Shining a light on the sector

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The International Air Transporation Association’s (IATA) World Cargo Symposium (WCS) is heading to Hong Kong to showcase the airfreight industry. The event will take place at the Asia World Expo from 12-14th March 2024 and feature specialised digitalisation, sustainability, and safety and security tracks.

The sustainability segment will focus on tracking progress towards net zero carbon emissions by 2050, ESG reporting, optimising operations for environmental performance, reducing single-use plastics, and circular strategies for Unit Load Device (ULD) components.

Digitalisation discussions will explore data-driven strategies to improve performance and reduce costs, achieving the efficiencies of OneRecord and the potential for generative AI in air cargo.

Safety and security sessions will examine Annex 18 regulatory oversight of freight forwarders/handling agents for dangerous goods shipments, fire containment strategies for lithium battery shipments, ULD airworthiness, latest developments for the safety of live animal shipment and the implications of an integrated risk management framework.

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Workshops around the event will also develop inclusive strategies needed to drive the future of air cargo, including building the next generation of talent at the Future Air Cargo Executives Summit (FACES) and competency-based training through IATA’s sessions on workplace safety and performance.

The winner of the 3rd edition of the IATA FACE-UP! The award will also be decided at WCS. FACE UP! is a competition for recent university graduates whose thesis is on innovation and transformation in air transport logistics. Three finalists will be invited to present their projects during the conference. Delegates will vote for their preferred innovation, and the winners will be announced at the conference’s closing plenary.

“Air cargo is an unsung hero of the global economy,” said Brendan Sullivan, IATA’s Global Head of Cargo. “In regular times, it delivers some 35% of the value of goods traded across borders. In the pandemic, air cargo brought medical supplies and vaccines to where they were needed.

“Today, it provides a vital transport alternative for some products as Red Sea shipping lanes face geopolitical uncertainty. Air cargo’s success matters. When air cargo’s global leaders gather in Hong Kong for the IATA World Cargo Symposium, they will ensure that this critical sector’s future reliability and growth will be top of mind.”