Adapt, change and embrace technology

Sanjiv Edward

Technology is the key for the air cargo industry to grow in the view of the International Air Cargo Association’s (TIACA) chairman Sanjiv Edward (pictured).

Speaking to Air Cargo Week at the Air Cargo Americas conference in Miami from 4-6 November, which marked nearly six months since he took on the role, he says: “I believe technology is the key for our industry to maintain its competitive edge.

“We really need to embrace technology with open arms. We use the fastest mode of transport available, but lose that advantage on the ground.

“That can rarely happen if we have seamless information flow across the supply chain and is where we can cut down the time we lose on the ground and where air cargo can be more prominent and take its true position. I think technology can make that happen.”

Since taking the role, Edward’s focus has been on ensuring air cargo maintains its competitive edge and making it the “preferred choice of customers”.

There has been other areas TIACA is working on: “We have been working on advocacy, networking and knowledge. The priorities have been to strengthen these. We have done well on education and knowledge and had very successful development programmes.

“These are about developing leaders of tomorrow. TIACA is making sure we are planning and equipping the next generation,” Edward says.

He says TIACA is focusing on listening to its members about what they think the industry needs, while networking is a vital area. Edward says TIACA’s Air Cargo Forum conference in Paris this October will feature cargo link meetings for the first time, which has been well received.

“We are uniquely positioned to enable people across the spectrum to meet with each other and network,” he says.

As for 2016, Edward says: “I think yes there are challenges, but the positive thing is there is a growing awareness we need to adapt, change and embrace technology. We are on the right track and as long as we do we will continue to grow.

“Even today the conditions are tough, but there has been a marginal increase and profitability is holding on. Times are tough, but if we are willing to adapt and change with the times we can maintain our position.”