Welcome to the last newsletter of 2016. As it has now become tradition, this is the time to make the announcement for the next Annual Conference. We are pleased to confirm that it will be in Budapest, from September 18 to September 21, 2017.
The 2017 conference will be held alongside Air Cargo Handling and Cool Chain Association, all under the same roof and offering some joint activities. Our respective programs will be synchronized so that at certain times, the agendas of both conferences will merge into one.
This was made possible thanks to Palnet who generously offered to host the private Welcome Reception as well as Cargo Network who did not hesitate to confirm they will take care of the Spouse, Partner and Family Program. We hope to welcome you in Budapest in great numbers. Make sure to block your calendar.
The Year in Review
Over the past few months we have broken with the ULD CARE tradition of a bimonthly newsletter containing various articles of interest. This does not however mean that we have been taking a holiday, rather the focus has been on working to deliver the solutions which we first introduced in the Los Angeles meeting and it is appropriate as we reach the end of 2016 to provide our followers with an update.
We would like to start this review by welcoming two new dynamic individuals to our Board: Christopher Notter from Saudi Airlines and Joseph Jensen from Delta airlines.
ULD Explained has undergone a number of editorial updates and is now on the brink of completion, the next step being to launch this as both E-book and print versions. We fully expect these final steps to be in place during the next couple of months at which point in time we will embark on an extensive publicity campaign to promote the uptake of this publication by the industry at large.
The ULD Code of Conduct has been further refined and the content is now under review by a small working group with the ambition to launch this initiative before the annual IATA WCS in March.
ULD Job Aid APP. We have struggled with the financial implications of launching such a solution for a couple of years now however in the recent months we do appear to have made a significant breakthrough when we located a U.S.-based company that has a very adaptable platform for delivering the sort of online instruction content that we wish to bring to ULD. In the last couple of months we have been learning a great deal about how this system works and starting to create some suitable material. If our current expectations are met ULD CARE will be in a position to offer simple to follow instructions for all the basic components of ULD operations and handling via computer and handheld devices at very very economical cost.
In addition to pushing forward with these solutions ULD CARE has also prepared and approved its budget for 2017 and we are pleased to report that our finances remain healthy and provide us with opportunity to develop as the industry requires.
The upgraded ULD CARE website has been through some final adjustments since the Los Angeles conference and is now about to replace our current one. Viewers will notice a completely reworked user experience, the content is enabled for use on all platforms, computers, tablets, smartphones and introduces a much enhanced search function enabling users to locate relevant material quickly and easily. The new website also lays the foundations for some yet to be announced innovations that we will be rolling out in the months to come.
Since the Los Angeles conference, ULD CARE has been taking to the stage at both the Air Cargo Handling conference in Dubai and the Payload Asia conference in Hong Kong. There has been a number of articles concerning ULD in the trade press in recent months and, compared to some years ago, ULD is certainly getting a great deal more exposure. Last but absolutely not least in October Urs Wiesendanger travelled to the annual FIATA conference in Dublin to meet with the board of the FIATA Air Freight Institute to put forward proposals for a closer collaboration between ULD CARE and the freight forwarding community. This initiative met with a positive response and we look forward to an increased connectivity between ULD CARE and this essential component of the cargo industry.
Outside of ULD CARE things have not stood still, with plenty going on at IATA. One aspect of this was the launch of the 5 day IATA ULD Train the Trainer program delivered in Rome in October. It is hoped that this course will be the first of many which will gradually upgrade an industrywide understanding of the core concepts of ULD operations and handling.
A further development at IATA is that the 2017 IATA Standard Ground Handling Agreement will contain specific references to a number of IATA publications including the ULD Regulations. We will be covering this development in more detail in the coming months as it would appear to be a major breakthrough for owners and operators ULD who want to exercise more control over the manner in which their assets are handled and operated by service providers.
On a personal note Urs Wiesendanger, President of ULD CARE has retired from his long time employer Air Canada last October. He will however remain in his post at ULD CARE and in the absence of a day job will be able to contribute more of his time to ULD CARE.
It can be safe to say that 2016 has been a good year for ULD CARE. Despite our limited financial and personnel resources, we have achieved a great deal. We have built on the MOU we signed with IATA in September 2015, we have actively developed our solutions-based approach while at the same time continuing to promote the cause of ULD to every corner of the cargo industry.
With less than 2 weeks left in 2016, the president, board and staff of ULD CARE would like to wish all our members and readers Happy Holidays and a Safe and Prosperous New Year 2017.