Disruption, adaptation no stranger to forwarding business

Disruption is nothing new to the air forwarding industry, as I recently learned from a friend who just celebrated 50 years in the business. When asked about today’s disruptors, he chuckled and started rattling off a litany of examples. We now accept most of them as the norm, but when they were first introduced, they […]
  • Brandon Fried
  • May 2, 2017

What shippers really want: Airfreight’s true customers speak out

Airport codes BCN and BQN are strikingly similar at first glance. But to a Spanish pharmaceutical manufacturer in Barcelona, located thousands of miles from a misdirected shipment of temperature-sensitive components languishing in a warehouse in Puerto Rico, that one letter represents millions of dollars per day. This scenario, and others like it, are all still […]
  • Lewis King
  • May 1, 2017

Automation cannot replace forwarder specialization

The forwarding industry is experiencing a significant amount of criticism these days for its apparent failure to jump on the digital transformation bandwagon. As the online ordering craze gives rise to global e-commerce, small- and large-volume shippers wonder if their forwarders can meet the challenges of shipping across borders, making rapid quotes, responding immediately, and […]
  • Brandon Fried
  • April 4, 2017

Swamp draining can lead to unintended consequences

The new U.S. President’s promise to “drain the swamp” is a euphemism for clearing out the layers of federal bureaucracy found in Washington, D.C. Given that the city itself was built in a fairly swampy geographic region, where city developers faced the challenge of eradicating mosquitoes from the moisture-laden land in the region, many see […]
  • Brandon Fried
  • March 3, 2017

Forwarders’ Forum: Taming the Trump roller-coaster

As a roller-coaster climbs the steep track to its crest and subsequent stomach-dropping plunge, my eyes always fixate on that sign near the seat that says, “Keep your arms and legs inside the car at all times.” Good advice not only for fun park rides but also when encountering unpredictable situations, such as the recent […]
  • Brandon Fried
  • February 8, 2017

Those who ignore high-tech progress, prepare to get forked

Brandon Fried is the executive director of the U.S. Airforwarders Association American baseball star Yogi Berra once said that when you get to a fork in the road, take it. His quote recently came to mind while listening to speakers at the recent Air Cargo Forum, sponsored by The International Air Cargo Association (TIACA) in […]
  • Brandon Fried
  • December 2, 2016

ACAS: Running out of time to reach the finish line

Brandon Fried is the executive director of the U.S. Airforwarders Association. Franklin D. Roosevelt was elected to four terms as President of the United States, but he never got the chance to see the finish line of his last administration – or glimpse his true legacy. While his untimely death a month before the fall […]
  • Brandon Fried
  • October 31, 2016

A practical solution to an impractical screening problem

Brandon Fried is the executive director of the U.S. Airforwarders Association. When it comes to the screening and inspection of cargo, U.S.-based airfreight forwarders have become experts on the topic and its challenges. Physically screening 100 percent of air cargo on passenger flights to and from all U.S. airports has been one of the most […]
  • Brandon Fried
  • October 5, 2016

Swan song for the first jumbo jet?

In remembrance of the late Boeing engineer Joe Sutter, the “Father of the 747,” who passed away last week, columnist Brandon Fried shares his memories of the first time he spotted the world’s first jumbo jet, as a child, and how it profoundly affected him throughout his life. The first time I saw a Boeing […]
  • Brandon Fried
  • September 5, 2016

No one-size-fits-all solutions for e-commerce

The ritual of buying a sturdy pair of new dress shoes recently reminded me of those trips to the shoe store during my childhood. Such excursions had the distinct purpose of making an investment that could last into the next year or shoe size, whichever came first. Those visits were serious business, involving multiple stacks […]
  • Brandon Fried
  • June 8, 2016

Committed to raising our collective Cargo iQ

Recently, while speaking at the World Cargo Symposium in Berlin, IATA’s CEO Tony Tyler called for a further transformation in the airfreight industry, saying that quality of service should be its priority. Indeed, industry performance has been lackluster over the past few years. As global recessionary pressures reduced yields, shippers began seeking the shelter of […]
  • Brandon Fried
  • May 3, 2016

Fried: Instead of banning batteries, let’s enforce our laws

About midnight on Feb. 7, 2006, the crew of UPS flight 1307 was alerted to a smoke indication in the cockpit as their DC-8 freighter was on its final approach to Philadelphia International Airport. The pilots immediately evacuated the airplane after landing, escaping with minor injuries as fire destroyed the plane and its cargo on […]
  • Brandon Fried
  • April 1, 2016

Weighty issues looming on the high seas

The regulations for container ships, in most cases, have little to do with the business of air cargo. But the fate of at least one vessel, the MOL Comfort, one of the largest container ships ever lost at sea, could have implications on air cargo handlers, especially this summer, when new rules will kick in […]
  • Brandon Fried
  • March 4, 2016

Staring down the oncoming Amazon freight train

2015 is shaping up to be a roller-coaster year for freight forwarder and carrier volumes. An air cargo surge caused by the West Coast port labor slowdown led to congestion-related challenges at major gateways throughout the United States. A strong U.S. dollar has since depressed export volumes, leading to bargain-basement rates for forwarders from both […]
  • Brandon Fried
  • December 2, 2015
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