The best thing I can say about February is that football ends this weekend and pitchers and catchers report later this month. We made it out the other end of what has been an absolutely dreary January for weather and complete and utter sunshine deprivation, but I'm cautiously optimistic that spring will be here before we know it.
January was a great month for the Association and I want to share with you what has transpired and what we've got an eye on in the weeks and months ahead.
What's our role?
This is something that the board has discussed on how we as the IACAC fit into the air cargo and international trade community here in Chicago. We feel that the the job that the CCBFA does on focusing on issues impacting Customs brokers, ocean freight forwarders and the import process is exemplary. We have partnered with them on a number of initiatives and will continue to do so into 2017 and beyond.
The place that seems best for us are the infrastructure and customer service issues in and around the airport. The deepening relationship with the Chicago Department of Aviation, as well as the national connections we have made at airlines and handling companies will allow us to work to improve conditions in and around the airport.
Administration change and trade.
With the arrival of a new administration comes new opinions on leadership and policy. I think that in the initial flurry of activity we have seen since the inauguration, our industry must be very carefully balanced on eagerly anticipating the potential benefits of reduced tax and regulatory burdens while watching for potential protectionist trade policies. While the focus may be on imposing burdens on imports, trade is bilateral, and we should fully anticipate that barriers America places on foreign goods coming in should expect the same treatment for our exports going out.
Joint meeting with CDOA, CNS, IACAC.
Lionel Van Der Walt, the head of Cargo Network Services (CNS) in the USA, came to Chicago at the end of January. The IACAC brokered a meeting with him and key members of the Chicago Department of Aviation, including CDOA COO John Leach and Director of Planning (and friend of the association) Adam Rod. Lionel shared some of what CNS has in store and are looking forward to forging relationships with local airports to focus on the importance of cargo to the average airline passenger who might otherwise be unaware of the important commerce traveling beneath their feet or over their heads (for those who live around airports). This will be an ongoing project that may result in some co-branded materials and other awareness pieces, but it is an interesting partnership and opportunity to be certain.
Upcoming events, activities and opportunities.
We had a great January kick-off luncheon for 2017 and are hoping to continue with a very active schedule of events. Among the things we discussed were:
- Philanthropic activities
- Greater focus on education, scholarship and opportunities
- More evening social events so people can leave their offices and not have to come back.
- Women-only events and activities.
- Potential tours of the airport and surrounding facilities
- Furthering and adding vendor partnerships to give our members the feeling that they're getting back what they invested (and more) in an IACAC membership.
Speaking of membership...
Join! Renew! We want you back (and want you in the first place). Membership is extremely affordable, and will provide access to a members-only area of the site which will offer links to vendor partners and opportunities to save your company money while supporting the IACAC. For individuals, the membership is only $50.00 per year; a corporate membership is for up to three people and is $130.00/year. Don't miss the chance to participate. Click the link to join or renew your membership online, or download and mail your application and payment by check today.