Cologne-held SASI and TIACA Seminar Delivered Value

How can young professionals capitalize on the knowledge and experience of senior air freight managers for getting in-depth understanding of the industry as valuable starting point for their daily doing? The answers to this were given at a 3 day-lasting seminar held recently in Cologne, Germany. Stan Wraight, the Executive Director and Co-Founder of Hong Kong-based Strategic Aviation Solutions International (SASI) delivers this rundown.

TIACA-SASI course leaders (l > r): Franz van Hessen, CGN Airport / Oliver Gritz, TIACA / Lilian Tan, Stan Wraight, Charles Edwards - all SASI.
TIACA-SASI course leaders (l > r): Franz van Hessen, CGN Airport / Oliver Gritz, TIACA / Lilian Tan, Stan Wraight, Charles Edwards - all SASI.

Going back as far as 2010 SASI Partners recognized the need for a Professional Development program for young executives in the industry. Realizing that many of the industry veterans would be retiring in the coming years sparked a chain of events that led us to seek a partner who shared our vision, and also like us was willing to “give something back” to an industry that has been so good to us. So the decision was made that in addition to our core activities assisting airports and airlines globally, we would set up a separate training division headed by Lilian Tan who became a partner in the company. What was missing was a platform to do this and someone who shared our vision. We found that vision and commitment in TIACA, and that has turned out to be a very wise choice.

Strong diversity of viewpoints
TIACA membership covers the complete spectrum of the air cargo logistics industry, from airlines to manufacturers, ground handling companies, integrators and airports, GSSA’s and forwarders, logistics service providers such as RFS and warehousing, they are all members. The ability to draw on this mix of industries, each involved in the Air Cargo logistics supply chain, ensures that each workshop would have a strong diversity of viewpoints and the learning process would be enhanced as a result.

The workshop is a perfect opportunity for companies who understand that a broader knowledge of the air cargo logistics supply chain will aid their young managers in their decision making processes. Institutions such as banks and private equity companies, forwarders and logistics service providers, GSSA and GHA companies, shippers and consignees, customs and agricultural authorities, airport and government authorities are typical examples.

Experience meets curiosity
A key success factor has been the understanding that the workshop leaders must be from the industry and people who have been in senior management roles with a broad background and experience in air logistics. In this way the workshop content and format remains relevant, up to date and delivered by people who understand the complexity of what is involved and also with the ability to fully engage the participants in a clear and professional way.

Today the Air Cargo Professional Development (ACPD) workshop, as it is now known, is well established and the latest venue was Cologne, Germany this June hosted by the Cologne Airport Authority. Participants came from Germany of course, but also from Spain, Italy, Denmark and the UK.

Remarkable comments
Some of the participant’s feedback explains the success:

  • The TIACA Air Cargo Professional Development Workshop helps/supports to open the mind for changes within the air cargo industry. I am ready (or feel ready) for the challenges / opportunities to come.
  • I personally can recommend a participation in a TIACA Management workshop. It provided a broad range of topics related to my day-to-day business. Contents were presented in a transparent and most interesting way. It was clearly recognizable that the trainers have a great experience in the Airline business - with the ability to force a change in thinking and behavior.
  • To be honest, it is very difficult to improve this workshop. The atmosphere has been really good and the trainers really make you feel comfortable and important. The program was great considering the given time frame of 3 days. The mix of practice and theory is good to keep everyone’s attention and to have a high learning factor.
Some Course Participants
Some Course Participants

As you can see the feedback relates very much to the course content, and the professionalism of the instructors. This enables the participants to finally sit in a group of codependent participants in the logistics supply chain and discuss matters amongst themselves and with the course leaders who understand the issues. Activities and the learning process allows participants to get a better understanding of what is going wrong, and more importantly what can be done to improve the supply chain and their role in it.

Gaining a holistic view
Business planning, financial management, marketing aspects are all handled in a very interactive way so that all participants feel involved and gain a perspective of the total air cargo supply chain requirements. Subjects discussed include all the latest issues affecting our business such as E-Commerce and its affect on current business, developing a product portfolio, and the current market situation and outlook.

The course ends with group activities and a project based conclusion, where new ideas and course material can be put to the test.

With the success of this latest workshop in Germany, we move on to the Gulf region this summer and the USA in the autumn. The 2016 agenda includes workshops Asia, the Gulf, Europe and possibly India. Word of mouth spreads fast, and the past participants have been the greatest advocates of expanding the TIACA program.

This article was contributed by:
Stan Wraight

To learn more about the program contact TIACA at:

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