The new IATA FIATA Air Cargo Program (IFACP) has been launched in Canada and will be rolled out globally after the Canadian pilot.
The new program replaces the existing Cargo Agency Program, and will be jointly managed by forwarders and airlines as equal partners in the decision-making process.
A new IATA-FIATA Governance Board (IFGB) has been established to run the program, which provides a framework of industry standards that are relevant and in line with best practices and safety regulations.
Existing Cargo Agency Program members will join IFACP with no further assessment and will continue their existing enrollment in Cargo Account Settlement Systems (CASS), which remains unchanged, under the jurisdiction of the Cargo Agency Conference.
The new IFACP Freight Forwarder Agreement shall govern the relationship between freight forwarders and air carriers participating in the Program.
IATA director of FDS operations, Juan Antonio Rodriguez (pictured above) says: “Simplifying the governance structure reduces the administrative requirement to manage the program.
“Given that more than 80 per cent of transactions are performed by freight forwarders acting as principals, the proposed IFACP better clarifies and validates the business through a buyer-seller relationship.”
IFACP properly addresses the principal-to-principal relationship between freight forwarders and airlines, helping to clarify liability issues on cargo claims, as well as supporting members to work towards key industry goals such as e-freight adoption, he concludes.
During the roll out, current participants of the IATA Cargo Agency/Intermediary Program will be provided with a new agreement and will automatically join IFACP and continue their existing enrollment in CASS once they have signed and returned the paperwork.
New applicants will need to submit a form and meet the defined financial and operational criteria.
FIATA’s Air Freight Institute chairman, Keshav Tanna says: “FIATA is pleased that the implementation phase is now a reality, a true testament to the hard work and sustained efforts of both Forwarders and Carriers over the past few years.
“We are optimistic that the IFACP will foster innovation to deal with the commercial challenges facing the air cargo industry.”
IATA airline members will automatically transfer to the new program on the date on which IATA declares IFACP effective in any given region or country.
Canada is the first territory to pilot the new Program, which was developed to meet the evolving needs of the air cargo industry.
Canadian International Freight Forwarders Association executive director, Ruth Snowden says: “Our relatively small, well-connected airline and forwarder community makes Canada a natural for the IFACP pilot country.
“We are pleased that Canada is the first to engage in this new, collaborative program, which better reflects the reality of today’s current principal to principal relationship between airlines and forwarders.”
Previously, cargo agents were ‘selling agents’ for, and on behalf of, airlines, whereas today the majority of forwarders are ‘purchasing customers’ from those airlines, and their business relationship is often as buyer and seller.