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   Vol. 22 No. 36
Wednesday October 11, 2023
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Turgut Erkeskin

     FIATA International Federation of Freight Forwarders Associations 2023 World Congress meeting last week took a big step in the right direction, electing Turgut Erkeskin, President for the next two years. Turgut, a futurist for sure, was handed over the office by past president Ivan Petrov at the closing dinner of the FIATA World Congress event.
     Turgut Erkeskin, a well-known and liked logistics organizer is President and CEO of Genel Transport, based in Istanbul. In addition to his years of service at FIATA he has been a go-to spokesman in Turkey for the industry at UTIKAD, where he also served as President.
     Mr. Erkeskin in his acceptance remarks last Thursday told FIATA delegates in Brussels about the demands of the century, and the dynamic change in our industry “which we must face together as a freight forwarding community.
     “FIATA stands stronger than ever, driven by an unconditional commitment to values which define our purpose: Excellence, collaboration, innovation, inclusion, responsibility.
     “Today we announce a new strategic vision, with which we will empower the entire logistics sector.
     “We believe in the power of transformation, and this power will come from within us.
     “Our global presence is immense, with a huge potential to shape the logistics industry.
     “Together we can harness our resources and expertise to make a more interconnected supply chain.
     “Streamlined processes and enhanced transparency are essential, in a future where logistics is the driving force behind global trade, economic development and sustainability.”

Chuckles for October 11, 2023

Dave Andrews, Cyrus Guzder, Sanand Karnik, CEO Capt. Preetham Philip

     Capt. Preetham Philip, CEO of the dedicated freighter airline and the rest of Team Quikjet have remained steady in the face of a challenging cargo business of India.
     Most of all, Capt. Philip is an extremely patient man.
     It is, perhaps, his passion of angling in the high seas that has made him patient and has also taught him to be persistent.
     That persistence has helped Quikjet to virtually “rise from the ashes" after a couple of false starts.
     The obstacles along the way have come in many forms: the economy, the rivalry and the slow, creaking, often tough to reach official machinery of India.
     Now operating two freighters for Amazon in India for the past eight months or so, Quikjet has established its credentials as a reliable partner.
     As a young company, Quikjet is doing well.
     Reports indicate that Amazon honchos have been pleased with Quikjet’s on-time performance and 60 minutes packet delivery.
     The Quikjet-Amazon tie-up is being served by two leased Quikjet Boeing 737-800s. Operated by Quikjet, Amazon Air, Amazon’s dedicated air cargo fleet in India—its fourth market outside the U.S., Canada and Europe is impressive delivering faster deliveries.
     Moreover, Quikjet is handling air movement for Amazon shipments to Hyderabad, Bengaluru, Delhi and Mumbai.
     “We are credible now,” said Capt. Philip.
     “Amazon is operating at a hight standard with us as we meet and exceed their expectations.
     “Word has been getting around and we are receiving a lot of queries.”
As for expansion plans:
     “Quikjet’ target is six aircraft, but that will depend on how the market shapes up,” Capt. Philip said.

FlyingTalkers podcast



First Half Post Covid Challenging

Marco Rohrer

     Marco Rohrer is President and CEO of EMO Trans, the logistics enterprise FlyingTypers has featured on several occasions. Not a difficult choice, in view of the prominent profile of this company, which we shall see has a distinctively human approach to logistics. All this is given without forgetting the strong bond of friendship between Geoffrey Arend and Jo Frigger, who sadly passed away in April 2021.
     Marco Rohrer grew up in Zurich, Switzerland, and completed his apprenticeship in 1978, earning a diploma in freight forwarding from the KV Zurich Business School. He moved to the USA in 1980 and worked for various logistics companies in executive positions with increasing responsibilities. After obtaining a US customs broker license in 1993, Marco joined EMO Trans in 1995 as Executive Vice President and partner, directing sales and operations in the US West Coast South region. In line with his Swiss origin, Marco Rohrer loves hiking and climbing in the local mountains, fishing, and playing soccer. Cynthia Rohrer has been his wife for over 30 years and they have three children and one grandchild now.
     With such a strong personality our friend Karin Frigger, who is now Chairwoman of EMO Trans Inc., can be assured that the legacy left by her husband Jo is placed in good hands. EMO Trans registered an important success at the global convention this month of September, which the FT covered with a balanced approach.
     On the occasion Marco Sorgetti had the opportunity to entertain a brief conversation on behalf of FT with Mr. Rohrer. We are pleased to publish its essential part for our readers within this article. Rohrer’s are straightforward statements of his clear intentions, provided with a language that leaves no doubt about his ambitious plans.

FT:   Mr. Rohrer, you are at the helm of an impressive forwarding and logistics business covering 120 countries. The map of the world on your website speaks for itself in this regard. How do you see the growth of your services in September 2023 in the different regions covered by your network?
Noor Alam Siddique, Syeda Kamrun Nahar and Marco RohrerMR:   Due to the sluggish economy, we see very little growth for the remainder of 2023. International freight volumes are down, the rates are suppressed, and there is nothing on the horizon to indicate this will change any time soon. This year we added our own offices in Bangladesh, Indonesia, and India. We see tremendous growth opportunities in these areas, especially India where we have a significant presence with six fully operational offices.
      All things considered, the EMO Trans Group is performing well, and operating results are satisfactory. we are fortunate to be in a strong financial position that enables us to stay focused and execute on our worldwide strategy.
     We have made huge investments in technology and began the rollout of CargoWise earlier this year. Andy Richardson and his team have devoted many hours to training and connecting our global offices. I’d like to thank the IT Team and our EMO offices around the world, who have embraced the change to a company-wide operating system.

FT:   Freight forwarders use all modes of transport. Do you expect some changes in their future balance, in particular with regard to the announced rate increase in the U.S. maritime market? Elsewhere? Is there a prevailing mode in the various EMO Trans services?
MR:   We pride ourselves on offering our clients a wide range of services in all modes of transportation. Ocean freight is the biggest segment, but most of our clients also use us for their air freight shipments. Trucking is a growing segment that we will pay more attention to in the future.

FT:   In a way it is interesting to see that the typically European debate on modal shift (and the so far unachieved rebalancing of freight carriage to more environmentally friendly modes of transport, from road to rail, or intermodal) appears in a different light in EMO Trans’s approach, which is putting now more attention on the road: a good message for some, we daresay.
     Your website defines your approach as “Customized global logistics”. In a way this is a daunting challenge. How can you conciliate the global and the customized approach?
MR:   Our business model requires the employment of a very knowledgeable salesforce to provide our clients with customized logistics solutions. Therefore, our sales approach is focused on consultation and aligning our services with our clients’ unique requirements.

FT:   What is the role of diversity in your organization?
MR:   Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) is a priority for our company and has the attention of our senior management. We have formed an internal committee to bring awareness and education to the topic. All our employees have received training, and new hires go through mandatory DEI training as part of the onboarding process.

EMOTrans China team

FT:   Evidence exists that a wise, balanced and informed approach to employment does pay back. What logistics industry need now more than ever is knowledgeable staff with a diverse cultural approach, able to extract the enormous value from global trade’s diversity. Can you address your expansion in China?
MR:   In 2015 we opened EMO Trans China after several years of operating a Representative office in Shanghai. In the past two years, EMO Trans China has expanded our presence throughout the country with office locations in Beijing, Chengdu, Ningbo, Qingdao, Shenzhen, Tianjin, and Xiamen.
     EMO Trans China has grown organically as we have gained great strength in the Asian market. Each China office is managed and operated with the highest level of local expertise and ethical standards. Our knowledge with the regional culture along with the strong relationships we have built with carriers, suppliers and vendors allows EMO Trans China to successfully satisfy our global customers’ needs.
FT:   Starting in 1965 your business grew exponentially in less than 60 years. How do you view current and future prospects for your company? What is your top business priority right now?
MR:   As a globally operating mid-size freight forwarder, we are uniquely positioned to take on competitors of all sizes. Our future growth prospects are excellent. Our priority is to improve global IT infrastructure, product development, and expand our global footprint.

FT:   “Some of our customers have been with us for decades, they have stayed because they recognize that beyond rate tariffs and automated processes, the relationships we build add value.” FT has been honored to count Jo Frigger as a close friend for many years, so we know very well how truthful this statement is. We wonder whether EMO Trans have a special strategy regarding customer satisfaction and retention or is this just the result of undisturbed logistics performance.
MR:    Our main priority has always been preserving our existing clients. This goes hand in hand with retaining key personnel to serve those clients. Continuity, consistency, and reliability are fundamental to that approach.
     The importance of staff retention come to light here as part of the EMO Trans’s strategy. As our readers know this topic was already featured in other interviews, for example when we talked to Nicolette van der Jagt of CLECAT earlier this year.
     This being said there are also other priorities in Mr. Rohrer’s agenda, as we read here below.

FT:   If you had to name three great challenges in your daily business, what would come 1st? And 2nd?
MR:    First is information technology. We have made huge investments in technology and began the rollout of CargoWise earlier this year. Andy Richardson and his team have devoted many hours to training and connecting our global offices. I’d like to thank the IT Team and our EMO offices around the world, who have embraced the change to a company-wide operating system.
     Second is procurement. Procurement is an area of great concern as it is volume-driven and one of the greatest challenges for a mid-sized company like EMO Trans. We have formed global teams for air and ocean freight that are tasked with securing competitive pricing and space. The teams are also focused on product development, and we have successfully implemented air and ocean consolidations in ORD, LAX, ATL, and JFK, with other hubs to follow in the near future. EMO Germany has operated the biggest consolidation gateway in Frankfurt for many years and continues to expand to many new destinations.
     Third is staffing. We have seen an increase in Millennial and Gen Z employees, who now account for 41% of our EMO USA workforce. Globally, the percentage is even higher. Considering these changes, we have implemented a hybrid work policy that caters to both older and younger generations. While recent studies suggest that remote work reduces productivity by 8%, we believe that offering a better work/life balance to our staff outweighs this loss in productivity. Motivated, engaged employees provide better service for our clients.

FT:   What is your view of advanced analytics as leveraging data techniques like machine learning (AI), deep learning (as a subset of machine learning), and does agile software development emerge increasingly important in freight forwarding in general?
     We hear 85% of the action has yet to embrace AI. What are your views on the subject? Have you made investments in this direction yet, or do you see your company ready to take the leap?
MR:    We are already using various software programs utilizing AI, and this will continue to grow. We will continue to automate our processes, but our clients will always have an opportunity to reach someone in person. Generic, repetitive processes should be fully automated, but irregularities will require human intervention.

EMO Trans Country Managers

FT:    We have seen your website is rich in useful information for the customer. There seems to be the intention to make customers’ empowerment possible and real: this surely contributes to a mature relationship with your clients. Is there anything you want your customer base to know about the future of EMO Trans, what tools and instruments will be available for them in future?
MR:    Priorities are real-time track and trace, online booking and pricing tools, custom reports (i.e., KPIs, freight spend), and advanced analytics.

FT:   Considering your background embraces both Europe and America and your global experience is quite unique, in your view has the freight forwarder’s role changed in today’s transportation business? If so, how?
MR:    Traditionally, freight forwarders provided seamless transportation from door to door. Today, our clients request relevant data to also be available in real time to help them manage their supply chains more efficiently.

FT:    One could facetiously say: The Importance Of Being Earnest, a trivial comedy for serious people . . . For years we have discussed the importance of data, propriety of data, big data, you name it . . . When we were analyzing the nature of data after 9/11 and how these were supposed to be provided for regulatory purposes, it was provocative for freight forwarder to hold on to their data, which carriers were so keen to read. Mr. Rohrer’s reply tells us the full story in a couple of lines.
     Paul Ciminelli, MD of EMO Trans Canada, signed off this statement to his customers on the EMO Trans Canadian webpage: “You are never just ‘another customer’ or an ‘unknown face’ to us at EMO Trans . . . it is just not how we view relationships. In EMO Trans you have a true partner in your logistics chain; one that cares; one that you can rely on day in and day out.”
     In essence this is the expression of the human touch in EMO’s work that I was talking about higher up on this page.
     Needless to say this echoes beautifully with Karin Frigger’s statement, prepared for the opening of the global convention: “As Jo used to say, ‘We are in the business of building relationships.’ First and foremost, strong relationships are the bedrock upon which success is built. Success by Performance is not just an empty slogan. EMO Trans will continue to build and strengthen existing relationships, both internally and externally, while opening doors for new ones to be formed. So, as the new Chairwoman of EMO Trans, Inc. it is my goal to maintain the culture of the organization, the culture that Jo took so much pride in creating with the assistance of the excellent team in place. We have always been a company that has maintained an open-door policy from top to bottom (and vice versa).”
     Karin’s words echo farther and wider and create the chart that will allow EMO Trans to “go placidly amid the noise and haste” into the future. In 1927 Max Ehrmann wrote his magnificent piece of literature, which could sign off the transition in EMO Trans.
     In particular these additional Ehrmann’s words seem to fit perfectly with the practice that Jo Frigger has put in place: “Exercise caution in your business affairs, for the world is full of trickery. But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals, and everywhere life is full of heroism.”
     Every entrepreneur actually shows a certain degree of heroism and without the subtle breeze of madness it implies there would be no progress and, in the end, no success. This is what EMO Trans has meant for us all for many years under the gifted leadership of our friend Jo: success procured with work and administrative caution, but benefiting from the daring insight that shone in Jo Frigger’s aura.
     Marco Rohrer’s words above significantly echo these achievements, in particular when he appears pleased to register the success of his company in the global markets, despite the uncertainties that he identifies in the U.S. market.
     In this light Karin’s words: “as the new Chairwoman of EMO Trans, Inc. it is my goal to maintain the culture of the organization, the culture that Jo took so much pride in creating with the assistance of the excellent team in place,” show the importance of being surrounded by excellent help, whether in upstate NY, California, Canada, India or anywhere else this truly global enterprise has developed its presence.
     Kudos to Marco Rohrer for trying to continue this tradition of inspired performance.
Marco Sorgetti

If You Missed Any Of The Previous 3 Issues Of FlyingTypers
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Vol. 22 No. 33
Thanks Ladies
EMO Trans Expanding
Compliance No Adornment
Vol. 22 No. 34
Conveying Cargo Upside Down

FT093023Vol. 22 No. 35
FIATA Meets & Brussels Sprouts
Chuckles for September 30, 2023
Predicted India Third Largest Economy
Beatles & Jim Larsen

Publisher-Geoffrey Arend • Managing Editor-Flossie Arend • Editor Emeritus-Richard Malkin
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