Brandon Fried was appointed to serve as the Executive Director of the Airforwarders Association in November 2005. Brandon has more than 38 years of experience in the air freight industry. He started his career as a sales representative in Los Angeles. He then moved to Washington, D.C., where he began, owned, and operated the Washington office of a global freight forwarder specializing in time-definite air cargo transportation.
In 2000, Brandon joined the Airforwarders Association and was elected as Chairperson in 2001, serving two consecutive terms. In August 2005, he sold his company interest and began consulting air cargo companies on business strategy and management practices until he was appointed Executive Director of the Airforwarders Association.
1 With Air Cargo currently in a resurgent mode, what do you see on the horizon that may restrain growth?
There is certainly no shortage of moving parts influencing the air cargo industry as the e-commerce megatrend continues its emergence versus traditional retail. Of course, global trade policies and looming tariffs may play a significant role in eroding consumer confidence which could hamper freight volumes. According to a recent survey, attracting and training the next generation of logistics professionals remains a significant concern. As the air cargo industry changes, automation will continue to play more of a role, requiring educated workers who are familiar with its requirements in fulfilling customer demands.
2 UPS just announced a plan to tie in with Pharmaceuticals for online e-commerce and distribution; do you believe this is a strategy to offset Amazon’s competition via their newly developed delivery capabilities?
The plan may be an offset, perhaps, but more likely, UPS is capitalizing on yet another emerging trend.
3 Do logistics firms play any role in uncovering counterfeit goods?
To a limited extent, perhaps yes, but the industry should not serve as the first line of defense. The government should be adequately funded to provide vigorous enforcement of our counterfeit laws.
4 There has been an easing of regulatory constraints by this administration; do you see any areas that still need to be addressed? For example, the Motor Carrier Safety System electronic measurement of truck drivers.
Electronic Logging Devices are still an evolving issue and doubtless will be for some time. Despite new hours of service requirements with drivers reducing their operational time behind the wheel, a recent study shows improved compliance but unchanged accident rates. Also, security remains a significant concern, as is the ever-present challenge of streamlining the transportation process while maintaining high-security standards.
5 What is your key goal for 2019? Either from the viewpoint of the Airforwarders Association and/or your client/partners.
Our primary goal is to continue to advocate for stability and predictability around trade policies. Uncertainty creates a loss in consumer confidence resulting in less product and manufacturing demand. The inability to forecast our future economic situation reduces freight volumes while adversely impacting our industry and nation’s economic vitality.