The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has adopted a resolution to accelerate the modernisation and transformation of the air cargo industry.
The resolution builds on the momentum created by the entry into force of the World Trade Organization’s (WTO’s) Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA).
“The TFA commits governments to making trade faster, cheaper and more efficient. Air cargo processes are stuck in another century. To ensure that air cargo is ready to benefit from the expected $1 trillion boost in trade growth arising from the TFA and the improving global economic environment, we need a major overhaul of industry processes. And there is no time to lose; our customers already expect the efficiency of electronic documentation,” said Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s Director General and CEO.
The IATA resolution calls for the air cargo industry to take a customer-centric approach to transformation to meet the evolving needs of shippers and urges the industry to conclude the digitisation of the supply chain to allow all information to be shared instantly, improving efficiency and simplifying the transport process; adopt modern and harmonised standards that facilitate safe, secure and efficient operations, particularly in relation to carriage of dangerous goods; and use enhanced technology to provide customers with responsive services based on intelligent systems able to self-monitor, send real-time alerts and respond to deviation.
Recognising that partnerships are critical in driving industry transformation, the resolution also calls on governments to support the industry’s modernisation process by rapidly implementing the TFA so that its substantial benefits such as harmonised rules for expediting the movement, release and clearance of goods crossing borders and the acceptance of e-payments and electronic documentation can be realized and developing smart regulations that not only improve the safety and security of the air cargo supply chain, but also facilitates the efficient transport of goods
The resolution reinforces the role of IATA to facilitate and support the modernisation and transformation process through its industry transformation program, Simplifying the Business (StB) Cargo.
Alexandre de Juniac stated: “The time is right for change. After several years of virtually no growth, air cargo demand is starting to pick up. We are also seeing new business opportunities with internet commerce and the global distribution of time and temperature sensitive cargo, especially pharmaceutical products.”
Harnessing the power of data to drive efficient and effective industry quality improvements was an additional factor emphasised.