The International Air Transport Association (IATA) adopted a resolution to accelerate modernisation and transformation of the air cargo industry at its 73rd Annual General Meeting in Cancun, Mexico.
The resolution calls on the air cargo industry to take a customer-centric approach to transformation to meet the evolving needs of shippers and urged the industry to adopt four points: conclude the digitisation of the supply chain to allow information to be shared instantly to improve efficiency and simplify processes; adopt modern and harmonised standards that facilitate safe, secure and efficient operations, particularly for dangerous goods; use enhanced technology to provide customers with responsive services based on intelligent systems able to self monitor, send real-time alerts and respond to deviation; harness the power of data to drive efficient and effective industry quality improvements.
The resolution builds on the momentum created by the entry of the World Trade Organization’s (WTO) Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA). IATA director general and chief executive officer, Alexandre de Juniac says: “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 $1 trillion boost 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.”
IATA calls on world governments to: rapidly implement the TFA so the benefits such as harmonised rules for expediting the movement, release and clearance of goods crossing borders and the acceptance of e-payments and electronic documentation can be realised; developing smart regulations that not only improve the safety and security of the air cargo supply chain but also facilitates the efficient transport of goods.
IATA says the resolution reinforces its role to facilitate and support modernisation and transformation through its industry program, Simplifying the Business (StB) Cargo, bringing forward initiatives for data-led innovation forward, including a Smart Facilities initiative designed to enhance ground handling service quality.
De Juniac says: “The time is right for 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.”