The global air cargo industry must align its cargo security programs and push for a more risk-based approach to screening if it is to maintain secure supply chains, Brandon Fried, Executive Director, Airforwarders Association (AfA), told delegates of IATA’s air cargo security panel at its World Cargo Symposium today (26th April).
“We must present a united front for the global transport industry, despite our sometimes disparate goals across the various segments of the supply chain, to streamline regulations in order to help foster cost-effective trade,” said Fried.
“The more we align, the simpler our lives will become, but we need to continue to push for this alignment – that’s why AfA engages with other associations as well as global regulators at every opportunity to make sure our voice is heard.”
When asked if he saw a lack of harmonization across global markets for aviation security, Fried highlighted a discord between global aviation security programs, citing IATA’s recently implemented Preloading Advance Cargo Information (PLACI) program in the EU, which mirrors the US Air Cargo Advance Screening (ACAS) program.
With regulatory demands set to increase over the next five years, Fried said he expects to see increasing focus on tackling cybersecurity issues, as well as greater emphasis on employee background checks and more stringent minimum standards.
Despite these expected increases in regulation, Fried said the AfA will continue to push for a more ‘risk-based’ approach to air cargo security.
“Our industry has done a great job over the past 15 years since putting the 9/11 Commission Act in place, which has led to a ‘shorter leash’ regarding inspection, compliance, and enforcement – but we must continue to meet these high expectations to avoid facing greater challenges,” said Fried.
“We hope to see new and better screening technology approved, such as advanced CT X-ray, as well as the wider use of canines as an efficient and effective cargo screening method.”
AfA also hopes to see the widespread adoption of EU canine screening programs, he added, which are capable of screening larger configurations of cargo.
As the regulatory landscape changes, the US Transportation Security Administration (TSA) will be focusing on compliance more than ever and AfA is working collaboratively with them towards enhancements in this area, Fried concluded.
“AfA members are currently working with TSA on a roadmap for security and a key part of our efforts is to map the air cargo supply chain to help the untrained and inexperienced regulatory policy makers to fully understand all the nuances of our seemingly simple but quite complicated industry,” he said.“We are pushing to better align all US cargo security programs, and encouraging the TSA to help promote the Certified Cargo Screening Program (CCSP) within the shipper community.”
On Monday, Fried presented to WACO System members at their AGM in Sorrento, Italy, giving a state of the market report to WACO’s network of independent freight management companies.