Digitisation takes to the skies as IATA adopts reforms
Cancun – The International Air Transport Association (IATA) 73rd Annual General Meeting held this week adopted a resolution in anticipation of an expected US$1 trillion boost in trade growth arising from the Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA)
The resolution builds on the momentum created by the entry into force of the World Trade Organization’s (WTO’s) TFA. The resolution also called on governments to support the industry’s modernization process by growing and improving global economic environment, which IATA’s Director General and CEO, Alexandre de Juniac said is spurring on the acceleration, modernization and transformation of the air cargo industry.
The agreement is committing governments to making trade quicker, inexpensive and more economic. “Air cargo processes are stuck in another century. To ensure that air cargo is ready to benefit from the we need a major overhaul of industry processes,” said Juniac.
Juniac said that there is no time to lose as customers already expect the efficiency of electronic documentation. 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 finish the digitization of the supply chain to allow all information to be shared instantly thereby improving efficiency and simplifying the process of transport.
Harnessing the power of data to drive efficient and effective industry quality improvements, Juniac said requires that partnerships are set up in driving the industry transformation especially for a business where global standards are so vital.
According to him, adopting modern and harmonised standards that make safe, secure and efficient operations, particularly in relation to the carriage of dangerous goods needs the added benefit of enhanced technology to provide customers with responsive services based on intelligent systems that are able to self-monitor, send real-time alerts and respond to deviation.
Adding on he said, rapidly implementing the agreement so that its substantial benefits such as harmonized rules for expediting the movement, release and clearance of goods crossing borders and the acceptance of e-payments and electronic documentation can be realised.
Furthermore he said that the development of smart regulations not only improves 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 modernization and transformation process through its industry transformation program, Simplifying the Business (StB) Cargo,” he said.
The StB Cargo programme is taking the lead in bringing several initiatives for data-led innovation forward. The program also includes a Smart Facilities initiative designed to enhance ground handling service quality.
“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,” said Juniac.