The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has called on the air cargo industry to accelerate modernisation and focus on delivering high quality service.
The call was made at the 11th World Cargo Symposium, which opened in Abu Dhabi against a backdrop of cautious optimism for the global air cargo sector. After several years of almost no growth, air cargo demand began to rise in the second half of 2016. January cargo performance showed a 7% growth in demand compared to the previous year. The work of Cargo iQ and the StB Cargo initiative is helping to improve quality standards and to support data-driven innovations to add value to the customer experience.
Partnerships are critical in driving industry transformation. “Driving change—whether it is to modernize processes or unlock value through innovation—is challenging for a business where global standards are so vital. Air cargo is highly regulated--so governments must be on-board with change. We are a complex value chain, so building industry consensus is critical. To be successful we must work in strong partnerships,” said Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s Director General and CEO.
De Juniac noted the need to address safety concerns with the shipment of lithium batteries as an example of where partnerships are critical. Industry and government have worked together to put in place regulations based on global standards so that lithium batteries can be shipped safely. “The problem is that the regulations are not being enforced. We still see too many examples of abuse including mislabeling of batteries. We ask governments to step up enforcement and take a tougher stance against rogue shippers. They have the power to impose significant fines and custodial sentences on those violating the regulations. We ask that they put these in place to stop the violations,” said de Juniac.