Bob Biesterfeld steps down as chief executive from CH Robinson

CH Robinson chief executive Bob Biesterfeld has stepped down from the role to be replaced on an interim basis by Scott Anderson, chair of the board of directors.

The freight broker and forwarder said that it has commenced a search for a new chief executive and has retained recruitment firm Russell Reynolds to assist in the process of identifying internal and external candidates.

Biesterfeld’s departure from the company was described in a stock exchange filing as involuntary termination by the company without cause.

Anderson said: “Since joining Robinson in 1999, Bob has played an important role in positioning CH Robinson for long-term success, most recently leading the company through a challenging period, which included Covid-19 and dealing with supply chain disruptions. We wish him all the best.

“Now is the right time for C.H. Robinson to accelerate our strategic initiatives and the Board is focused on identifying a chief executive successor who can execute on the opportunities ahead for Robinson.

“I look forward to working closely with our talented employees to continue to improve our customer and carrier experience, and scale our digital processes to foster sustainable growth.”

Meanwhile, JodeeKozlak will become independent chair of the CH Robinson Board, while Kermit Crawford has been appointed as the chair of the governance committee.

Last year activist investor Ancora Holdings gained two seats on the CH Robinson board and there have been reports that the company could be interested in selling its forwarding business.

At the time Ancora gained its place on the board, the company agreed to form a Capital Allocation and Planning Committee, which will “objectively assess value creation opportunities, make recommendations to the Board and support management’s review of the company’s capital allocation, operations and strategy, including enhanced transparency and disclosures to shareholders”.

BIFA names Stephen Parker as new director general

The British International Freight Association (BIFA) has named Stephen Parker as its new director general to succeed Robert Keen, who will be retiring from full-time employment with the trade association in 2023.

Parker has clocked up more than four decades of experience in freight and logistics, most recently as head of customs UK at DHL Global Forwarding – a role from which he retired at the end of last year.

 

His career in the industry started out at Pandar in the 1970s, which was bought by AEI, which in turn was acquired by Danzas, which was then acquired by DHL.

He was also a previous chair of BIFA between 2011 and 2013 and he has served on the UK trade association’s board of directors and chaired its customs policy group.

Keen, meanwhile, was appointed director general of BIFA in 2014 and has been at the helm of the trade association during a “very turbulent period for its members, in light of the constant changes to trading conditions caused by Brexit and the Covid-19 pandemic”.

BIFA national chair Rachel Morley said: “We are delighted that Stephen has accepted our invitation to become director general.

“Having served as a non-executive director for many years and been heavily involved in some of our policy groups, he is well versed in the work that BIFA undertakes and hits the ground running from day one.

“We are also pleased that Robert will not be leaving just yet, having agreed to manage BIFA’s working relationships with other organisations and associations as international relations manager; and will be available to ensure that the transition of director generals is seamless.

“Robert leaves behind a tremendous legacy of achievement in all four of BIFA’s key objective areas, which are representation and lobbying; the provision of advice and information; promotion; and training. Stephen’s challenge will be to continue to develop those objectives.

“As the head of the established representative body for the UK freight and logistics industry, Stephen is tasked with providing the leadership of BIFA that will continue to help us to support our members in their efforts to secure their development in the global economy against a background of ever-changing challenges, customer demands and new legislation.”

Dachser makes key changes to its management team

Freight forwarder Dachser has appointed Tobias Burger as its new chief operating officer for air and sea logistics (ASL) to replace EdoardoPodestà, along with two other changes.

Burger joined Dachser in 2009 initially working in strategy development before being given responsibility for corporate governance.

Since 2019, he has been deputy director ASL and has also been in charge of ASL global sales.

Last year, he was also appointed to lead the ASL Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) business unit.

Bernhard Simon, chairman of the Dachser supervisory board, said: “Tobias Burger is an experienced logistics strategist and we are helping him prepare to take his seat on Dachser’s executive board.

“With his holistic, forward-thinking logistics outlook, he will prove a valuable addition to our Executive Board team.

“[He] will also be in charge of all of Dachser’s marketing activities. This means we will be best placed to proactively address complex market changes, particularly in air and sea freight, and to position ourselves accordingly.”

Podestà will step down from active working life at the end of 2023.

Meanwhile, Burger will hand over the role of managing director ASL EMEA to Marc Meier, who joined the company in October.

Together with the owner, he served as chief executive of Hamburg-based airfreight forwarder Senator International until that company was acquired by Maersk in 2021.

Finally, in January, 2024, Roman Müller will succeed Podestà as the head of ASL Asia Pacific (APAC) unit.

Podestà led the regional business unit since 2014 in conjunction with his other role of chief operating officer of ASL since 2019.

Swiss-born Müller has worked in Asia his entire career and over the past 15 years, his management positions at Dachser include manager of the Korea country organisation and senior sales Manager for the entire APAC region

Since July 2021, he has served as deputy director Asia Pacific reporting to Podestà.

Reliable Robotics make key appoints to its advisory board

Autonomous aircraft firm Reliable Robotics has appointed Captain Lee Moak and Steve Alterman to its advisory board.

Moak and Alterman have a combined 90-plus years of aviation industry experience, and both have served on the FAA’s Management Advisory Council (MAC), including a period of overlap working together from 2014 to 2017, overseeing management, policy, spending and regulatory affairs for the agency.

Most recently Moak was reappointed for another term on the Department of Transportation’s (DOT) Advanced Aviation Advisory Committee to support the safe and efficient integration of Advanced Air Mobility (AAM) operations into the National Airspace System.

He also serves on the United States Postal Service Board of Governors, a presidential appointment.

Moak has spent his career primarily in public service as well as policy roles and has held numerous government committee appointments.

After his tours of duty as a pilot, holding the ranks of captain in the US Marine Corps and commander in the Navy, Moak began flying the Boeing 767 for Delta Air Lines in 1988.

Moak also became a member of ALPA in 1988, and began a four-year term as president in 2011 where he successfully championed critical aviation safety measures.

He served on the FAA’s MAC for five years, and on the agency’s NextGen Advisory Committee where he advised the administration on US aviation infrastructure.

In 2019, he co-chaired the DOT’s Special Committee to Review the Aircraft Certification Process.

Today, Moak is involved in public affairs, advocacy and business consulting as founder and chief executive of consulting firm Intrepid.

Alterman’s long-standing cargo industry career began in 1975 when he joined the Cargo Airline Association as executive director, and later became president in 1982.

Alterman has led the association for the last 40 years, promoting the all-cargo air carrier industry, and successfully advocating for safe and secure access to airspace and airports.

He has held positions on high-level committees, commissions and advisory boards including the FAA’s MAC and the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) Aviation Security Advisory Committee.

Alterman is also dedicated to promoting diversity in the workforce, supporting programmes that educate and recruit youth with limited economic resources for skilled jobs in aviation.

Last month, Alterman was presented with the 2022 Donald D. Engen Aero Club Trophy for Aviation Excellence.

Moak and Alterman join as Reliable Robotics achieves a major certification milestone with Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) acceptance of its G-1 issue paper, defining the certification basis for the company’s Supplemental Type Certificate on the Cessna 208 Caravan cargo aircraft.

“We are excited to have Lee Moak and Steve Alterman as active members of our Advisory Board,” said Robert Rose, co-founder and chief executive of Reliable Robotics.

“Lee is a strong proponent of aviation safety, and his leadership has influenced change in air transportation and policy worldwide.

“Steve has dedicated his career to advocating for the cargo industry, and his tireless efforts have led to a safer and more secure aviation system.”

INFORM appoints Loren Mathis as CSO – Aviation

INFORM, an international software development and business process optimisation specialist, headquartered in Aachen, Germany, has announced the appointment of Loren Mathis as Chief Strategic Officer – Aviation (CSO).

Applying his leadership roles in operations, resource planning, workforce management, customer service, and technology strategy and implementation, Mathis will leverage his career at American Airlines spanning over 11 years to serve INFORM. He will focus on the aviation industry, working closely with INFORM’s customers and internal teams, as well as develop strategic partners, staying abreast of current and future industry trends to ensure that INFORM can continue to innovate to best address customer needs and deliver the greatest return on investment.

“INFORM is a great company, well-respected for its expertise and a distinctive portfolio of outstanding optimisation software solutions and support services,” Mathis said. “Through my role at American Airlines, I’ve had the opportunity to leverage INFORM’s tools to drive efficiency in both long-term planning and day of operations execution. Through that relationship, I became fully aware of the high performance and functionality of its advanced technologies, backed by a team of experts who enable their customers to progress to the next level of optimization. I love the team and am very excited to be joining this global leader in optimization,” added Mathis.

At American Airlines, Mathis held positions which included his most recent role as Director, Airport Operations Innovation & Delivery. In this role, he was responsible for all of American’s airport technology including ramp, baggage, control center, and staffing and time and attendance tools used by more than 32,000 airport team members worldwide. He led the ramp portion of the company’s mobile device strategy and delivered leading-edge automation solutions that supported American’s increased efficiency, resource utilization, workforce management and sustainability.

Other roles Mathis held at American include that of Director Airport & Cargo Resource Planning; Manager, Airport Policies & Procedures; Senior Analyst, and Customer Service Recovery Planning/Analysis. Prior to American, Mathis served with Vanguard in resource planning functions for its brokerage department. He holds an MBA, Global Management from the Thunderbird School of Global Management, and a Bachelor of Science, Global Business from Arizona State University where he graduated Summa Cum Laude.

“Emerging from the Covid pandemic and the rapid demand that followed meant different things to each airline and ground handler,” Mathis continued. “The new normal is here to stay, but what hasn’t changed and won’t change is the need for efficiency and decision support. By taking a long view of the future, we can be in the best position to enable INFORM’s hybrid-AI solutions to best address key challenges including turnaround management for which the company’s advanced Hybrid-AI and Machine Learning solutions can deliver real-time, rich data to support optimum decision-making.”

“This is a very exciting time. Having the opportunity to add someone with Loren’s experience and capabilities to our Aviation team to help drive strategy from both a product and customer perspective, as well as being involved in business development and customer relationship management with key customers, is a major step forward for us. We have announced the opening of three new international offices just this year. So, Loren joins us at a time when we are experiencing incredible international growth and he will certainly help sustain and further develop our portfolio for the aviation industry,” Uschi Schulte-Sasse, SVP INFORM Aviation, concluded.

Logistics UK appoints Nichola Mallon as head of trade and devolved policy

With over 14 years of experience working within local government, the devolved Assembly and government in Northern Ireland (NI), Mallon brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to the team.

Kate Jennings, Director of Policy at Logistics UK, said: “As the business organisation representing the logistics industry, Logistics UK is always looking to deliver more for its members and Nichola’s appointment allows us to reinforce Logistics UK’s unique position as the only business group representing the entire industry, while benefiting from her wide-ranging experience and knowledge and relationships with the devolved administration in NI and the wider UK Governments.

In addition to working as the Minister for Infrastructure in the Northern Ireland Assembly, Mallon holds a BA (Hons) in Political Science & Economics, as well as a MA in Comparative Ethnic Conflict.

Asked about her new role, Mallon commented: “I am delighted to be joining Logistics UK and look forward to working with colleagues, members and stakeholders to create positive outcomes across industry.

“I have a detailed understanding of how public policy is developed from inside government, with a strong record of accomplishment in building collaboration across all sectors and delivering successful campaigns for change, and I am looking forward to using all my experience to achieve more for our members.”

Logistics UK represents logistics businesses which keeping the UK trading, and more than seven million people directly employed in the making, selling and moving of goods.

Larry Coyne and Olivier Bijaoui join the TIACA Hall of Fame

The International Air Cargo Association (TIACA) inducted Larry Coyne, Founder and Chairman of Coyne Airways and Olivier Bijaoui, former CEO Worldwide Flight Services (WFS) and current Founder and CEO of OB Invest into the Hall of Fame today during the Air Cargo Forum.

Larry Coyne, well known in our industry not just for establishing Coyne Airways and providing cargo charter flights to the fast-developing CIS countries but also for a strong reputation for providing reliable and secure scheduled cargo services to some of the world’s most difficult to reach destinations, pioneering routes into the Caucases (Central Asia), as well as Afghanistan, Iraq as well as the oil-and-gas rich Sakhalin Island (Russia). Today’s services have expanded to include Africa, the Gulf and the Caspain regions.

Larry has shown a passion for the air cargo industry that shined bright during his tenure as Chairman of TIACA. Larry Coyne was also a strong advocate for security after 9/11, liberalization of cargo traffic rights and the removal of obstacles to the growth of our industry.

“I am very honoured to be joining the Hall of Fame. The Hall of Fame was created to recognize those that make significant change in the industry and I am humbled to be considered among the many industry leaders.” said Larry Coyne

Olivier Bijaoui the former Executive Chairman, President and CEO of Worldwide Flight Services (WFS) was selected based on his vision, tenacity and leadership that helped guide handling agents towards becoming global handling companies.

Olivier is known for turning a small cargo handling company SFS into the one of the largest ground handling companies on the globe and the largest cargo handling company. Between 2004 and 2016 he was Executive Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of WFS and when he left, the company had grown to 18,000 employees, was present at 188 airports in 22 countries, serving 300 airlines, handling four million tons of cargo and 50 million passengers per annum.

Since leaving WFS, Olivier launched and founded OB Invest which has recently announced that the will act as an advisor to ground handler Alliance Ground International (AGI) to expand outside of North America.

“I am delighted and honored to join the impressive audience of TIACA Hall of Fame. The last 40 years in our industry have been a great experience and more importantly the pleasure to encounter so many great and truthful cargo people. I look to modestly continue to contribute to this industry which is now going through major and interesting changes. Thanks again to TIACA for granting me this prestigious award.” said Olivier Bijaoui.

“The impact both of these industry pioneers have made on our industry is truly impressive and I am honored to have had the privilege of formally inducting them into the Hall of Fame.” stated Sebastiaan Scholte, Chair of TIACA’s Chairman’s Council.

Katharina Prost, Joe Moser join AeroLogic

Katharina Prost has been appointed managing director finance and administration at AeroLogic, the joint venture between DHL Express and Lufthansa Cargo.

Joe Moser has also been confirmed as active managing director operations and accountable manager at AeroLogic.

Prost previously served as managing director at Aeromar, a joint venture between Aeroflot and LSG SkyChefs in Russia. She succeeds Martin Hirsch, who joined Austrian Airlines as head of finance in June.

Thanks to a contract extension, Moser will remain active in his existing role, which he has held since March 2017. Previously, he led flight operations and crew training at AeroLogic.

AeroLogic has existed as a joint venture between DHL Express and Lufthansa Cargo since 2007 and has its hub at Germany’s Leipzig airport.

Lufthansa Cargo currently markets the capacities of a total of 16 B777 freighters. Of these, five aircraft are chartered from AeroLogic and also operated by AeroLogic crews, but they operate under a Lufthansa Cargo flight number.

The AeroLogic-owned fleet consists of a total of 21 Boeing 777F aircraft.

Dorothea von Boxberg, chairperson of the executive board and CEO of Lufthansa Cargo, said: “With Katharina Prost, we have been able to win an experienced manager for AeroLogic and welcome her warmly. We are also pleased to continue the very good cooperation with Joe Moser.

“We can now look back on fifteen years of the joint venture and are very proud of what we have achieved together: safe and reliable flight operations and steady growth in the fleet by both partners”

Said Travis Cobb, executive vice president global network operations and aviation at DHL Express: “We warmly welcome Katharina Prost to AeroLogic. She brings a wealth of valuable experience and perspective.

“At the same time, we are delighted that Joe Moser has agreed to extend his appointment. It provides AeroLogic with both stability and continuity, and sets it up for further growth.”

Wiremind Cargo appoints Moralejo as new VP of business development

French software company Wiremind Cargo has appointed Guillermo Medina Moralejo as its new vice president of business development.

Moralejo will join Wiremind Cargo in December with responsibility for sales, commercial strategy and marketing functions.

He has spent the past six years in Asia, predominantly in Hong Kong, where he will remain based in his new function with a view to expanding Wiremind Cargo’s footprint to key Asian markets.

Moralejo will join Wiremind Cargo from Lalamove, a crowd-sourced logistics startup where, as head of corporate solutions, he created and implemented the company’s corporate sales strategy across 11 markets in Asia and Latin America.

Prior to this, he held various positions within Cathay Pacific, including executive assistant to the airline’s group chief executive and as manager of cargo customer insights.

Wiremind Cargo aims to expand its international presence, develop and promote its product portfolio, and finetune its suite of software solutions based on customer input.

The role includes acting as the key interface between customers and Wiremind Cargo’s product and tech teams.

“Since establishing Wiremind Cargo as a separate air cargo focused entity in November 2021 and subsequently launching CargoStack, we are on a rapid growth path that necessitates professional and stable customer focus,” said Nathanaël de Tarade, chief executive of Wiremind Cargo.

“Hence, the expansion of Wiremind Cargo’s leadership team to include a vice president business development.

“With Guillermo Medina Moralejo, Wiremind Cargo is gaining a commercial leader with a track record in implementing customer strategies and driving business growth, spanning air cargo and last mile logistics. Guillermo brings both airline and logistics tech startup experience and we are delighted to welcome him on our growth journey.”

American Airlines Cargo appoints new president

American Airlines Cargo has announced the appointment of Greg Schwendinger to the role of president, starting on 3rd October. The announcement follows the departure of Jessica Tyler in May who moved to another leadership role within the airline.

Schwendinger comes from a strong airline and business background. With more than 15 years of experience at American, he has held various roles leading teams across the airline. Most recently, Schwendinger led the Finance team at AccentCare, a health care services provider, during a period of transformation and growth.

“Greg brings a unique perspective which will shape our cargo business and its growth potential. We are fortunate to regain his expertise and welcome him as he leads cargo toward greater success,” Derek Kerr, vice chair, chief financial officer and president of American Eagle, said.

In his new role, Schwendinger will report directly to Kerr. Reporting to Schwendinger will be Roger Samways, Vice President Commercial; Sam Mendenhall, Vice President Operations; and Eric Mathieu, Managing Director, Customer Experience.

The combination of broad airline knowledge with deep cargo industry expertise in this new leadership structure positions American Airlines Cargo to continue its growth momentum of the past few years and expand on its potential.

American Airlines Cargo provides one of the largest cargo networks in the world with cargo terminals and interline connections across the globe. Every day, American transports cargo between major cities in the United States, Europe, Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, Latin America and Asia.