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IATA: top agenda at "World Cargo Symposium" (March 13-15)

Digitization, trade facilitation, safety and people development

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) highlighted four priorities for the future success of the air cargo industry: accelerating the digitization of the supply chain, enforcing regulations for lithium batteries, more efficient trade facilitation and developing the next generation of air cargo leaders.

Accelerating the Digitization of the Supply Chain
The industry has been pursuing a digital process transformation known as e-freight for over a decade. A key element of e-freight is the market adoption of the e-air waybill (eAWB). Global penetration has nearly reached 53% and the industry is targeting 68% by year-end on enabled trade lanes.

IATA is facilitating and supporting the modernization and transformation process through its industry transformation program, Simplifying the Business (StB) Cargo.

Improving Enforcement of Safety Regulations for Lithium Batteries 
Safety is the industry’s main priority. Global standards and regulations are in place to ensure the safe transport of dangerous goods including lithium batteries. However, mis-declared or non-compliant dangerous good shipments, especially involving lithium battery consignments, continue.

Smarter and More Efficient Borders 
It took an average of 1.41 days to clear goods through customs controls in 2017 (with significant regional variation), according to IATA’s Cargo IQ statistics.

In particular IATA is pressing for governments to implement three important global standards:

  • The Montreal Convention 1999 (MC99) enables digital documentation in customs documentation—a key enabler of the e-AWB. To date, 131 countries have implemented MC99. But some key countries where air cargo has an important role still need to come on board—including Algeria, Angola, Bangladesh, Ghana, Iran, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Tunisia, Uzbekistan and Vietnam.
  • Revisions to the Kyoto Convention of the World Customs Organization will facilitate smart border solutions that reduce complexity and cost.
  • The World Trade Organization’s Trade Facilitation Agreement will make trade cheaper, faster and easier.

Attract, Retain and Develop Talent 
Air cargo is expected to grow at 4.9% over the next five years. The ability of air cargo to reach its full potential will hinge upon the creation of a professional, skilled and sustainable workforce.

Iata's Future Air Cargo Executives (FACE) program aims at attracting, retaining and developing a diverse pool of young professionals to prepare them to become the next generation of leaders in the Cargo Industry.

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