Airforwarders Association calls on Congress, White House, to provide critical financial and operational support to forwarders and truckers impacted by COVID-19.
Executive Director Brandon Fried lays out specific steps to take through legislation, regulation and policy suggestions.
Washington, DC - March 23, 2020
On behalf of the membership of the Airforwarders Association which represents stakeholders across the air cargo supply chain, Executive Director Brandon Fried has provided a list of written suggestions critical to the survival of the air cargo industry. This letter has been delivered the White House, Majority and minority leadership in the House and Senate and the respective Committee chairs and ranking members with jurisdiction over the industry.
The AfA recommends the following:
- Domestic travel must not be interrupted or suspended and international services must be restored as soon as possible.
- "Shelter in place" orders by cities and states must not shutter freight forwarders, warehouses and truckers.
- Financial relief should include access to low-interest loans, working capital and delayed or deferred government-mandated deadlines.
- Urge airlines to consider scheduled freight-only flight operations to ensure an adequate supply of affordable air cargo for shippers.
In the letter, Fried reminds legislators and the White House, "Our members are freight forwarders who play a vital role in the nation's commerce, moving essential shipments such as medical equipment, pharmaceuticals, fresh food and manufactured goods by air and by truck day and night. We utilize the domestic and foreign passenger airlines and trucking systems as our primary means of transportation."
Financial support is critical because forwarders are primarily a pass-through business with finances, receiving payment from shippers and remitting funds to the asset-owning companies who operate planes, trucks and warehouses.
"While some of our members are large, global companies, most are small to medium sized enterprises, independently owned and operated and in need of the financial support that Congress must act upon immediately. Freight forwarders collect money from shippers and remit to underlying service providers such as airlines, express carriers, truckers, warehouses and other companies within the supply chain. Their position as an industry which passes through the majority of the funds they receive places them in a position of extraordinary exposure to payments which decrease or are not made."
Click here to download a PDF copy of the letter.