Intermodal air-surface movement of cargo John H. Mahoney.
Author(s)Mahoney, John H.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Flight Transportation Laboratory
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Someone who told me he was a friend asked me to talk to you about "any single important aspect of air cargo" and the booby trap I suddenly stumbled into was the difficulty of sticking to a single subject from the many delectable debates currently raging in the airline industry. I would be delighted to loose a torrent of thoughts on a pallet load of air cargo topics such as a participant's critique of air cargo deregulation, a swimmer's eye-view of the cargo wave of the future, and a dirty-picture candid-camera snapshot of the love-hate relationship of those strange bedfellows, cargo wholesalers and retailers.-- It also would be fun to turn over rocks in the snake-infested field of air cargo marketing, and bounce around among the various rubbery definitions of market elasticity. But, unfortunately, time won't permit the pleasure of serving up a melange of these tidbits, because each ought to be stewed separately in its own juice over a slow fire and presented to you with the proper condiments in order to be savored fully, in justice to it, and to you. So, I'm forced to select a single subject in spite of the great temptation to wander these various enticing realms, mixing metaphors as I go. The single subject I've selected is intermodal air-surface movement of cargo. The major question involved is whether it is economically efficient to utilize special 8x8x20-ft intermodal containers in the airplane and over the road. You may say, "how dull can you get! ", because this may sound to you like a pretty dull subject. But, I trust you'll find such is not the case. This subject involves plenty of controversy and strong opinions. Furthermore, it will give you a real live air cargo problem that is still being worked out in the field, to which you can apply your own judgment. The inputs to its economic analysis, such as labor, fuel costs, and customer perceptions, are constantly changing and assuming differing proportions in the equation, so your analysis and recommendation can be just as valid and effective as one being done by someone who gets paid for doing it. If you begin to get the feeling that I'm about to present you with a "case history", eschew the thought. The boys in the Business School up the street at Harvard Yard have a patent on the "case history method" upon which they deeply meditate to the exclusion of all else. By contrast, this is a live and throbbing issue, not a timeworn fossil.
Seminar, July 14, 1980, to Summer Course, 'Air Transportation -- Management, Economics and Planning,' sponsored by Flight Transportation Laboratory / Center for Advanced Engineering Study Massachusetts Institute of TechnologyJuly 1980Includes bibliographical references
Cambridge, Mass. : Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Flight Transportation Laboratory, 
FTL report (Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Flight Transportation Laboratory) ; R80-8
Aeronautics, Commercial, Containerization, Freight