2011: The year of air cargo?

Air cargo is expected to contribute to a second consecutive year of industry profits in 2011. This is mainly due to consistent demand from emerging economies and export-led manufacturing growth in the US and Europe on the back of weaker currencies.

But challenges such as security and low government adoption of e-business regulatory provisions threaten the long-term health of the industry. In 2011, IATA and its Industry partners will be carrying out several exciting initiatives to build a more competitive air cargo supply chain:

  • Having put the e-freight network in place, the focus is now on volumes. 2011 will see a significant ramp up in e-freight adoption, from 2% of shipments on capable trade lanes to 10% by the end of the year and 100% by 2015.
  • Secure Freight has taken on new relevance in the wake of the October 2010 security incidents. The initiative, which describes the processes and tools needed to implement a secure supply chain approach, is currently being piloted in Malaysia. Two additional countries will be encouraged to adopt Secure Freight principles during the course of the year.
  • Cargo 2000 provides key measures for electronic standards between forwarders and airlines, identifying errors in data provision, delays in transmitting messages and accuracy. IATA will look to develop criteria of common service standards within the cargo ground handling area.

Key to achieving a more secure, efficient, reliable and profitable supply chain is partnership. IATA must work closely with all supply chain partners to maintain the industry’s competitiveness and its crucial role in global trade. One step in this direction was the formation of GACAG, the Global Air Cargo Advisory Group, in November 2010.

Another such opportunity is the annual IATA World Cargo Symposium. Taking place from 8-10 March 2011 in Istanbul, the symposium named “Connecting the World,” will reflect the importance and potential of the air freight industry. Over 700 delegates, including top cargo executives and key decision makers from airlines, forwarders, ground handling agents, customs, airports, shippers and vendors are expected to participate.

See you there!

Des Vertannes
IATA Global Head of Cargo