PowerLift Company Ltd. (PowerLift) will organize its second annual event “PowerLogistics Asia 2013”. This event is specifically focused to the project logistics service providers, mainly Asia based, as well as for the consumers of these services, namely:

• Oil & Gas • Heavy Engineering • Wind Power • Mining

Hear Dr. Michael Goodisman, Business Development Manager at Ruslan International Ltd speak about his experience and knowledge on the freight forwarding industry at PowerLogistics Asia 2013 Conference on 30th-31st October 2013 at Marina Bay Sands, Singapore.

Here’s a brief interview with Dr. Michael Goodisman, on his views about the project logistics industry.

1. How do we define a project cargo?
As we fly the An-124, I would define project cargo for air transportation as outsized and/or heavy pieces that cannot be loaded into aircraft commonly used for general cargo such as the B747,

2. What sort of challenges do you face in a typical day?
Ruslan International fortunately is staffed to deal with the unusual. This can range from load planning challenges for large/outsized pieces; route planning issues as we are asked to fly to unusual destinations (perhaps high altitude airports with short runways); through to permit requests (as an ad-hoc operator we apply for permits for every flight). All this has to be handled as efficiently as possible for the customer because ultimately we want the customer to be confident in our abilities so that we win repeat business with them.

3. Where are the growth markets for your company?               
The commercial market (as opposed to the declining defense market) is a real focus for us now. As for everyone, there was real decline in commercial work in recent years. However, there is a gradual increase now. In terms of commercial cargo types, the oil and gas, mining and aerospace markets (helicopters, satellites, aircraft parts) provide a backbone to our business.

4. What developments are in store for your company in the next 12 months?
I would say that anything out of the ordinary would be announced on a case by case basis.

5. What do companies need to consider when moving heavy cargoes to, from and within a region?
From an airlines perspective, planning and partnership with the airline are key. We have a lot of questions for the customer as they do for us. An efficient exchange of information (for cargo preparation, realistic cargo ready date, flight permit lead times, etc.) has to happen. On the day of the flight, things move very quickly indeed, many people are involved from the customer to the airline, handling agents, crane hire companies, etc. A real momentum builds up. With the right planning and real effort from all parties flights run smoothly and everyone is happy.

6. What are the greatest challenges facing the industry at the moment and how should companies be gearing up to face them?
Recent years have of course shown “the economy” to be the biggest challenge. As GDP’s grow so will air freight. As a project cargo airline operating ad-hoc routes world-wide with the An-124, we are in a niche market. We do quite naturally have the flexibility to adapt as projects appear around the world in an unpredictable manner.

Generally speaking, from an airlines point of view, the defense work has provided “a bridge” to help us (and many other airlines) through the recession. It is important now for airlines in general to pursue as many options as possible in both the defense and commercial markets. It comes back to flexibility.

7. What will be the main trends emerging in the industry over the next 12 months?
I cannot define a trend over the next 12 months, but broadly speaking over the next 5 to 10 years there might be more choice for project cargo by air especially if some of the lighter than air technologies which are being developed succeed and come online.

8. Where are the growth markets for the industry over the next 12 months?
Again, I cannot identify a specific growth over the next 12 months, but over the next “few years” there is potential for real growth across the board as confidence increases.

9. What single thing would most improve the industry at the moment?
For project cargo, we use a special aircraft, the An-124, for which we are required to apply for traffic rights for each and every flight. We cannot put in place “permanent” scheduled service permits for fixed routes because we cannot compete on general cargo. This means that for us, the lead time needed to apply for permits can be the biggest time component for a flight, especially when applying to certain countries that require up to 2 weeks lead time. Therefore, I would suggest that a reduction in lead times for permit applications is a target for project cargo by air, This is by no means easy to achieve, but it is a very worthwhile goal.
See you there at PowerLogistics Asia 2013 Exhibition and Conference on 30th-31st October 2013 at Marina Bay Sands, Singapore.

Visit www.powerlogisticsasia2013.com for more information.

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