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   Vol. 22 No. 11
Tuesday March 28, 2023

Kale Logistics Solutions

Bill Boesch     As the calendar closes in on April 25-27, the air cargo event schedule arrives in beautiful Istanbul at International Air Transport Association (IATA)’s 2023 Annual mandated meeting of top airline cargo management.
     That meeting was first branded, marketed and launched as World Cargo Symposium (WCS) in Mexico City in 2007.
     It is a very different IATA Cargo that is meeting in 2023 amidst drastic cutbacks.
     Sources say that IATA DG Willie Walsh, who is listed as speaking to the gathering as the WCS opens Tuesday April 25th, has slashed spending at the organization.
     Apparently, that includes travel and anything that is deemed “unnecessary.”
     Delegates attending WCS Symposium might want to check out the excellent Istanbul restaurant scene and the wonderful, diverse Sultanahmet district of fabulous Istanbul for after hours.
     “I can understand concern at IATA,” said Bill Boesch, CEO of Council of Logistics Research based in McLean, Virginia.
     “The cargo market is in freefall right now and the passenger wide bodies will be the big winners,” Bill said.
     “The old cargo business is in trouble, but it will come back for those who can withstand the present situation and cut their costs drastically.
     “In America load factor is down, the revenue is down, and costs are sky high with recent union pay increases,” Bill Boesch added.
     Meantime fresh off a bang up job in Nashville last month is the Pied Piper of The Airforwarders Association, President Brandon Fried who delivered his speech at The Los Angeles Air Cargo Association meeting last week and after a quick refueling stop will be over the river and through the woods on to the U.S. right side for JFK Air Cargo Association's Air Cargo Day on March 30 at Russo’s in Howard Beach, just a stone's throw off JFK’s main runways.
     Sure hope the JFK faithful have a great show and can include a moment of silence for the late Joel Ditkowsky, a Customs Broker of some fame who served the U.S. customs brokers community and by example the world for the past half century. He was honored at JFK Cargo Day more than a decade ago for his service to air cargo.

Sarah Romail

     At FIATA International Federation of Freight Forwarders Associations Headquarters Session last week at The Geneva Convention Center, one panel discussion contradicts the notion that our industry trade show sessions are getting older.
     Thinking big thoughts at a transportation seminar, whilst watching a child might be a welcome first for the adults in the room.
     But a children's song, if you listen as they play, confirms a notion that the children know the way.
     Thanks to the mother, Sarah Romail of Ability Trading, Giza-Eygpt and to Marco Leonardo Sorgetti for this picture.

FIATA HQ Meeting Session

     Here I am in Chambery, writing at a desk conveniently provided by the railways. SNCF being on strike, there was just one train leaving Geneva to Chambery in France today, so that I could board my Frecciarossa to Turin. Hence, I had to leave my meetings at the FIATA Headquarters’ (HQ) too early and arrived in Chambery four and a half hours ahead of my schedule, but my harvest is ripe and even abundant nonetheless.
     Chambery station has a cosy, well equipped upstairs space where all travellers can sit, relax or work for free. A piano plays soft music in the distance and thoughts emerge, induced by the call of spring. I was considering how much my environment has changed in the 50+ years I have travelled for and worked in logistics. From my thin laptop, connected through my smartphone to the Internet, I have the world at my fingertips. I send my photos and my draft article to Geoffrey in New York at the blink of an eye. None of this existed in 1972 as most of today’s technology has been created in the last two or three decades.
     In Geneva, more than ever a place of crucial importance represented by the United Nations’ hard gained balance of powers, this spirit is perceptible throughout the wonderful UN buildings and gardens, which have been aptly included in the HQ programme as a side excursion for delegates’ accompanying persons. The FIATA Headquarters’ session, the traditional FIATA Members’ gathering in the springtime, now held on the shores of the Leman, attains a new, more suitable environment. FIATA is the epitome of international business and Geneva represents the very essence of internationality, which is everywhere around you and you get unwittingly absorbed. This year’s FIATA HQ was a very good meeting and everybody went out of their way to please one another. Good to be back together, I have the impression everyone enjoyed the atmosphere, starting with the staff and the DG, all more confident and relaxed than last year, when we were just coming out of our dark COVID prisons.
     It may seem unorthodox to start this article by taking an abrupt sharp turn, but the IPCC just published their report on climate change, which UN Secretary Gutierrez called “a survival guide for humanity”. Put it in a straightforward manner: if nothing is done, our future lives will not last very long. Unsurprisingly, the Brits excelling in journalism, I chose to quote the BBC information as being the best, timely and articulate.
     Why am I saying this? From the station I can see a strange warm haze, no trace of the snow that would still be piling up outside 50 years ago. Today is the first day of spring, but the atmosphere seems a bit grey; the landscape on the way from Geneva was scattered with beautiful, yet rare, flowers and sprouts, notwithstanding a warmer than usual winter. A bad and seemingly intractable drought is withering the Alpine bloom for the second year in a row.
Ivan Petrov     Needless to say environmental issues have occupied the deliberations at the HQ, as FIATA members seem to become more and more aware of their role in finding solutions, not as secondary as it might appear at first sight. Emissions and climate change have not only been part of the official debates. They have been hitting dinners, coffee breaks and almost any other social activity I was involved in. In fact, President Ivan Petrov opened the four-day event with a presentation that contained the main elements of today’s FIATA policy after FIATA’s Reset Programme: the optimisation of multi-modal corridors through improved capacity building, strong support of digitisation in logistics and extensive adoption of the electronic FIATA Bill of lading, addressing the issues of cybersecurity and safety, as well as continuous attention to the much esteemed FIATA vocational training programmes. As expected, the implementation of the UN Sustainable Development Goals managed to get central in FIATA’s agenda. President Petrov’s well-informed presentation sounded almost as a SWOT analysis of our troubled times: freight volatility, combined with reduced competition ignited by the vertical integration of businesses, inflation and interest rates cutting international trade space, etc. but FIATA is “en route” to new highs, new services for members, renewed priorities for the various FIATA bodies, a renewed approach to multimodal corridors and the geopolitical challenges of the current times. Members in attendance were then asked to reflect on the business climate through a poll.
Jan Hoffman     After the opening remarks, our friend Jan Hoffman, Head Trade Logistics Brach, UNCTAD, took the floor and gave his key-note presentation, which provided FIATA members with an up-to-date outlook of the trade and shipping landscape. Much of the data presented is contained in UNCTAD’s REVIEW OF MARITIME TRANSPORT but listening to it with the right audience makes a lot of sense. Explaining the uncertainties that we lived before, during and just after the pandemic was necessary to interpret the trends of our immediate future. In good substance the pre-pandemic conditions of continuous growth, with a certain containment of supply, determined the explosion of transport costs, which was rapidly followed by an almost identical decline. Jan’s high level economic analysis further explained, through the so called “nowcasts”, the elements we are supposed to factor in our immediate future. Alongside recognised reasons for pessimism (war, inflation, volatility, etc.) the reasons for optimisms (growth and demand, both stronger than earlier expected, modernisations adopted during the pandemic, China re-opening) allowed Jan Hoffmann to conclude his speech with a rather auspicious exhortation: resisting change and innovation is costlier in the long run than embracing it. A statement that came forward in other workshops during the HQ and was echoed by many other speakers.
     Jan Hoffman also informed us that, against a certain scepticism, two years ago UNCTAD predicted that prices would grow due to higher logistic costs: the IMF then measured that 1.5% of the increase was due to transport prices soaring. Another point of interest: in reply to a question from Ukraine the speaker reminded the audience of UNCTAD’s hard work to prepare the UN grain agreement and said that UN Secretary Gutierrez based himself on the data provided by UNCTAD, in particular with regard to alternative ways to transport grains when there are no ships available. Hoffmann also invited interested parties to participate in 2024 Global Supply Chain Forum. The President then closed the opening by inaugurating the HQ exhibition with the other Members of the Presidency and the Director.

Bob keen, Jan Hoffmann, Ivan Petrov, Turgut Erkeskin, Jens Roemer, Thomas Sim, Galo Molina, Stephane Graber

Mark Bromley     In the afternoon Mark Bromley, chairman of the MTI, (Multimodal Transport Institute) welcomed the delegates in attendance by giving a comprehensive account of MTI’s recent activities (inter alia, progress made on eCMR). The MTI then split in different sessions. The shortage of drivers was one of the issues emerging from the debate, but there are areas in the world where no shortage of drivers exists, e.g. Africa and India. but this cannot help Europe without appropriate measures of adaptation. The Rail sector also suffers from a similar shortage. Another session concluded that the Trans Caspian corridor lost part of its appeal when sea freight rates started to tumble in recent times.
     If you look at the FIATA HQ as a music LP, containing several songs with different rhythms, the afternoon being the B-side, after the coffee break FIATA gave us a bonus track: the workshop Jens Roemer“SUSTAINABILITY AT WHICH COST”, which came as an eye opener for many of those in the attendance. Jens Roemer, (right) Chairman of the Working Group Sea and Senior Vice President, paid a tribute to all staff employed in transport logistics, who contributed to minimise the distress caused by the pandemic. “Human resources are our strength” was the statement that concluded SVP Roemer’s introduction. Then sustainability took control.
     Pedro Nonay, ex-CEO and consultant in Commodity Trading, James Corbett, Environmental Director Europe, WSC (World Shipping Council), Tyler Baron CEO at Minerva Bunkering, SVP Jens Roemer and Ms. Andrea Tang, who appears to effortlessly handle, on behalf of the FIATA secretariat, the enormous agendas of the Airfreight and Multimodal Transport Institutes, created an unbiased and informative debate about sustainability’s teething issues. Let me take a record of some notable statements:
     - (Nonay) With bioethanol and bio diesel, we know investment is needed, but it is difficult to raise the necessary investment. The market was dysfunctional with 1st generation biofuels. Using crops for fuel is hardly a solution as 15% of crops replace only 1% of fossil fuels;
     - (Corbett) 1/3 of new ships’ investments is made in dual fuel technology. The maritime sector is moving from being a price-avoider to a leading renewables user, moving from the cheapest to the most expensive fuel and this is a 100 years’ paradigm shift, committed to enacting the EU circular economy policies. This is policy driven innovation. On certain conditions the EU could become the premier provider of bio-fuels in the world; as we have seen delaying transition is costlier than embracing it. Future ready ships will be 2/3 of the supply in future, on full life cycle basis.
     Jens Roemer closed the first round by saying he was in heaven listening to these statements. He admitted that we are all just out of tough period, sustainability is still not so high on the agendas and we could sit back and wait, as business is price sensitive. But the world is watching: “my daughter would kill me if I do not do anything”, he passionately concluded. However, “we do not need just another surcharge that would be impossible to understand. In EU we have the ETF (incorporating the maritime in 2024) and this should change the scene.” Maybe there is a role for FIATA in trading carbon credits… Dr Corbett noted that in 2027 regulations will phase in, affecting all the fleets.

James Corbett, Andrea Tang, Pedro Nonay, Tyler Baron

     In the second round Tyler Baron said that at the moment bio fuel counts for 1% of all bunker value, James Corbett affirmed his sector was not looking at a surcharge: there is a shift in the business, 2, 3 or even 5 times as costly, but with a different paradigm. Pedro Nonay established that resistance to change is the enemy of the future. Jens Roemer decried that certain choices could put clean vessels on certain markets and “dirty” vessels on others, but James Corbett said that we need to drive these fuels to all market levels as quickly as possible. Nearly 1⁄4 of fuel is sold in Singapore and they understand that this transition needs to happen. ISO14083 will tell us how emissions will be measured. Admittedly, the issue is, EU succeeding in its policy, older ships will service other areas and that will hurt certain communities that customers need to serve. All made a pause to watch the result of the poll:
     Dr. Corbett made his comment: the NO answer really means “not yet”, there is no other choice . . . Jens Roemer concurred to be surprised by the reply, as FIATA had been talking about this issue for a long time and solutions to include this opportunity exist on the market.
     In closing the Chairman asked for one key takeaway in conclusion and started by saying it was high time we shook up . . . “All items in sustainability are as important now as the pandemic was before, maybe more” he acknowledged. James Corbett stated that shared customers’ demand lead to progress and there is value added in finding a way forward. We have the chance to turn challenges into opportunities by working with FIATA. Pedro Nonay stated that we are navigating through asymmetries. A warm round of applause concluded the eventful session and the long day of debates.
     From the audience the impression is that sustainability has landed onto the policy agenda of the freight forwarding sector and is set to take the front row in the business decisions in the next few years. FIATA has proved one more time to be the representative body of the sector by drawing members’ attention to the urgency of the problem.
     Let me also borrow Jan Hoffman’s statement to conclude this long account: resisting change will not only be short-sighted, it will be enormously costly and this is a language the good entrepreneur should understand without any doubt, regardless of the sector it comes from. I shall tell you more about the deliberations in future articles and remind you that FIATA will hold its next World Congress in Brussels in October.
Marco L. Sorgetti
Chambery, March 21st 2023

Marco Sorgetti and Lionel van der Walt

  As FIATA International Federation of Freight Forwarders Associations wrapped its 2023 Headquarters Session in Geneva once again, this was the place on the cargo schedule to be, in Spring 2023 post COVID, where the sessions were bright, the talk was meaningful. It can be said no organization in transportation delivers back to its members the level of training and industry building, as does FIATA.
  Good to hear Lionel van der Walt in an unstudied but revealing interview with Marco Sorgetti at the FIATA Geneva event last week. Click here or on photo above to listen.
  The genius of Lionel van der Walt works in the background, often devising and always supporting freight forwarders and deepening relationships.
  Lionel is based in UK where he serves as Chief Growth Officer at UK-based Raft AI.
  Raft uses Artificial Intelligence (AI) solutions to solve operational challenges faced by freight forwarders, by automating time-consuming tasks across the shipment lifecycle, from operations, customs and finance, as well as customer-facing tasks such as emissions reporting.
James Coombes  The Lionel playbook is based on results and simply getting the job done, period, whether at International Air Transport Association (IATA) where he served for many years, or as a transformational President of Cargo Network Services Corp. (CNS), or as part of that group that burst upon the scene and revolutionized the way to pay and get paid in shipping— PayCargo 5 years ago.
  He is a force for good among us, thankfully once again in force.
  At FIATA there he was, as Raft CEO James Coombes, (right) Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder spoke as part of a panel to the FIATA delegates and guests, and in those moments delivered maybe the most memorable words of the week:
  “The future of freight forwarding relies on human expertise augmented by technology and AI applications, putting automation and transparency up front and center,” James Coombes said.

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Ignasi Vera, Ingo Zimmer     The ATC Air Force is once again front & center as exclusive GSSA for Avianca Cargo in Germany and Switzerland.
     “We are thrilled to partner again with Avianca Cargo for Germany and Switzerland,” said Ingo Zimmer, (above right) CEO of ATC Aviation Services AG.
     “As Avianca GSSA, The ATC Air Force of proven cargo marketing sales and service experts are laser focused on creating solutions that meet and exceed the need.
     ATC GSSA partnerships are genuine originals that deliver specific exceptional customer service that are a unique and welcome force for good, as Avianca Cargo gains greater visibility.”
     “Value is as easy as ATC,” said Ingo.
     When it comes to service delivery in 2023, ATC is proud to be out front and pulling away,” Ingo said.
     Ignasi Vera, (above left) Cargo Sales Manager EU – Asia, for fast rising Avianca Cargo confirms:
     “ATC expertise in cargo sales and marketing, works well with the Avianca Cargo network.
     “It’s all about service.
     “We chose ATC for their unparalleled ability at delivering the best customer service.”

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FlightRadar 24

FIATA International Federation of Freight Forwarders Associations ULD session in Geneva raised some eyebrows over at ULD CARE, a well-versed organization that began as an International Air Transport Association (IATA) committee in 1971 and then in 2011 became a legal entity based in Canada.
ULD Care’ no nonsense leadership includes Bob Rogers based in Hong Kong and Urs Wiesendanger, P.Log. based in Montreal.

     Surveying the recent scene at FIATA ULD HQ Session earlier last week in Geneva, Bob Rogers said:
     “FIATA seems a bit out of step maybe about 5+ years out behind the times . . . the data they are talking about was the output of the IATA Ground Damage Database project which I was able to get access to as it was run by Peter Hunt when he left his role as cargo safety in Cathay Pacific to work at IATA Montreal.
     “I have tons of material on the subject and yes, it’s absolutely correct. ULD are the #1 cause of aircraft damage, with 99% of the damage being caused to the cargo hold liners due to use of improperly loaded/damaged ULD.”
     Bob also said:
     “We have a big library of pictures of damage to aircraft.
     “The damage caused during ULD handling tend to be much worse on Airbus aircraft which tend to have smaller clearances between the ULD permitted contour and the hold contour.
     “Have no idea why FIATA has decided to get excited about this subject now, many years on," Bob said.
     “It's true that much of the damage is caused by poor handling by the forwarding community but then again it's the airlines’ responsibility to reject such units shipside but of course they never do because that would cause commercial upset so the wheel just continues to turn,” Bob Rogers said.
     “Your readers might find our recently published ULD Care White Paper which turns the focus toward efficiency and sustainability,” Bob Rogers concluded.

Masks Are Off As HongKongers Get Down To Business

     It's almost a month since Hong Kong said goodbye to the last significant pandemic restriction; the much-disliked mask mandate which required the Hong Kong population to use masks everywhere, including public places except the country parks.
     “Removal of that kind of life here was definitely a light blue touch paper and stand back moment for HongKongers.
     “Hong Kong is springing back to life big time with a number of high-profile events such as Art Basel (on now) and the famous Hong Kong Rugby Sevens in a week’s time,” reports Bob Rogers Rogers, VP and Treasurer-ULD CARE, one of the smartest people for more than 52 years when it comes to the art of ULDs.
     “On the aviation side we are seeing a very rapid return to the good old days,” Bob added.
     View Flightradar24 AB mid-Saturday afternoon March 24.
     “A year ago one would have been hard pressed to find more than a couple of active flights and they would most likely have been cargo,” Bob Rogers observed.
United Airlines was the first U.S.-based carrier to resume direct flights between the U.S. and China, as COVID travel restrictions from China were finally lifted, relaunching a daily HKG-SFO service, while others including British Airways are daily to LHR (Cathay Pacific CX has been triple daily for a while).
     Good to see B747s, A380s and other big jets spreading their wings again as they grace the Hong Kong skies.
     Bob pointed to a start-up, underscoring that HKIA is back.
     “Our new aviation “ baby” Greater Bay Airlines (GBA), aimed at developing the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, and the integration of Hong Kong into Chinese Mainland’s overall development, is up and running and recently ordered 15 more 737s and is even talking of 787s!”
     Looking further ahead there is an enormous amount of construction activity at the airport associated with move to a three-runway operation in a couple of years; actually the third runway was opened a few months ago but the first runway, already 25 years old is currently out of commission for a rebuild.
Given Hong Kong's rapid integration into the massive Greater Bay Area (GBA) project encompassing HK, Macau, Shenzhen, Donguan, Foshan and Guangzhou , some 70 million people with a GDP greater than Canada, those optimists amongst us are looking forward to a very bright future as HK recovers its place at the top of the aviation league tables.
     “So happy to see the beat go on,” Bob proclaimed, “based in no small part to HK’s people and our unique location, lying within 5 hours flying of half the world’s population.”
     “Watch this space,” Bob Rogers concluded.

If You Missed Any Of The Previous 3 Issues Of FlyingTypers
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Vol. 22 No. 8
Tulsi Mirchandaney
Chuckles for March 1, 2023
ATC Africa
Campbell Loves the Maharajah
The AI Maharajah
Men Mountain Smiths 2.0
A Custom Broker's Custom Broker
Vol. 22 No. 9
On The Mark@Intermodal
Banker's Miserable Numbers
Qatar Cargo Once-A-Day First
United Cargo Annual Meet
Sheryle 'Cheese' Burger Lens Of Love
Cathay Pacific Cargo now Cathay Cargo

Vol. 22 No. 10
Sean McCool First
FIATA Navigating

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