Cargo exec says industry kidding itself

Air cargo management must “strip the veils of illusion from their eyes” in combating the worst recession since the industry began 60 years ago, according to industry stalwart Julian Keeling. Keeling said these illusions included the near obsession with China as the primary engine of growth. They also included offering complicated, expensive supply chain “solutions” […]


cargo IATA World Cargo Symposium Julian Keeling recession


Air cargo management must “strip the veils of illusion from their eyes” in combating the worst recession since the industry began 60 years ago, according to industry stalwart Julian Keeling. Keeling said these illusions included the near obsession with China as the primary engine of growth. They also included offering complicated, expensive supply chain “solutions” to the shipper rather than concentrating on fast, reliable transportation of cargo. “Let’s stop adding layers of outside management like 4PLs, which heighten the cost to the customer without comparable benefits,” Keeling told the IATA World Cargo Symposium 2009 in Bangkok. “Also, let’s not indulge in the comfortable belief that air cargo will resume automatically with the growth of past years once the downturn ends. “Air cargo must face the harsh realities of today. Unlike Salome, we cannot dance behind seven veils of illusion,” said Keeling, who’s president and chief executive officer at Consolidators International, CII, a major air freight wholesaling company based in Los Angeles, USA. And he went on: “In today’s environment, shippers by air opt overwhelmingly for the two basic qualities air cargo traditionally has offered; speed and reliability of delivery. Forwarders must satisfy these two demands as never before.”