IATA improves dangerous goods safety with AutoCheck digital solution

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The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has launched the Dangerous Goods AutoCheck digital solution to improve safety and efficiency in the transport of dangerous goods.

The digital solution allows the air cargo supply chain to check the compliance of the Shipper’s Declaration for Dangerous Goods (DGD) against all relevant rules and regulations in the IATA Dangerous Goods Regulations.

The tool enables electronic consignment data to be received directly, supporting the digitisation of the cargo supply chain.

Optical Character Recognition (OCR) technology transforms the paper DGD into electronic data and this data is then processed and verified automatically using the XML data version of the DGR.

The DataCheck also facilitates a ground handler or airline’s decision to accept or reject a shipment during the physical inspection stage by providing a pictorial representation of the package with the marking and labelling required for air transport.

IATA senior vice president for airport, passenger, cargo and security, Nick Careen says the air cargo industry handles in excess of 1.25 million dangerous goods shipments each year, and with growth forecasted to be 4.9 per cent annually for the next five years this number will rise significantly.

He says: “To ensure that air cargo is ready to benefit from this growth the industry needs to adopt modern and harmonised standards that facilitate safe, secure and efficient operations, particularly in relation to carriage of dangerous goods. DG AutoCheck is a significant step towards achieving this goal.”

IATA assistant director of cargo safety and standards, Dave Brennan says: “Manually checking that each Shipper’s Declaration is compliant and the package(s) are correctly, marked, labelled and packaged is a complex and time consuming task. Automation with DG AutoCheck brings us a giant step forward. The cargo supply chain will benefit from greater efficiency, streamlined processes and enhanced safety.”

IATA says collaboration is critical for industry transformation, and an industry working group of more than 20 organisations including airlines, freight forwarders, ground handlers and express integrators.