IATA calls the need to accelerate air cargo modernisation

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Jun 06, 2017: The International Air Transport Association (IATA) 73rd Annual General Meeting (AGM) adopted a resolution to accelerate the modernisation and transformation of the air cargo industry. The resolution builds on the momentum created by the entry into force of the World Trade Organisation’s (WTO’s) Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA).

Alexandre de Juniac, director general and CEO, IATA, said, “The TFA commits governments to making trade faster, cheaper and more efficient. Air cargo processes are stuck in another century. To ensure that air cargo is ready to benefit from the expected USD 1 trillion boosts in trade growth arising from the TFA and the improving global economic environment, we need a major overhaul of industry processes. And there is no time to lose; our customers already expect the efficiency of electronic documentation.”

The IATA resolution calls for the air cargo industry to take a customer-centric approach to transformation to meet the evolving needs of shippers and urges the industry to conclude the digitisation of the supply chain to allow all information to be shared instantly, improving efficiency and simplifying the transport process.

As part of the resolution, the industry body also urged the air cargo community to adopt modern and harmonised standards that facilitate safe, secure and efficient operations, particularly in relation to carriage of dangerous goods will benefit the air cargo industry to be more précised.

Recognising partnerships are critical in driving industry transformation especially for a business where global standards are so vital, the resolution also calls on governments to support the industry’s modernisation process, suggested the organisation.

The resolution mentions another solution that is to develop a smart regulation that not only improves the safety and security of the air cargo supply chain but also facilitates the efficient transportation of goods.

The resolution reinforces the role of IATA in facilitating and supporting the modernisation and transformation process through its industry transformation programme, Simplifying the Business (StB) Cargo. The StB Cargo programme is taking the lead in bringing several initiatives for data-led innovation forward. The programme also includes a Smart Facilities initiative designed to enhance ground handling service quality.

“The time is right for a change. After several years of virtually no growth, air cargo demand is starting to pick up. We are also seeing new business opportunities with internet commerce and the global distribution of time and temperature sensitive cargo, especially pharmaceutical products,” said de Juniac.

Photo: Alexandre de Juniac, IATA

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