts Payable, Customs, Commercial Invoice Processing, Pre-Alerts, Arrival Notices, Bookings etc. And all this data, which remains 100% owned by our clients, can then be used to provide an incredible level of transparency into their operational processes, and enhances decision making, much of which can be automated through our platform, hence the evolution from to Raft as an intelligent freight command center solution.
     “And to top it all off, everything we do is focused around improving the user’s experience; the human experience is at the heart of our approach. Users can use the system to prioritize their daily activities, assign tasks across teams e.g. finance to operations and vice versa, communicate with each other via the platform and so much more. The end result being a solution designed for Freight Forwarders aimed at empowering their teams to focus on what is important. The platform is designed to automate as much of the user’s daily administrative tasks as is possible, thereby enabling them to focus on value-added activities that improve their service delivery to internal and external stakeholders. Our vision is to shift the balance from boring, repetitive administrative tasks to meaningful, fulfilling, value-add activities.
     “This is what ultimately attracted me to Raft, a winning, transformational solution that is improving the work experience of our clients’ team members across the globe. Working for a successful hyper-growth company is great but knowing that I am helping others to succeed provides me with a level of satisfaction and motivation that is difficult to surpass.”
     Speaking of which, the kind of guy Lionel is most always, includes keeping friendships warm on all fronts including both personal and business.
     Take the announcement on a just completed partnership between Raft and Lionel’s former PayCargo just a few weeks ago.
     “With the integration of PayCargo into our new one-click payment capabilities, we are arming forwarders with yet another tool they can use to solve advanced supply chain challenges with modern solutions, while freeing up their human labor to perform tasks that move the needle along the bottom line,” Lionel declared.
     The partnership and integration will also enable reconciliations that are sent at the end of each week and month, automated payment flows, and a central oversight and approval process that is audited and tracked.
     In addition, PayCargo customers will benefit from Raft’s integration with the CargoWise transportation management system (TMS), which reduces manual data input and reconciliation.
     “Raft’s relationships with major TMS systems helps the vast majority of our customers who use these solutions and enables a quick and easy roll out of our capabilities within Raft for payments,” said PayCargo CEO Eduardo Del Riego.
     “Digital payments help solve problems in the logistics industry by moving funds quickly, along with all of the data payers and vendors require,” PayCargo Chief Operating Officer and Co-founder Juan Carlos Dieppa added. If you would like to learn more, click here.
     “I would love to hear your feedback and comments on what we are trying to achieve here at Raft.
     “Warm regards to all my industry colleagues and friends across the globe.”

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Kamesh Peri

     Celebi Delhi Cargo Terminal Management India Pvt Ltd, part of Celebi Aviation, is investing USD$1,83,65,115.00 (INR 150 crore) to enhance infrastructure at its facility at the Delhi airport. Celebi expects larger cargo volumes in the coming months.
     Celebi Aviation started its cargo services in 2009 when it set up the Celebi Delhi Cargo Terminal Management India Pvt, as a joint venture with Delhi International Airport Ltd.
     The terminal management has the responsibility of two cargo terminals with a combined capacity of 7,00,000 tons per annum at the Delhi airport. However, one of the terminals was non-operational since it was used specifically by Jet Airways, which stopped operations in April 2019.
     Recently, Celebi restarted the terminal after revamping it. It is now being used for cargo of the newly-launched Akasa Air. Celebi also handles the flights of Bangalore-based dedicated freighter operator QuikJet.
     Kamesh Peri, CEO, Celebi Delhi Cargo Terminal Management speaking about the investment had pointed out that the India market was of great importance to Celebi. That is why the investment was necessary. He had also said that the company would look at any opportunity that came its way . . . and “once we look at these opportunities from the point of view of operationalising it, whatever required infrastructure that comes along . . . we would be investing from our side.”
     FlyingTypers talked to Kamesh Peri about the proposed investment and the company’s future plans.

FT:  Celebi Delhi Cargo Terminal Management India recently announced an investment of INR 150 crore to bolster infrastructure at the facility? What are the expansion plans?
KP:  The Civil Aviation Ministry has set an ambitious target of growing cargo volumes to 10 million metric tons. To bolster the cargo industry’s growth, the government plans to establish 33 new domestic cargo terminals by 2024–2025, introduce ease of doing business by making processes paperless, adopt digitalization and automation, and operationalize 220 airports in the next five years.
We are very much aligned with the government’s vision and are always looking for opportunities to support the necessary infrastructure development and capacity. We will be actively participating in the process of providing ground handling and cargo handling services at the upcoming airports and cargo hubs. As for the planned investment, it is aimed at improving and augmenting our current infrastructure to meet future business requirements.

FT:  Post-pandemic, how has business been for Celebi Cargo from Delhi/India?
KP:  The industry is getting back to normal. We have seen a remarkable, strong recovery in the domestic aviation sector, and subsequently, domestic cargo capacity has also returned to pre-covid levels. International cargo capacity is still recovering and has yet to reach pre-COVID levels. Most of the international sectors are operational, but the frequency is low, and not all the airlines have managed to bounce back to their full capacity. The ongoing Russia-Ukraine war has also directly affected global trade and commerce. It has resulted in high inflation and high energy costs, as well as an impact on demand from European countries. The overall recovery is steady, but the pace has slowed due to various reasons, but we are optimistic and well-equipped to handle future demand.

FT:  With high freight rates, how do you see the competitive scenario?
KP:  The year, in general has seen global airfreight rates below last year’s level and recently general rates continued their downward trend. Ocean freight is responding to the market conditions much faster than air is and is normalising faster from a rates point of view.

FT:  In such circumstances, what is the strategy of Celebi for efficient operations?
KP:  At Celebi, we would continue to invest in infrastructure, modern equipment, and technology to deliver efficient, safe and innovative solutions for the larger benefit of our stakeholders.

FT:  With most airports seeing a comprehensive change through digitalisation of operations for improved productivity, what are Celebi’s plans as far as IT is concerned? How will Celebi leverage technological advancements for growth?
KP:  We understand the importance of technology and digitisation in the logistics and aviation industries. The digitisation of manual processes brings transparency, increases efficiency, and saves time. We recently replaced the manual cargo declaration process with Electronic Shippers Declaration (EDS). Similarly, we will embrace advanced digitisation wherever possible to deliver seamless customer service. We improved the features of our warehouse management system, increased security to ensure the safety and integrity of the information, and will be looking at technologies such as blockchain, IoT, and artificial intelligence in the future to improve the overall efficiency and productivity of the operations. We will also be focusing on promoting the cargo community system so that airlines, airports, shippers, freight forwarders, and various other stakeholder groups in the cargo community can have a seamless exchange of information.

FT:  Would you like the government to boost its role and take more initiatives to boost cargo from the country?
KP:  The government is really keen to boost the growth of Indian cargo and the overall logistics industry. The Aviation Ministry has set up various advisories to look at industry-specific challenges and solutions, including one for cargo. Policymakers and industry stakeholders constantly work together to create a robust and resilient ecosystem. We welcome these positive initiatives taken by the government to augment the growth of Indian aviation.
When Indian aviation is poised to become the third largest market by 2024, industry and policymakers must work closely and gradually build the capacity to address future demand without compromising the quality of services.

FT:  What challenges do you see in operations for the cargo industry?
KP:  The most unexpected challenge was the lockdown imposed all over the world during the pandemic. Despite all the restrictions and strictly controlled human movements, the aviation cargo industry emerged as a saviour for society and played a crucial role in transporting medicines, vaccines, and medical equipment across the globe and keeping the supply chains operational. The operations of cargo are dependent on many factors, and some of the factors are beyond our control. The current Russia–Ukraine war and China’s strict COVID prevention measures have affected the international supply chain and passenger and cargo movements. Global peace and harmony are the basic necessities for healthy economic growth to support certainty and stability, which in turn boosts the entire trade and cargo industries.

FT:  What are Celebi’s views about the future of the cargo industry in India?
KP:  We are very optimistic and bullish about Indian aviation and the cargo sector. The National Logistic Policy 2022 will bring transparency, efficiency, and overall ease of doing business to our logistics industry. Any growing industry has its challenges; similarly, we will also face challenges while transitioning from traditional, unorganised ways to formal system-enabled, process-oriented operations. With the government’s support and the collective efforts of industry stakeholders, the future of the Indian cargo industry is bright and cargo will play its part in supporting national economic growth goals.
Tirthankar Ghosh

Chuckles For December 8, 2022

Pumping TrafficKuehne+Nagel has entered into a long-term agreement for a new airside facility located in the airport zone of OR Tambo International airport, Johannesburg, South Africa. This agreement, customers logistics solutions, including warehousing, transportation, customs brokerage, supply chain management, and airside support to project-specific charter in- and outbound shipments. Core to this offering is a comprehensive cold chain solution, ensuring around-the-clock temperature-control to safeguard the integrity of highly sensitive pharma products, which is crucial to support Africa’s aim to become more self-reliant in healthcare operations. South Africa, Nigeria, and Algeria are leading the manufacturing charge in sub-Saharan Africa, while imports from Europe, North America, India and China remain crucial to meeting Africa’s demand for medicines and basic healthcare. To support its healthcare customers – both importers and manufacturers – in executing their strategic growth plans for Africa, Kuehne+Nagel’s new facility is designed with healthcare and Jannie Davelpharmaceuticals in mind . . . Mediterranean Shipping Company took delivery of the first MSC-branded aircraft, built by Boeing and operated by Atlas Air. The B777-200 Freighter will fly on routes between China, the US, Mexico and Europe. Jannie Davel, Senior Vice President Air Cargo at MSC, said: “Our customers need the option of air solutions, which is why we’re integrating this transportation mode to complement our extensive maritime and land cargo operations. The delivery of this first aircraft marks the start of our long-term investment in air cargo.” . . . Virgin Atlantic has announced the purchase of 10m USG per annum of SAF to be produced by Gevo, Inc. and supplied by Virgin Atlantic’s joint venture partner, Delta Air Lines. The agreement with Delta builds on the existing long-term partnership between Delta and Gevo and increases the use of SAF from the U.S. West Coast. Virgin Atlantic has been pioneering sustainability leadership for over 15-years and operates a 70% next generation fleet, making it one of the youngest and most fuel-efficient in the skies. This has contributed to a reduction in Virgin Atlantic’s total carbon emissions of 36% over the last decade. This new SAF agreement with Delta represents 20% of Virgin Atlantic’s 2030 SAF target and is equivalent to fuelling more than 500 flights across the transatlantic from Los Angeles . . . Kale Logistics Solutions (Kale) and Dagang NeXchange Berhad (DNeX), through wholly-owned subsidiary Dagang Net Technologies Sdn Bhd (Dagang Net), have signed a partnership agreement to introduce the Airport Cargo Community System (ACS) platform in Malaysia. Under the Vineet Malhotraagreement, both parties will conduct a study on the implementation of the first of its kind digital platform, connecting airport stakeholders at Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) an initiative that will improve the competitive position of Malaysian airport communities. “We are very excited about this development, which presents a powerful case that Cargo Community platforms need to integrate to bring greater value to the entire nation. Together with Dagang Net, we wish to create a global network of smart logistics hubs, starting here in Malaysia,” said Vineet Malhotra, Co Founder & Director, Kale Logistics Solutions . . . China Southern Airlines, the largest cargo airline in China and tenth largest in the world by volume, has begun allowing freight forwarders to book shipments and make payments on WebCargo, a Freightos marketplace connecting air and ocean carriers with logistics companies that arrange freight transportation. This partnership, which initially is limited to imports into China marks Freightos’ entry into the large China market. China Southern Air is the first airline in China to participate in a digital freight marketplace. More than 3,500 freight forwarders using Freightos will now have access to China Southern’s Steve Alterman and Lee Moakcapacity . . . Captain Lee Moak and Steve Alterman have been appointed to Relieable Robotics’ advisory board. Moak and Alterman have a combined 90-plus years of aviation industry experience, and both have served on the FAA’s Management Advisory Council (MAC) overseeing management, policy, spending and regulatory affairs for the agency. Moak and Alterman join as Reliable Robotics achieves a major certification milestone with Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) acceptance of its G-1 issue paper, defining the certificationbasis for the company’s Supplemental Type Certificate on the Cessna 208 Caravan cargo aircraft . . . IATA is expecting airlines to return to profit next year after three years of losses due to the outbreak of Covid but cargo volumes, yields and profits are set to decline. IATA said that in 2023 it expects airlines to post a “small” net profit of $4.7bn, which equates to a 0.6% net profit margin and will be the first profit since 2019 when the industry made $26.4bn.The improved profits stem from improved yields and cost control in the face of rising fuel prices. IATA said that air cargo revenues had played a key role in cutting losses with revenues this Tim Straussyear expected to reach $201.4bn, which is in line with 2021, and more than double the $100.8bn earned in 2019. In 2023 cargo markets are expected to come under increased pressure. As belly capacity grows in line with the recovery in passenger markets, yields are expected to take a significant step back, IATA said . . . Amerijet CEO Tim Strauss hopes to double the size of the carrier’s fleet in the coming five years. The airline has grown its fleet from eight aircraft at the start of 2020 to operating 22 today – 16 B767s and six B757s. The airline has expanded into Europe and Asia and diversified its customer base recently with a partnership with AP Moller Maersk. Amerijet will be operating Maersk’s three new 767-300 freighters . . .

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JC Delen On The Case

Dees Christmas Trees
One From The Heart
     On Monday December 5th is a special day around these parts when a grand tradition begun 19 years ago during the Iran and Iraq War, moving air cargo shipments of Christmas Trees and other pleasantries to our troops, once again takes off from John F. Kennedy International Airport via DHL and Dees Nursery & Florist Inc.
     Dees is an old-time family plant and nursery, in business near the airport since 1958 just ten years after today’ s JFK was then known as Idlewild (Idlewild Airport ) went into business in 1948 . Dees is located just off the main runways in nearby Oceanside, New York.
     Dees' spends most of the year selling plants and trees and lawn care products to people from all over the metropolitan area.
     But once a year Dees' chops down several hundred Christmas trees from its big farm in Maine and, in partnership with DHL, sends the trees free of charge to U.S. troops in in far-flung outposts worldwide.
     The Christmas Trees for Troops initiative, now branded Operation Holiday Cheer was launched in December 2004 after local businessman the late Jim Adelis overheard a woman at Dees' Nursery near JFK inquiring about how to ship a Christmas tree to her son in Iraq. Adelis reached out to DHL and the local community to deliver more than just a single tree.
     We remember Jim, who died in April 2020, for his selfless giving spirit that has become a proud tradition lifting everyone, that continues today.
     Usually the press pick-up of this event goes mostly to DHL and their big trailers and airplanes, and the helicopter with Santa aboard that shows up at Dees' for the Christmas tree shipment before the evergreens are sent to the airport for departure.
     After all the DHL ballyhoo, Dees' has really great, fresh cut trees for sale. We had the opportunity to speak to Joseph DiDominica and Thomas & Karen DiDominica.
     “We will continue to provide these trees until the soldiers get home,” Tom said.
     “That is the least we can do to support our troops,” said brother Joe.
     Business is business, but these brothers bring home the real meaning of Christmas and make the Yuletide bright.
     Air Cargo honors those who serve.
     The straight from the shoulder, right from the heart effort of the people of DHL and especially the love and mercy of the folks of Dees' is just superb.
     Dees' has not forgotten the little folks either, with several "Pancake Breakfasts With Santa" scheduled upcoming right up to Christmas.
     Dees' is located at: 69 Atlantic Avenue, Oceanside, NY 11572. (516) 678-3535.

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Vol. 21 No. 43
Buffalo Airways At TIACA
If It's Wednesday It Must Be Miami
Chuckles for November 9, 2022
Separating Wheat From Chaff-What's Next?
ATC South America Training Youth
Pumping Traffic
Haltmayers Smiling Faces Going Places

Vol. 21 No. 44
Kriendler Was Old School

Vol. 21 No. 45
JC Delen On The Case
Chuckles for November 29, 2022
2023 Trade Show Update
Beaujolais Nouveau
Glyn Hughes Futurama

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