Glyn Hughes becomes IATA’s global head of cargo

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The International Air Transport Association (IATA) on Friday (June 6) announced the appointment of Glyn Hughes as IATA’s Global Head of Cargo. Hughes replaces Des Vertannes, who relinquishes the responsibility after serving the air cargo industry’s highest global decision making body for four years. Hughes appointment is effective from June 9.

According to a press release from IATA, Hughes joined IATA in 1991 to enhance and expand the Cargo Accounts Settlement Service (CASS), growing it from 35 to nearly 100 operations while maintaining very low levels of agency default and decreasing overall operating costs for members. “In recent years, he has led IATA’s cargo’s initiatives, embracing industry management and relationship building, including being part of the Global Air Cargo Advisory Group steering committee. He has led a campaign to promote the value of air cargo, and is taking a principal role in the IATA team working to modernise the cargo agency programme,” the statement added. At the time of appointment, Hughes was the director of Cargo Industry Management at IATA.

Commenting on Hughes appointment Tony Tyler, IATA’s Director General and CEO said that Glyn has worked very closely with Des Vertannes these past four years and is well placed to continue the important work of driving the transformation of the air cargo business and supporting our members in the delivery of industry objectives.

“Air cargo faces considerable challenges and we have an ambitious goal to improve the industry’s competitiveness through a cut in end-to-end shipping time of up to 48 hours. Glyn and his team will be dedicated to that goal, as well as to deliver the industry priorities of safety, security, quality, modernization and transformation through the e-cargo agenda,” Tyler added.

At the recently concluded IATA’s 70th annual general meeting in Doha, Hughes presented a briefing on the air cargo industry in which he identified safety, security and modal competitiveness as the three key issues. With significant experience in modernizing the cargo industry Hughes will be working hard to redesign the organizational structure to address operational complexity, significantly reduce the reliance on paper documentation and acceleration of cargo transit time.

According to the latest figures released by IATA for the month of April, the global penetration of electronic Airway Bill (e-AWB), the cornerstone document of air shipment, stands at a measly 14.3 percent. Vertannes who has been working hard to roll-out e-freight in the last four years would have expected a greater measure of e-freight adoption in the industry. However, there appears to be increasing desire within the industry to comply with IATA’s regulations on e-freight and e-AWB.

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