International Air Transport Association’s (IATA) annual World Cargo Symposium (WCS) aims to take the global air cargo industry forward with its tenth anniversary edition themed around “The Value of Air Cargo”. The Cargo Symposium runs from March 15 to 17 at Germany’s capital city Berlin.
IATA has set out two important priorities to be discussed and deliberated at Berlin: a stronger approach to safety, and the value of innovation
IATA WCS 2016 will feature plenary sessions, specialised tracks, workshops and executive summits, panel discussions and tackle aspects related to changing mindsets in supply chain, technology & innovation, security & customs, cargo operations and sustainability.
The event will also have dedicated sessions around themes like Air Cargo Europe; Perishables: Flying it fresh; Pharmaceutical Management; Air Mail & Consumer e-Commerce: Is air cargo ready?; Air freight Germany: Leading Change; Drone’s for tomorrow’s air cargo; and Dangerous Goods.
Some of the industry veterans joining panel discussions at the cargo symposium include Peter Gerber, Chairman & CEO, Lufthansa Cargo; Cormac Whelan, CEO, Mercator; Daniel Saslavsky, Trade Specialist, World Bank; Glyn Hughes, Global Head, Cargo, IATA; Lise-Marie Turpin, Vice President, Cargo, Air Canada; Nathan De Valck, Cargo & Product Development Manager, Brussels Airport Company; Daniel Cortez, Postal Inspector In-Charge, Global and Cyber Security, US Postal Inspection Service; Nick Platts, Head, Cargo, Heathrow Airport; Youri Bussan, Director, Cargo, ECAir.
“We have got some new activities planned for this year. First of all we want to celebrate the first ten years. We have a much greater representation of the entire supply chain and therefore the influence that collective group has on both the IATA activities and standard setting activities, going forward, is increasing. So you can expect a lot of deliberations and we have also organised a CIO Executive Summit because one thing we really need to do is to take the value of air cargo message beyond the cargo department in the airlines out to the broad spectrum and if we can reach out to CIOs to bring them into a room, to get them to really embrace and understand where the industry is going to move forward. We hope, then, they will be supportive of air cargo in investments and basically the introduction of new technology,” says Glyn Hughes, Global Head of cargo, IATA.
To help foster air cargo’s competitiveness in this growing segment, IATA has developed the Centre of Excellence for Independent Validation in Pharmaceutical Logistics (CEIV Pharma). CEIV Pharma assesses and validates cool-chain processes and provides training to guarantee that they comply with all applicable standards and regulatory requirements.
Innovation in air cargo supply chain is not just restricted to cold chain, but also covers other aspects. The e-freight initiative launched by IATA in 2006 aims to move towards a paperless era by replacing paper with electronic data and messages. In November 2015, the adoption of the e-air waybill (e-AWB) was 35.4 percent, against a 2015 year-end target of 45 percent. e-AWB brings accuracy, confidentiality and efficiency in the supply chain.
At WCS, let us hope that discussion lead to actionable results which bring about required transformations in the industry. Looking forward to attend the event!
Photo: Jarrod Goentzel, Director of the MIT Humanitarian Response Lab, part of the MIT Center for Transportation & Logistics, during loading operations in Miami. Goentzel flew with the air shipment to Monrovia in Liberia. He assisted in the logistics of reaching personal protective equipment and sanitation supplies for the Ebola victims. (Massachusetts Institute of Technology)