Building a better hamburger: The importance of consistent quality

Hamburgers are great, either cooked on the home grill or savored in the finest of gourmet restaurants. Every so often, if in a rush, nothing is more pleasing than a straightforward and cheap one from a fast-food chain. The quality, so to speak, is always intact as these burger chains maintain a consistent and agreed-upon […]

CNS: Viva la tech revolution, for those who survive the disruption

ORLANDO — “We are not technical Neanderthals,” Brandon Fried, Executive Director, Airforwarders Association reminded the panel titled, “A Shipper’s Perspective of the US Air Cargo Industry and its Impact on their Value Chain” at this yesterday’s CNS Partnership conference session. The supply chain is still struggling to negotiate the complexity of freight forwarding, while providing […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]
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