President’s Letter: July, 2017

As we enter the second half of the year, we're not going to be slowing down with our activities at all. We're going to be social, we're going to be educational, we're going to raise money for a good cause and it all involves you, the air cargo industry here in Chicago. Let's get to it, shall we?

AirCargo 2017 Recap

The AirCargo conference earlier this month in Orlando was extremely educational. Aside from issues about the future of the industry for forwarders, this was a great chance to learn about airports and what they're doing to cope with the growth of cargo in their facilities as well. Adam Rod was there and shared his presentation that we all saw earlier this year at a luncheon. What I found to be extremely interesting was this slide that Dan Muscatello put forth of what the "Airport of the Future" would look like. It takes into account a slew of entities who would use a new airport including passenger, cargo, trucks, drones, (yes, I said drones), lighter-than-air vehicles and others. If there was an opportunity to build an airport in a green space, this one looks like it.

Elon Musk is a genius or a loon. I vote genius.

Greg Hinz, the political reporter for Crain's Chicago Business, reported this week about an idea that Elon Musk has to speed people between O'Hare and the Loop...below ground. Musk envisions tunneling and creating tubes with sleds and smaller public transport cars that would make their way between the airport and downtown at speeds approaching 125 miles per hour. He's got a tunneling company called, I'm not kidding, The Boring Company, who are able to do it faster and for less money with newly-designed boring technology.

Here's an idea of how they envision alleviating congestion with passenger vehicles under a city. Why go up when you can go down? He may be crazy, but he founded and sold Paypal and has two of the most successful companies in Tesla and SpaceX out there right now - so he's certainly got the credibility.

Events, events, events:

  • Next one is on July 11th - Tim O'Donnell is going to discuss retirement - if you're close, are you ready? If you've got some time still, how are you preparing? If you're starting Now. Register here.
  • We're planning another networking event, this time July 20th. We'll be back at MB At the Park in Rosemont for their Thursday night concert series - stay tuned and watch this space for more.
  • The Golf Outing! C'mon - you can't miss this. Mark your calendars - August 15th this year. As we've said, we're a week later than usually, but we're still spot-on for the fun and excitement. Have you booked your foursome yet? No? Then get registered today!
  • The Ginger Evans Q&A and bus tour are going to be awesome. We rescheduled to the end of August so we didn't conflict with the CCBFA golf outing in July. We wish we could pack a bunch of buses, but we'll only have the one. However, we'll be serving continental breakfast at the Q&A and that's free and there are no limit on the number of attendees.

Rent going up for cargo tenants at ORD.

This story also broke earlier this week and is one that we'll need to watch as we get into the latter half of 2017. Rents which were at rates that hadn't been seen for decades and were negotiated in the 80's are going up for all the cargo carriers at the buildings on the airport. How low?

For instance, O'Hare Buildings 613 and 663 on the airport's southern end have 1973 leases with ground rental rates of just 35 cents per square foot. Nearby Building 609 charged 12 cents under a 1986 lease.

We already know how the ground handlers managing these warehouses staff, charge and operate, and if anybody starts to see signs of exponentially increased fees for services, we ask that they contact us immediately. The operators should've been pocketing the money they were ahead and if they look to make it all back from the air cargo community, we'll certainly be providing them feedback on that business plan.