IATA cargo symposium outlines industry agenda
Following its second World Annual Cargo Symposium, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) has called for the air cargo supply chain to coordinate its efforts to drive forward an industry agenda for change.
Around 900 airfreight officials from around the globe attended the event in Rome, which identified four areas in which the supply chain could improve customer service and competitiveness. These are safety, security, quality, efficiency and the environment, details of which are outlined below.
"Air cargo is a US$50 billion business that is losing competitiveness. World trade grew 7.5% last year and our growth forecast for this year is 4.0%," said Giovanni Bisignani, director general and CEO, IATA.
"Our sea competitors are gaining market share with faster ships, lower prices and innovative solutions. And new capacity coming into the market - 200 to 300 wide bodies entering the market each year to 2011 - will put even greater pressure on yields. This is a tough business that is only getting tougher. The only way to succeed is to please the customer," he added.
IATA is widely considered as one of the leading voices for change within the air cargo industry. Over the least four years its network grew by 60% and the IATA Cargo Settlement System (CASS) now handles US$21 billion annually. With operations in 72 countries, its influence is notable in the Middle East and representatives from Emirates SkyCargo and Etihad Crystal Cargo attended the recent symposium.
"The new format of the IATA cargo week is really beginning to pay dividends where the IATA working committees are able to benefit from the various industry tracks set up where the latest challenges and issues are discussed and the takeaway issue are worked upon," said Ram Menen, divisional senior vice president, cargo, Emirates.
With a growing number of initiatives aimed specifically at the air cargo sector, such as E-freight, IATA believes that the industry can overcome current challenges through greater collaboration across the supply chain.
"Air cargo is a tough business. The priorities are clear: to provide safe and secure transport that is environmentally responsible with consistent quality and lower costs," commented Bisignani.