Shippers want supply chain to embrace new processes, paper finds

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Shippers want all sectors of the air cargo supply chain to engage in constructive discussion and embrace new process and new technology, according to a new paper by TIACA’s Shippers’ Advisory Committee (SAC).

The paper says change is needed, and all sectors of the air cargo supply chain industry must work together to drive adoption of new technology and greater transparency.

The group, formed last year and chaired by Lars Droog (pictured above), head of supply chain and general affairs for Tosoh Corporation, aims to bring the voice of the shipper to existing discussions and initiatives, as well as spark debate on how to innovate, adopt new process, or new technology.

The SAC has several short-term goals, including investigating a logistics data backbone solution, according to the authors of the paper, who include seven shippers from different sectors.

The paper is supported by the Global Shippers Forum (GSF) and the European Shippers’ Council. “At the moment, the air cargo supply chain requires 21 documents to be sent 40 times, in 20 steps,” according to the SAC paper.

“It is complicated, it is expensive, it is outdated, it is slow. A decentralised open platform with a shared collaborative environment would enable seamless integration and real time visibility over freight.

“We would be eliminating data re-entry and errors, instead having first-time-right data, updated by real time events and maintained to reflect one version of the truth.”

The SAC is also championing innovative technology such as smart labels and intelligent boxes and calling for ways to increase transparency, looking at “new ways to communicate data and providing options that reduce the need for physical consolidations and allow for virtual ones.”

“This is a high level document which will start an important dialogue for the industry,” says Droog. “Each shipper faces different challenges and has different needs and, in the coming months, we will explore these as part of the conversation. It is only by working together that we will be able to get results and improve the industry.”

The SAC will be meeting regularly to discuss options for the industry to better collaborate, and over the course of the next few months, each member will be drafting an essay outlining their concerns and challenges based on the sector they are involved with.

“TIACA fully endorses this position paper and we are thrilled that we now finally have the shipper’s voice and engagement to make much-needed changes in the air cargo supply chain,” says TIACA’s vice chairman and chief executive officer (CEO) of Jan De Rijk Logistics, Sebastiaan Scholte.

“Our members have been asking for more shippers involvement for some time and we are very happy to have such an active and enthusiastic advisory committee.”