IATA, Air Cargo
Industry Agenda Must Address Safety, Security, Sustainability
By Shane Nolan
March 18, 2012 - The International Air Transport
Association (IATA) advocated strong partnerships across
the air cargo value chain to address an industry agenda
to enhance safety, security, sustainability and
Tony Tyler, IATA’s Director General and CEO in a keynote
address to the World Cargo Symposium which is meeting in
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia said “Air cargo is critical to
the global economy. By value, over 35% of goods traded
internationally are handled by air. But this accounts
for just 0.5% of global volumes traded.
Air cargo provides the connectivity that is at the core of modern businesses serving global markets. The growth potential is enormous. The challenge is to propel that growth sustainably, with quality products, efficiently delivered by a well-coordinated value chain.
The 2011 hull loss rate for western-built jet aircraft stood at
the historic low of 0.37 hull losses per million flights (one
hull loss for every 2.7 million flights). However, managing
shipments of dangerous goods is an increasingly complex
challenge for air cargo as the number of shippers proliferates,
particularly with the growth of e-commerce opportunities for
individual entrepreneurs, who lack awareness of dangerous goods
regulations. “The concern over shipping lithium batteries is a
good example of where the supply chain needs to cooperate to
raise awareness levels,” said Tyler.
Tyler urged the industry to work together and in cooperation
with governments on industry solutions for cargo security, or
risk the imposition of regulatory solutions that may not fully
understand the operational realities of global air cargo. “The
challenge is two-fold. We must continuously improve security to
meet evolving threats. And we need to achieve this while
maintaining the speed necessary to support global commerce,”
said Tyler. He highlighted three areas for a particular focus:
Support Risk Management: Tyler encouraged regulators to
harmonize risk-assessment measures in compliance through the
World Customs Organization SAFE standards. At the same time he
urged the air cargo value chain to redouble its efforts to
improve the quality of data provided by making the Message
Improvement Program a priority for 2012. Tyler said “Ensuring
quality data will gain the confidence of regulators and customs
authorities that is necessary to motivate them towards efficient
Supply Chain: The IATA Secure Freight pilot program was launched in
Malaysia in 2010 with the goal of securing the supply chain by ensuring
that air cargo has come from either a known consignor or regulated agent
and has been kept sterile until it is loaded onto the aircraft. The
success of the Malaysian pilot project has encouraged Kenya, Mexico,
Chile, South Africa, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates to start their
noted progress with regulators on addressing the constraints on current
technology in screening air cargo. “It is clear that a robust
risk-assessment needs both physical and data screening programs that are
harmonized. The worst thing for both industry and states would be to
have these programs competing with each other across airline networks.”
“Alongside a license to grow based on safety, security and environmental
responsibility, to be successful the air cargo value chain must meet
customer expectations with efficient and quality products and
processes,” said Tyler, highlighting e-freight and the industry’s need
to adopt Cargo 2000 as a global standard.
E-freight: E-freight penetration stood at 11% at the end of 2011, ahead of the 10% target set by the IATA Board of Governors. “I see three components to achieving 100% by 2015. First, we need to understand e-freight is a supply chain initiative driven forward by the Global Air Cargo Advisory Group (GACAG).
must drive forward the implementation of the e-air waybill (e-AWB).
Cathay Pacific and Emirates have led the way with mandating 100% e-AWB
in their home markets. And finally we must ensure that the rapidly
developing BRICS countries are on board,” said Tyler. Current e-AWB
penetration is 4.6%. IATA
is targeting 15% e-AWB penetration by the end of 2012 and 100% by 2014.
Quality: In the last year Cargo 2000 made its Master Operating Plan an open source platform. “This effectively makes Cargo 2000 the industry benchmark for performance and quality. They will also be introducing a membership grading system to further identify the highest-quality participants. These are positive steps that will help us to provide quality products to our customers,” said Tyler.
that managing quality requires a harmonized approach across the value
chain, noting the industry agreement to mandate the “Time and
Temperature Sensitive” label as an important example of improvements
that can be achieved when the industry works with a common purpose.
Cooperation: Air transport is a team effort. And that is particularly
true of air cargo. I am also making it a priority for IATA to work even
more closely with our industry partners. For example we are working to
modernize the cargo agency program in close collaboration with the
International Federation of Freight Forwarders Associations (FIATA). I
am also fully supportive of the GACAG. This group is unique in the air
cargo industry and we must all support the efforts of this coalition.
All its members won’t always have the same view of the world. But our
fates are linked as we are in the same business. By focusing on our
common interests, I am confident that much can be achieved,” said Tyler.
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