WCS 2014 calls for cutting transit time to 48 hours by 2020

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The 8th World Cargo Symposium by The International Air Transport Association (IATA) kickstarted in Los Angeles today with a call for the average end-to-end transit time to be reduced by up to 48 hours by the end of the decade.

Amid a well-attended gathering of industry leaders, Des Vertannes, IATA’s Global Head of Cargo in his opening keynote address said, “In this FIFA World Cup year, we need to move the goal-posts for customer expectations. Cutting average transit times by up to 48 hours by 2020 would make a huge difference to our value proposition, and enable the industry to arrest modal shift, and drive new efficiencies for the business.”

Currently the average end-to-end time for consignments is around 6-7 days – a schedule that has not improved since the 1960s. Expressing his concern, Vertannes added, “Game-changing innovation is sorely needed in air cargo. Our industry has been mostly stagnant since 2008. We face significant challenges in the areas of efficiency, security and sustainability, and the entire industry needs to commit to new innovative processes if we are to benefit from any economic upturn.”

Value-enhancement with a focus on increasing the penetration of e-commerce, and on raising the quality of the air cargo business were the key propositions laid out for year 2014.

“Our customers pay a premium price to ship by air – they deserve to receive a premium service,” he said.

Among the key objectives for 2014 are:

* A goal to reach 22% electronic air-waybill (e-AWB) global penetration.

* A Facilities Matrix, developed by the Cargo Operations Advisory Group. The matrix will begin its first pilot in 2014, with the aim to iron out inconsistencies in the provision of cargo handling infrastructure worldwide, such as cool-chain facilities.

* The Cargo2000 Master Operating Plan (MOP) will be extended over the entire cargo supply chain, not just the airport-to-airport element. The MOP will be the basis of a common platform that measures quality standards, based on neutral milestones.

* To ensure airline compliance with EU ACC3 regulation through independent security validation at appropriate stations.

With an attendance of more than 1000 delegates at this year’s World Cargo Symposium, there was good amount of representation from the entire fraternity from the air cargo supply chain.

The plenary discussions featured keynote speeches from Los Angeles City Mayor Eric Garcetti, American Airlines COO Robert D. Isom, and FedEx chairman and CEO, Fred Smith.

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