International Air Transport Association
Chevrons Table of Contents

Chevrons Introduction
Chevrons Why?
Chevrons Near-term Deliverables
Chevrons Call to Action



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Chevrons Air Cargo Forum (ACF) 2006

The International Air Cargo Association’s (TIACA) vision of creating a neutral forum for stimulating discussions and solutions among all segments of the air cargo industry has led to the creation of a biennial event recognised internationally as the world’s premier air cargo event. The 2006 edition took place in Calgary, Canada, September 12-14.

Attendees at ACF events gather biennially to analyse the state of the industry, discuss its problems and challenges, solve problems and maximise opportunities. Discussions and decisions made at biennial Air Cargo Forums are far-reaching. They impact the cargo supply chain, governmental policy-making as well as academia.

Chevrons Introduction

At this recent TIACA Air Cargo Forum (ACF2006), Jens Tubbesing, President of CNS, represented IATA in a panel discussion entitled “Help, We’re Drowning in Paper!” At today’s rate, the air cargo industry could fill 39 Boeing 747 freighters with documentation each year. Over the past 33 years, the average time for an air cargo shipment has only been reduced from 6.5 days to 6 days. Paper-free cargo processing could reduce shipping time by 25%. The forum asked the panel: “What must the industry do to effect these changes?”

Chevrons First, why should the industry participate and what are the benefits associated with IATA e-freight?

– by passing information electronically, we can ensure that goods do not have to wait for their paperwork.

Simplification – by capturing data once, we can reduce duplication of effort and errors. By eliminating the need to carry physical documentation separately to the freight, we can also eliminate a whole series of processes.

Cost Reduction
– by moving shipments faster, by eliminating unnecessary processes and by getting accurate data to the right people at the right time, we can reduce operational costs.

Security Compliance
– by providing accurate data in electronic format, we are better placed to meet future requirements for advanced information from regulatory authorities and help avoid costly penalties for non-compliance.

A more detailed benefits analysis paper can be found here.

Chevrons What are the near-term deliverables?

The IATA e-freight deliverables include a series of pilot trials to demonstrate the value and prove the concept by the end of 2007. The countries participating in the pilots will be selected from among Hong Kong SAR China, Singapore, Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Mauritius, Sweden, Canada, Dubai and Chinese Taipei.

The IATA e-freight team is also developing a message improvement programme, focusing initially on increasing the quality and penetration of the FWB and FHL messages. IATA is encouraging airlines, freight forwarders and other members of the supply-chain community to join the programme, details of which can be found here.

Chevrons Call to Action
  • e-freight success can only be achieved if all parties work together towards the common goal
  • Everyone who touches the goods or data as they move through the supply chain has a role to play
  • No one need wait for “perfect conditions” to get started – initiatives like the Message Improvement Programme can be started immediately and do not require special regulations or government approvals
  • Stakeholders are well-advised to participate in regional and local e-freight meetings as they start to take place around the world

The IATA e-freight presentation, given at ACF2006, can be found at:

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