REVIEW of REVIEWS

Aeroplane Will Alter Business

Aviation Expert Prophesies Aerial Transportation Will Speed up Commerce.

May 15 1929
REVIEW of REVIEWS

Aeroplane Will Alter Business

Aviation Expert Prophesies Aerial Transportation Will Speed up Commerce.

May 15 1929

Aeroplane Will Alter Business

Aviation Expert Prophesies Aerial Transportation Will Speed up Commerce.

COLONEL HENDERSON AND PETER F. O’SHEA.

AT LEAST one man on the North American Continent is a hundred per cent air-minded. Colonel Henderson, who, in conjunction with P. F. O’Shea has written an article for The Magazine of Business, entitled, “Business at airplane speed,” prophesies that two years from now 30,000 planes “will be threading back and forth across the country like shuttles in a loom.” These shuttles should weave some new pattern into the business of the United States. What will it be? Colonel Henderson gives us some interesting examples of the effect of air transportation which will enable us to guess at the answer to this question. He says:

“One business executive has established a practice of going from Detroit to Cleveland twice a week by plane. Another leaves Detroit field at seven a.m. and at nine a.m. is in Dayton. He keeps business appointments in Dayton until four p.m. and is back on his own home field in Detroit two hours later.

“I recently within the same daylight day did business in Joliet, Chicago, Cleveland, and New York. When men move around like that, they are bound to extend their acquaintance with places, people, executives, methods, and standards. Every man becomes a multiple of what he used to be.

“One man can supervise stores in more cities. A manufacturer can extend his selling territory, even if his kind of sales needs personal service. Consequently more businesses will become national. Every executive will be bigger, in traveling radius, in acquaintance, and in new ideas.

“New standards of business will be disseminated very swiftly. When a man can travel three times as fast as now, he can see nine times as many cities and meet personally twenty-seven times as many other business executives. For when a man moves fast, he learns how to use each minute intensively. Interchange of business methods has been rapid during the last twenty-five years, but it is going to speed up so as to become vastly more rapid in the next twenty-five.

“A San Francisco milliner imported a shipment of hats from Paris. The moment he reached New York he shipped one sample of each to San Francisco by airplane express. At the same time he sent to each of his select women customers in San Francisco an invitation to come to his San Francisco store for a special view. You can guess whether he did a good business.”

Eventually, Colonel Henderson assures us, every one must adopt the aviation pace. Those will be surest of survival who are first to perceive and use the new bools of competition. Another effect of air transportation, he says, is economy. Speed saves men, goods, or money. He proceeds:

“Several banks have kept account of the expense of shipping funds and securities by air mail, as against the interest saved by more days’ use of the money. One bank saved $33,000 in one year, on an investment of only $1,200 in the expense of air transport. Business men and buyers of all sorts will be as eager as bankers to get the most intensive use of either their money or the goods they are buying. They will not be content with letting money or goods remain idle in delayed transportation.

“Not long ago stores in small towns used to order bills of goods twice a year, to last for the next six months. Retailers now order for a few weeks. It is quite conceivable that they will order for several days in 1950.

“The elements which have forced changes will continue to force them. Styles will come on the market too fast to allow retailers to risk long-term stocks. Transportation by airplane will be faster; transportation by railroad will be faster, too. Railroads have already learned much about improving transportation. During the next generation, railroads will be compelled to learn and develop anew, for everything they do or fail to do will be compared with the airplane speeding overhead.

“To-day, only a small portion of the mail goes by air, but all first-class mail will probably be transported by planes long before 1950. Greater speed in mail is highly valuable in itself, but it is even more important as the standard for a new pace in all transportation. Everything learned about speeding up the mail is immediately applied to freight and express.

“I visualize the transportation situation in the country twenty years from now somewhat like this: All the longdistance passenger hauling will be by airplane; all the short-distance passenger hauling will be by motor-buses. Railroads will carry no passengers at all. That will leave railroads free to do a continuous stream business in freight. All freight will be speeded up from its present rate, so that slow freight may move as quickly as what is now called fast freight.”