Hero goes to zero - in one second
TIACA soon began dialog with the World Trade Organization on the basis that the two bodies had a mutual interest in enabling commerce. Shippers became involved beginning in 1996 through TIACA’s interaction with the National Industrial Transportation League in the U.S. The integration process continues, and Menen believes the formation of the Global Air Cargo Advisory Group in 2010 has been transformational in allowing the industry to fight for its interests with a unified voice.
Menen was inducted into TIACA’s Hall of Fame in 2005 in recognition of his championing of international air cargo liberalization and his drive for improved technology. It was just one in a long sequence of special achievement and lifetime contribution awards from trade associations and the business media.
Active within IATA since the late 80s, Menen chaired the association’s Cargo Committee through the depths of the recession from 2008 to 2011, giving him perhaps a distinct perspective on the challenges facing the airfreight industry.
Conditions will remain “very volatile for the next three to five years,” he says. “There is structural damage to many economies that will take time to heal. The old rules don’t apply. But is this a temporary aberration or the new normal?”
Oil prices have long been a problem, and he says: “Unless they fall to $50-60 per barrel and stay there, commerce will be affected. We have to tread very carefully.”
More positively, Menen thinks globalization will take on a new shape.
“America is outsourcing everything to China and the rest of Asia, but final assembly will be nearer to the point of consumption in future. Volume goods will be supplied in smaller batches but more frequently. Smarter supply chain operators will use transportation as their inventory, cutting out inventory on land. That’s good news for air cargo,” he says.
Menen defines his biggest achievement, without hesitation, as: “Friendship, the friends I made. They’re forever. I have been humbled by the reaction I’m getting. I’m not walking into the sunset but a new sunrise. I want to make more new memories, not live on the old ones.”
He promises to “chase the sun” with his wife, Malou.
“We love Malaysia. We’ve had a condominium there for four years, but we will spend time in Europe too. I’ve been a citizen of Luxembourg since the early 1990s and my son has been working there-in logistics, of course–for several months now, he says. “I won’t be going into consultancy or attending any more industry conferences in the future, but I want those people who need help to continue to have access to my knowledge. I’ve been doing less through [AllExperts] in the last eight or nine months, but I will reactivate this. What the industry gave me, I can never fully give back.”