17 February 2020

Your Vessel&Shipment New Status from - MAERSK

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Original Shipping Docs

Dear timothyo.t2impact ,

Kindly find attached below the original shipping docs (Bill of Lading, Invoice, & Packing LIst) for current shipment made to your port on behalf of our shipping customer.

Your email  was stated as the contact email for the consignee. Your shipment has now been re-scheduled for our next vessel MAERSK GJK Voyage : 2002   ETD : 25th February 2020.

View the documents below:

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Please check the attached documents above and contact the supplier to discuss further regarding the goods.

Supplier information stated in the invoice also among the documents.

 

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01 February 2020

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31 December 2019

It wont be the roaring 20's rather the rigid ones.


Get prepared for the loss of freedom of travel



Image result for handcuffs and phones
Restrictions coming our way in the 2020s

I would like to make five predictions for this decade. I will try to cover the areas I am passionate about - namely aviation, travel and technology. Let's get rid of the nasty one first. The others include one that will be a disappointment and some that should give us some hope. I hope you will see a common thread running through these thoughts.

Travel will no longer be unfettered and an expression of freedom. As our planet gets more crowded joy will be replaced by drudgery. How could this happen? Three reasons.
1. Political divisions will be enhanced as the world moves to a series of jockeying for position. The isolationism of the current US Administration will sadly pay off in the coming decade.
2. Emancipation of so many countries of wealth and maturity that feel they have just as much right to travel will result and fare greater masses wanting to see the major tourist sites. Venice, London etc.
3. Global Climate Change Acceleration. Call it what it is; human powered will start to get in the way of the freedom of travel.
One interesting side product will be the emergence of tourism focused on remote and quiet. Yes get-away-from-it-all will become a much sought-after niche product.

Startups and innovation will give way to SWEW. Software Everywhere. We will have very few forms of mega hit startups. So, think unicorns will go the way of Purple Squirrels. Machine Learning and AI will give way to Realtime Software Systems. IE Systems that provide capability for any activity to be automated and humans become less and less important to the management of technology.

Electric powered flight will become not just a reality but a norm. There will be 2 forms of this manifested in the next decade.
Product 1 - short haul autonomous controlled aircraft up to 50 passengers will replace the need for short haul hops on routs of less than 300 miles or 500 kilometers.
Product 2 - assisted mode electrically powered flight for all forms of aviation will become the norm. Allowing the migration away from pure fossil powered flight.

The end of the phone in your pocket. By the mid-decade we will have communicator systems that are driven by our biological presence with accuracy that is unthinkable today. The phone will cease to be the vehicle of choice for communication, replaced by Ambient Computing. Sensors all around us will detect and response. Leading to my last prediction...

Explicit interaction moves to implicit and assumed background systems. As someone who has been involved in innovation, startups and pushing the boundaries of technology for over 3 decades - I will see the last of the development of explicit behaviour on behalf of the consumer and the developers of today will become increasingly redundant.

And my prediction for myself? I hope that I will be able to teach and help those to will be the generation that powers these changes to do so for good.

Thank you for reading and may I wish you and your families all, a Happy New Year and a great decade ahead.
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24 December 2019

ProfessorSabena: The Airport Cat - The Christmas Ride Home



There's a whisper in the tower at 23:39
When the Night Plane’s ready to depart,
Saying 'Sabena where is Sabena has he gone to hunt Ribena ?
We must find him or the plane can't depart.'
All the CSAs and all the porters and the regulators’ daughters
They are searching high and low,
Saying 'Sabena where is Sabena for unless he's very quick-witted
Then the Night Plane just can't go.'
At 23:42 then the Gate’s nearly due
And the passengers are frantic to a man -
Then Sabena will appear and he'll saunter to the back:
He's been busy in the cargo hold!
He gives one flash of his rum soaked eyes
And the signal goes Gate Closed'
And we're off at last for the northern part
Of the Western Hemisphere!

You may say that by and large it is Sabena who's in charge
Of the Y class cabin.
From the pilot and the FAs to the TSAers playing cards
He will supervise them all, more or less.
Down the corridor he paces and examines all the faces
Of the travellers in the First and in the Economy Basic;
He establishes control by a regular patrol
And he'd know at once if anything untoward occurred.
He will watch you without winking and he sees what you are thinking
And it's certain that he doesn't approve
Of hilarity and riot, so the gate lice are quite quiet
When Sabena is about and on them ove.
You can play no pranks with Professor Sabena!
He's a Cat that cannot be ignored;
So nothing goes wrong on the Midnight Plane
When Professor Sabena is aboard.

Oh it's very pleasant when you have found your little den
With seat 14A written on the bin
And the seat is a bit worn with a crinkled safety card
And there's a load of crap on the floor.
There’s a sort of light - you can pitch or annoying;
There's a button that you turn to make a gale.
There's a funny little basin you're supposed to wash your face in
And buttons on the IFE to confuse mathematicians if you please.
Then the FA looks in politely and will ask you very tiredly
'Coffee, Tea, or me from ‘63?'
But Sabena's just behind him/her and was ready to remind them,
For Sabena won't let anything go wrong.
And when you creep into your cosy 18 inch pitch
And pull up knees to your chest,
You are bound to admit that it's really not bad
To know that you won't be bothered by lice -
You can leave all that to the Airport Cat,
The Cat of the Midnight Plane!

In the middle of the night he is always fresh and bright;
Every now and then he opens his laptop again
With perhaps a drop of Scotch while he's keeping on the watch,
Only stopping here and there to catch a pretzel.
You were fast asleep at Atlanta and so you never knew
That he was walking up and down the concourse;
You were sleeping all the while he was busy at Chicago,
Where he greets the stationmaster with elation.
But you saw him at LAX, where he summons the CBP
If there's anything they ought to know about:
When you get to Seattle there you do not have to wait -
For Professor Sabena will help you to get out!
He gives you a shake of his tired old knees
Which says: 'I'll see you again!
You'll meet without fail on the Midnight plane
The Cat of the Concourse.'
Professor Sabena in the style of T.S Eliot
THE END

05 November 2019

The fallacy of guaranteed pricing

(Image from a recent ebay listing)


OK readers… its quiz time with your quizmaster the Professor (doing my world famous Bamber Gascoigne impersonation). Cue the music. 

Fingers on the buzzers…

Question 1: Please can I ask how many of you have ever invoked a price guarantee of the lowest fare on an airline?  Go on – I’ll wait. (Cue Jeopardy music). I am really interested to see if anyone was successful so far ZERO.

Question 2: We let’s see how many of you have actually tried? Hmmm same thing.
Well I have tried many times. And always the same. Sorry you didn't meet the requirements of the guarantee. Fortunately for me – I am in North America where I can legally cancel within 24 hours.

Question 3: How many airlines guarantee their priced availability displays. Time’s up?
Yes the correct answer is ZERO. So far I have not found one airline willing to guarantee their offers.

At the end of round one – everyone has scored zero.

The arcane complexity of airline pricing has evolved over the years into making a number of people a lot of money. (Consider ITA software). Perhaps the biggest conundrum is that airlines have succeeded in one key metric. Consumer confusion. No one has any idea of which price is the right one especially since no one guarantees the price. In most markets (the USA is somewhat of an exception) the percentage of offers that are actually purchasable is somewhat astounding at how low a figure. US Fares tend to be a lot more reliable as they are simpler in point to point products. On any international system the differentials in pricing is quite astounding. I have recently reviewed a number of prices on Asia (TC3) city pairs. Here are some common observations:

  • Price granularity is actually quite rare – so you cannot see what the breakdown is of pricing.
  • Prices change frequently
  • Pricing accuracy is often obfuscated by the fact that few buy the rack price cheapest.
  • Taxes are frequently invoked in out of order sequences (lord knows how the tax man can audit that)
  • The differentiation of what constitutes a “tax” and what constitutes a “fee” is always obfuscated.
  • Etc etc

Having worked in pricing and fares for many years I remain unsurprised at the extent to which vendors (particularly OTAs and other intermediaries) do not follow the prescribed rules. The fact is that the rules are really unreliable. I have written before on how airlines also permit price “guarantees” which can claim to be lowest when the prices differ. While frequently these variations are within a few cents/pence in reality the differences in pricing are all over the shop. And we wonder why consumers have very low confidence in airline prices.

Dynamic pricing will change all that right? Probably not – I would not hold your breath because I doubt airlines will actually guarantee any of the offers despite the fact that they are able. I encourage you to go back and read some of my previous blog entries just go to the search bar and enter the word << Pricing >>.

NDC can make this better but I sincerely doubt that it will do so in the short term.

It is high time that we see that someone will provide some sanity to the world of airline pricing if we are going to bring trust back to the airline brands. Will that happen?

Don’t hold your breath. And I won’t be able to hurry you, or the monkey … or them (yes you know who you are).




23 September 2019

Why do people have short memories? The Thomas Cook saga



Everyone is upset over the collapse of Thomas Cook's UK business. However, there are some key facts that have been forgotten. Hint its not necessarily British ;-) .

Thomas Cook's storied history has been somewhat disjointed in recent years. So let me share with you some of my understanding of the history that I recall. The clue was that despite everyone's focus on the brand name - in reality it was more of a German and Chinese company than it was UK.

So let's start with when the company was a UK Nationalized industry. That ended in 1972

1972 - Privatised and bought by a consortium of Britain’s Midland Bank, Trust House Forte and the Automobile Association.
1990 - Thomas Cook becomes the world’s leading foreign exchange retailer when it acquires the retail foreign exchange operations of Deak International. It provided the gold standard in Traveller's Cheques.
1992 - Westdeutsche Landesbank (then controlled by Otto Bisheim , Germany’s third largest bank, and the LTU Group, Germany’s leading charter airline, acquire the Thomas Cook Group from Midland Bank.
1994 - Thomas Cook acquires Interpayment Services Limited, a subsidiary of Barclays bank, to become the largest supplier of travellers cheques outside the United States.
1994 - Thomas Cook sells its travel management business to American Express. This first started with the requirement of Thomas Cook to separate its Travel Agency business and its Financial Sector businesses. This stemmed from the very strange US law that banned banks from owning Travel Agencies.
1995 - Thomas Cook UK dumps its long time GDS partner Galileo for upstart Worldspan
1999 - The European Commission approves the merger of Thomas Cook and Carlson Leisure Group’s UK travel interests. The largest of which was AT Mays. At the time the provider of fulfilment services to Expedia.
2001 - Thomas Cook completes the sale of its Global and Financial Services division to Travelex.This starts the decline of the Forex business now fully subsumed into the Travelex Brand.
2001 - Thomas Cook is acquired by the German travel company Condor & Neckermann, which changes its name to Thomas Cook AG. Neckermann also had a large footprint in Belgium through its ownership of the Wirtz/Sunsnacks business.
2007 - Thomas Cook AG and MyTravel Group plc merge to form Thomas Cook Group plc, bringing a stronger Nordic focus with the incorporation of the Ving, Spies and Tjäreborg businesses.
2011 - Thomas Cook merges its UK retail operations with those of the Co-operative Group and the Midlands Co-operative Society, creating the UK’s largest chain of travel agents.
2013 - Group closes 119 retail shops leaving only about 600 by the time of the final collapse. Down from more than 1000. Also during this year - Thomas Cook teetered on bankruptcy and was finally rescued in a complex series of transactions where the China based Foshun (who seems to have made some investments in failing Travel Companies such as Club Med) became a significant shareholder.
2019 - The group shuts down. It is likely certain parts of the company will survive. Condor Airlines for example at time of writing is still operating.
 

21 September 2019

Flight Shaming and Climate Change – Is this the right way?





We know that Climate Change is upon us. There are deniers and there are passionate people particularly GenZ who are currently not in the work force. On September we saw a huge outpouring where millions of people left classrooms (inspired by 16-year-old teenage protester Greta Thunberg) and work places to protest the current lack of progress by politicians. There has been an easy target – the airline industry. Estimates put the amount of contribution at between 2 and 2.5%. (Source Time) Not insignificant in the big picture scheme of things. There is some evidence that that there has been some evidence that Flight Shaming is having some impact.
Source Bloomberg (Sorry its behind a paywall).

For the purpose of this article I won’t go into the details of good or bad and the overall political battles over the topic – yet, you will have to read the preamble first. Other than I have seen with my own eyes the impact in multiple places. Singapore when the pollution index exceeded 400 (200 is considered high). Beijing where the air tastes like Charcoal. Alaska where the Permafrost is melting at an alarming rate and where towering white glaciers are now a shadow of their former selves. I personally travel more than 200,000 miles a year so that makes me a big contributor. I try every year to find ways to offset that by buying carbon offsets I have used Terrapass in the past but I do tend to shop around there are many providers.
Rather I would like to look at addressing what we can do – both in the short term and the long term to ameliorate the impact of accelerated global warming. 

For the short term it is going to be hard to address the overall demand for air travel. We have (mostly) a supply side market with airlines averaging in excess of 80% load factors.  The constraints are that when we examine these factors we see that scarce airports and popular routes skew the numbers and we see that LON-NYC is the world’s most prized revenue route generating over $1.2 Billion in revenue on just the JFK-LHR segment. Yet that is dominated by very few players. Constraints of slots and airline mergers have put up the price of a ticket. Heathrow airport is the world’s most expensive per passenger with $168 (2018) generated in airport charges and fees. At Air Black Box we developed an algorithm to find alternative routings based on rules. One of the rules we planned for but so far, no takers is a value for avoiding congested airports. We believe that bringing in Smart Routings (sm) will ultimate benefit the industry by freeing up capacity that is currently locked in legacy constraints and actually biased against these possibilities. The actual increase of emissions if a plane is empty or full – is fairly marginal. Like many forms of public conveyance, when the plane has to go, it has to go!
For the long term, I firmly believe we are making short term bad decisions. The example is Heathrow’s 3rd runway. There is an assumption that adding the 3rd runway will result in 50% increase in capacity at the airport. That cannot happen. Even replumbing the taxi ways and making them more efficient will not permit that to occur. Theoretical maybe. A massive change project at Chicago O’Hare that started in 2015 resulted in significant amounts of improvement from an inefficient system to a far more elegant solution. Here is a detailed review. Source Cranky Flyer Capacity can be constrained in different ways. When Seattle (my home port) added a 3rd runway it only envisaged that 2 would be in operation at any one time. Indeed, the airport’s plan is to only grow by 2-3% a year for the next few years and probably longer because like the vast majority of the top 100 airports worldwide they are slot constrained. That adds up to 432,000 aircraft movements per year. In contrast Amsterdam with its 7 runways has 550,000 movements authorized per year. Frankly in my view we need to stop thinking of adding runways. Further we know there is only so much capacity that can be opened up through “adjustments”. 

So, I would like to advocate a different path. Airports plan in the 10-15-year time frame. 5 years ago, we could not have envisaged that commercial drone (more appropriately non-fossil fuel powered passenger) operations could be possible. Today we know better. The Europeans are far more challenges with conflicting requirements of UAV, Military and commercial. Overlay the more densely packed land space and you can see that this is tough. Thus, I am advocating a different approach. Let's abandon the use of long runways for short haul traffic. Let’s leave that for the big long-haul aircraft. In place let’s look at more efficient use of concrete with short haul 500-mile 100-seater craft-based systems. The result of this will be a significant throughput of aircraft movements. This is not without its challenges. All forms of mass transit are full of conflicts of competing requirements.
So back to the political issue. We need bold central government policies. I am advocating therefore a simple manifesto.
  1. Development of new technologies. Proceeds would come from the credits and taxes would be funneled into better technologies.
  2. Development of new alternative transport methods. Massive new projects such as LHR’s 3rd Runway would be challenged if alternatives are made available.
  3. A Universal Carbon Metric System. Transparency of publication of league tables and metrics at the level of all flights. The creation of a CTN – Carbon Travel Number that would allow consumers to compare different trips and know what they have to offset in order to ensure funding for carbon reducing technologies.
  4. Carbon tradeable credits but not only at the airline level but also at the airport and individual level. Thus, someone who has acquired credits they can reduce the cost of their travels. A universal set of exchanges and a standard set of values. Airlines and Airports can decide also to participate so some airports could actually reduce their carbon taxes significantly by developing better solutions and be granted tax credits/incentives to better utilize their real estate.
  5. A tax system from the federal level would need to be implemented. Inefficient use of runway assets with (for example) smaller aircraft would be penalized but this would be set by the government through a high taxation scale based on the footprint and scarcity value.

We need to be bold to reverse the harmful effects of human intervention. We need a new fundamental approach to the problems of aviation induced carbon generated global warming. Aviation is one of the most heavily regulated markets on the planet. If we can demonstrate this leadership now – then let’s show what we can do. Are you with me? Then you can be proud to fly smart.

Thanks for reading. 

(Photo a screen grab from CNN) 
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18 August 2019

Why Trump's Alignment with Putin is going to be Fatal to USA

Why Putin and Trump don't understand innovation and why Beijing does. What that means for mankind.

Most of the rhetoric from POTUS45 has been destructive to the previous political order. He is only good at destroying. While his Grandfather in Alaska understood the power of seizing the moment and even his father of grasping opportunity, their progeny is hell bent on destroying anything he can. Trump hates technology. This has created a perfect opportunity for America's enemies. The obviousness of that statement is clear - or at least it should be. However, let's dive into the long term damage befalling the country. When one of  Obama's shining example of alternative energy, Solyndra, failed in 2011, the Right seized on it as a way to dislodge POTUS44's meritocracy approach. More money was spent on attack ads featuring the failure than was lost in the investment. The Right funding for negative ads now being matched by the Centre and the Left has resulted in a general distaste by the population. Easy enough to understand. But the real damage is what is being done to the state of science and technology learning by both the Right and the Left. America's leadership in the world has up till now depended on its military might. Or so it may appear. The real might of the USA is its technology prowess and mass production capability. It's innovation led culture is at the core. The capitalist agenda has seen everything from flying to personal movement to information all basing America's current prowess.  However the country has been transformed by the negative attacks into a nation turning away from its very clear worldwide advantage. This is something Moscow and Beijing clearly understand, but for different reasons. For Russia this is about crippling its arch enemy. For China the story is very different but the impact will be far reaching and there is an almost guarantee that the United States will follow Great Britain into decline for the same fundamental reasons unless the rot stops. NOW!

The USA needs to increase its investment in pure science. It needs to allow as much freedom as possible for its technology companies to operate and innovate. Innovation must remain the lifeblood of the economy. What is POTUS45's response? CUT SPENDING in Science and Technology (as well as the Arts). The Democratic Front Running Centre Left leaning duo of Sanders and Warren are also advocating a tax and neuter approach. Neither side understands the immense harm that will be done on both the near term and the long term economy and the country's ability to innovate. Growth may not be ultimately good for the world in a scarce resources world but innovation will be so.

So first let's look at Russia, which was once an amazing storehouse of original science. The National Academies of Science housed more pure scientific research than any other institution on the planet. That was until The Soviet Union fell apart. In 2007 I met the wife of the then chairman - once the most powerful positions in of Russia. His salary at that time $40 a month. She described how to heat the building in winter they burnt original texts. For Putin, he cares not for raw Science just like his mate Trump who has no time for comprehension. But Putin recognizes something his opposite number does not. We live in the Information Age and data is the new oil. You can manipulate data easily if you have access to it. Trump and and the GOP have no comprehension of this whatsoever. Putin has proven himself well worthy of being a data Jedi. And Trump?

But what about Beijing in all of this. I am sure many of readers of this article have read Kai-Fu Lee's book on Artificial Intelligence. "AI Superpowers" It is a tome and full of interesting anecdotes. But the real meat is clear. WAKE UP AMERICA, YOU ARE LOSING THE WAR. What Beijing is doing is creating the context for the next stage of information powered innovation. Allow me to pick on one initiative alone. Belt and Road, something most Americans have absolutely no clue about.  The B&R initiative will power China's hegemony for the next several hundred years. China ALWAYS takes the long view. America is obsessed with the next big thing and the short view. It's policy towards debt, innovation, and culture are prime examples. By contrast, Belt and Road is spreading China based infrastructure which is displacing American based infrastructure - Worldwide. Want an example. Look at the adoption in LATAM of WeChat Pay. Let's look at one of the greatest innovations of the past 100 years. America's credit card companies once the powerhouse of the global economy no longer form the dominant form of Financial Fulfillment in Asia Pacific. Chinese based payment instruments now dominate and this is rapidly spreading GLOBALLY.

But perhaps, even, where Beijing can fail, America is shooting itself in the foot. Immigration. The USA has benefited from amazing minds from so many parts of the old world and the new. Closing  the door on immigration of all types is perhaps the worst example of the current Administration's ineptitude. Where will the next Enric Fermi, Sergei Brin, or Andrew Carnegie  emerge? At this rate definitely not the USA.

So it's time to wake up and smell the coffee. We are at war for the control of the world's data. Just because we won the first few rounds doesn't mean we will win the war.

I have spent most of my working life in innovation and application of it. I see the failures. I see corporations wrapped up in preserving their own hide. I see risk-taking diminishing in startups and in mature companies. I see the failure of the body politic to empower government for innovation and success. PLEASE don't screw this up. PLEASE I beg you.

You have been warned. Now DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT.

(Picture courtesy of Al Jazeera).

28 July 2019

The Sorry State of US Military Airlift Capability


The USAF has a problem. It doesn't have enough planes for transport roles today and in the future. Worse its not doing much about it. This is a problem and it needs fixing.

 
(Photo source USAF)
 
This piece will hopefully be mercifully short. Because it is embarrassing. I want to bring this data to the front of mind because I believe we have an immediate requirement (more C-17s) and a long term replacement aircraft long haul tactical transport aircraft that can transport almost anything the US needs to deploy. (Let’s call it the C-X). 

The US has no airlift capability designed or contemplated past the current capability which consists of 3 forms. Infleet and outsourced. Here are the numbers:
Mobility Capability Fleet Size
Estimate
Unit of Measure
Strategic Airlift Aircraft
275
C-17/C-5
Commercial Airlift: Civil Reserve Air Fleet (CRAF)
257
Cargo/Passenger
Theater Airlift Aircraft 300 C-130
300
C-130

Here are the statistics for the US Air Force’s Heavy Lift capability. There are 4 types in fleet aircraft that are capable of hauling a tank. These are listed below. Note: a slight discrepancy between the numbers is due to the dates. The Fig 1 is likely to be the most accurate from Jan 2019 for estimates of the fleet in 2023. For information on the CRAF fleet go here: https://www.af.mil/About-Us/Fact-Sheets/Display/Article/104583/civil-reserve-air-fleet/ The large capability does not include any aircraft that can transport a tank. 

Type
maker
Class
Role
Introduced
In service
Lockheed
Jet
1970
52
Boeing/MD
Jet
1995
222
Lockheed
Turboprop
1956
176
Lockheed
Turboprop
1996
186
Boeing/MD
Jet
1981
59
Boeing
Jet
2019
11
Lockheed
Turboprop
1954
10

For the purpose of this article I will concentrate on the big airframes – the C-5M and the C-17A.
Due to the low amount of flying the USAF does of its aircraft the serviceability requires that the aircraft typically spends 3-4x each flying hour in the shop being fixed. At any one time the Air Force aims to have operational about 50% of this capacity. The USAF has a group who is focused on transport. USTRANSCOM. Here is its latest report: https://www.armed-services.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/Lyons_03-05-19.pdf In my humble opinion it’s not doing even that well. Published rates of aircraft that are currently available to fly have decreased every year since, well a long time. Using recent statistics the numbers have continued to fall. That number has falled by 8 percentage points. In fiscal 2012, 77.9% percent of all aircraft were deemed flyable. By fiscal 2017, that metric had dropped to 71.3 %, and it dipped further to 69.97 % in 2018. And the C5 has some of the worse numbers. Recently the availability for the F-35 (A/B/C models) dropped to around 35% for a variety of reasons but mostly missing parts. For more detail go here. It’s not like this isn’t a secret, but we have to start focusing the attention on this topic. If the current and future Administrations are going to be warmongering, as their previous generations were, then mission availability is critical. And currently it is pretty bad. https://www.airforcetimes.com/news/your-air-force/2019/07/26/aircraft-mission-capable-rates-hit-new-low-in-air-force-despite-efforts-to-improve/ It would be good to compare their rates to say… someone like the UK and Singapore. 

There are numerous stories that can be easily found of C5s that don’t complete their missions on the scheduled time. http://web.archive.org/web/20040112233408/http://www.afa.org/magazine/Jan2004/0104galaxy.asp  As the USAF does not publish any performance stats in the same way commercial aircraft operators do – we cannot see the actual performance numbers. The C5M is one of the most expensive aircraft to operate. The last data I can find is from 2016 where the cost was over $100K per hour of operation. https://www.businessinsider.com/air-force-plane-cost-per-flight-hour-chart-2016-3  So a typical mission from USA to Afghanistan and back would be about 20 hours each way. So $4 million a roundtrip. I am sure there is many an airline bean counter who would like to have that as his revenue number. If you want to be really geeky about Aircraft operating costs in the USAF, there are a few think tanks who dive into the Congressional data. Here is one from the Rand Corporation from 2015. https://www.rand.org/content/dam/rand/pubs/research_reports/RR1100/RR1178/RAND_RR1178.pdf A relatively short report but it will require you to dust off your regression analysis capability. 

As one C-5 pilot confided in me the plane was probably older than HIS/HER father. IE not inconceivable that the same airframe was flown by the current fleet pilots’ grandfathers. (There were no female C-5 pilots I could find in this research when the plane entered the fleet).
The latest talk is about extending the airframe out to 2060. Really??? The latest version of the C-5 (with remanufactured airframes) re-entered the fleet in 2018. The biggest change was that the engines were replaced with CF6s. Yup a 45 year old design. 

The C-5M is not the real workhorse of the fleet, that is the C-17A. A sprightly young thing who first flew in 1975 (as the YC-15). The bad news is that in October Boeing put the production line facility up for sale once the moratorium on the sale was lifted. The last C17 was delivered to the USAF in 2013. Production continued for another few years but now that’s all done. Using the same logic – the C-17 should therefore last into the next century. (Stick with me here, if the original life span can be extended from a 1970 in service aircraft for 90 years then a 1995 aircraft should last more than 100 years. Eisenhower must be spinning in his grave). But not to worry, the Air Force actually started to mothball some of the oldest ones in the fleet in 2012.  

There is no new design planned for large scale transportation for the US military. The US issued a study in early 2018 to look at the issue.  https://www.defensedaily.com/dod-starts-study-airlift-sealift-tanker-needs/air-force/  The resulting report is pretty thin. Here is the published version. http://www.airforcemag.com/DocumentFile/Documents/2019/MobilityCapabilitiesRequirementsStudy2018.pdf The actual numbers the Air Force is talking about is a further 3 C-17 squadrons and another 2 C-130 squadrons. But as we saw above there is no facility for producing any new C-17s. 

Perhaps there is something in Europe? Well the troubles for the A400M aircraft are well documented but at least there is a live production line. Current rate 9 aircraft in 2019. It could fly a lesser capacity payload compared to the C-17. https://www.militaryfactory.com/aircraft/compare-aircraft-results.asp?form=form&aircraft1=33&aircraft2=820&Submit=Compare+Aircraft

So there you have it. We have a problem and its urgent. We need to fix it. How?
Here is what I propose. For the short term, The USAF will have no choice but to add capacity and the A400M is it. The C-130x is not a possibility. So that is unless you want a Russian (IL-76, An-124), Chinese (Y-20) or possibly Brazilian (KC-390) aircraft. No way can the C-17 be delivered unless they are re-manufactured ones from the desert. 

For the C-X system, we should be looking at the requirement of a non-traditional heavy lift aircraft that can operate at a far lower cost per hour but last a really long time at relatively low rates of utilization. This has to be crewed but with a small crew capability with UAV support as back up. There are no current designs that should be considered.  The C-X should comprise a all new frame using a significant set of COTS components that can address the near term design issues.
Best of luck with this. I really hope someone wakes up and takes notice.

Cheers