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 […]

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 […]

A local focus can reveal universal truths

The common phrase “all politics is local” describes the principle that political success is directly tied to politicians’ ability to understand and influence the issues of their local constituents. Politicians must appeal to seemingly mundane and simple concerns of those who elect them because personal issues, rather than big and intangible ideas, are what voters […]

The high costs of bargain hunting

I love a bargain as much as the next person. If there is a quarter to be saved by buying three cans of peas instead of one at the grocery store or driving an extra mile to save a nickel on a gallon of gas, I’m usually your man – until the bargain backfires­­. I […]

Data screening harmonization still out of tune

The airfreight industry was probably not on Duke Ellington’s mind when he wrote his famous “It Don’t Mean a Thing (If it Ain’t Got That Swing).” But that tune would have been the per­fect backdrop for a recent day-long debate on cargo and data screening harmonization that took place in Washington, D.C. (which happens to […]

Time to call the exterminator

I noticed the small hole in the wall while descending the steps to my basement in the spring of last year. I really didn’t think much of it until the intruder’s tiny head peaked out for a quick glimpse. The exterminator I called confirmed my worst fear, that the unwanted visitor was one of thousands […]

AfA weighs in on TSA failures

Following a covert operation to see if Transportation Security Administration (TSA) checkpoint screeners were doing their job, the temporary head of the TSA has been removed. The screeners failed to detect mock explosives and weapons in 95 percent of tests carried out by undercover agents. The acting administrator for the TSA, Mel Carraway, has been […]

Ground to a halt: The third-party handling problem

While it is possible for a box to be flown from London to Chicago in only about eight hours, it can take another nine hours for a forwarder to actu­ally get his or her hands on it at O’Hare Airport. O’Hare is in the crosshairs right now, due to some nasty traffic backups, with two […]

Hard lessons from the West Coast port crisis

Forwarders’ Forum (from the print edition): When McDonald’s restaurants in Japan could no longer wait for French fries delayed by the West Coast port labor slowdown, the company turned to air cargo, shipping 2,600 tonnes from the United States to Japan. With that, the popular food chain joined other companies affected by the port congestion, […]

An Export Council wish list for 2015

The New Year brings a renewed spirit of hope and optimism that the U.S. economy will continue its recovery from one of the longest economic recessions ever. Forwarders enjoying steady increases in their air cargo and overall trade activity should hope that recent recommendations submitted to the White House by the President’s Export Council are […]

Collective voice speaks loudly

A friend met me for lunch after spending the morning visiting lawmakers on Capitol Hill to see if he could change a few minds about a proposed piece of legislation that would negatively affect his business. He appeared tired and I could sense lingering doubt on his part about the effectiveness of the day’s efforts. […]

Every dog has its day

Ever since the 9/11 Commission mandated that the U.S. Transportation Security Administration screen 100 percent of all cargo on passenger flights, the air cargo industry has worked diligently to meet the government’s security objectives by spreading the screening responsibility down the supply chain. As an example of what has been done, in the wake of […]

Highway repairs will keep air cargo moving

Anyone struggling to understand just how bad our winter was this year in the U.S.’s capital need only go as far as the local tire store. Thanks to the thousands of potholes caused by the extreme cold, two of my car tires were damaged beyond repair and needed replacement. Upon arriving at my local tire […]

IATA head discusses foibles, future of air cargo

Ocean ships have more capacity and newer technology than before. “The ships have got their act together,” said Tony Tyler, director general and CEO of the International Air Transport Association, at the CNS Partnership Conference in San Antonio, Texas. “We’ve got to get our act together.” Brandon Fried, executive director of the U.S. Airforwarders Association, […]
  • May 7, 2014
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