International Air Transport Association
Cargo Tracker
If you have trouble viewing this e-mail, please click here April 2008

Quick Menu :

Upcoming Event

Cargo Claims & Loss Prevention Conference

17 - 19 September 2008
Bangkok, Thailand


Spotlight on World Cargo Symposium 2008

This edition of Cargo Tracker will focus on the outcomes of WCS 2008

Dear Air Cargo Colleague,

Welcome to this special edition of Cargo Tracker, focusing on the outcome of the second IATA World Cargo Symposium, held in Rome on 3 - 6 March 2008.

The theme of the Symposium was “Focus on the Customer: Dialogue to Deliver Simplicity”. It represented the second chapter in our work for the air cargo industry, building on the theme of the first Symposium in March 2007 in Mexico City which was themed “Focus on Simplicity”.

The IATA World Cargo Symposium 2008 featured:

  • Close to 900 delegates representing over 69 countries
  • 15 cargo industry meetings covering, amongst other things, dangerous goods, live animals, CASS, industry standards, cargo conferences, Cargo 2000, and the Cargo Committee
  • Plenary session with key speakers and customer-led panels
  • Over 190 speakers
  • Cargo Committee, consisting of 12 airline heads of cargo
  • Cargo 2000 Board and AGM
  • Cargo Executive Summit, bringing together 60 heads of airline cargo divisions with heads of airlines and freight forwarders and key industry influencers
  • 13 tracks addressing key industry issues: from e-freight to open skies, from cargo outlook to air mail management, from airport design to cargo security

Most importantly the Symposium translated the voice of the end customer (i.e. the shipper) into e-freight, Cargo 2000, Secure freight, and the environmental action needed for a more competitive air cargo supply chain.

Delivery of commitments made at the first Symposium in Mexico City were reported, and the 2008 event concluded with a series of commitments for delivery by the next Symposium.

Enjoy this special edition of Tracker, and I look forward to seeing you at the next IATA World Cargo Symposium, March 2009 in Bangkok!

Aleks Popovich



Back to menuBack to the menu

Cargo Executive Summit

The  forum for top decision makers in the air cargo supply chain

The Cargo Executive Summit held during the IATA World Cargo Symposium brought together, by special invitation, over 60 heads of cargo from airlines, forwarder organisations.

The objectives of the Summit:

  • Provide an overview of delivery status of the IATA Cargo agenda
  • Address key issues raised before and during the Summit by Cargo Executive Summit members.
  • Engage with the following specific themes highlighted by Summit members as being most important for group discussions:
    • e-freight
    • Environment
    • Wider action IATA should take for the air cargo industry

The Summit had a highly interactive style with subject matter experts on hand to support a facilitated debate and agreement on action.

Actions arising from the Cargo Executive Summit included the following:


  • IATA to develop customer engagement strategy working closely with shipper associations including Voice of the Shipper, European Shippers Council, Cargo Executive Summit and Cargo Committee
  • Based on forwarder and airline guidance, IATA to form a group consisting of customers, forwarders and airlines with which to agree upon document standards for e-freight
  • IATA e-freight project to provide regular bulletin to Cargo Executive Summit

Airport Action

  • IATA to issue briefing paper to Cargo Executive Summit on action IATA is taking with airports to benefit cargo; IATA to seek feedback from Cargo Executive Summit to evaluate what more can be done

Economic Information

  • IATA to publish Cargo eChartbook (a new quarterly economic briefing for air cargo) taking into account Cargo Executive Summit feedback
  • IATA to provide economic analysis supporting IATA airport action for cargo in time for next Cargo eChartbook


  • IATA to develop a compelling vision and road map for secure freight
  • IATA to communicate secure freight updates to Cargo Executive Summit


See separate section in cargo tracker on the environment.



Back to menuBack to the menu

Cargo Committee

The sponsors of the IATA cargo industry agenda

The Cargo Committee meeting was held during the IATA World Cargo Symposium, bringing together airline heads of cargo from Air Canada, British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Emirates, KLM, Lufthansa Cargo, Nippon Cargo Airlines, Singapore Airlines Cargo, United Airlines, and UPS.

In this session the Cargo Committee focused on the following key issues and actions:


  • How to engage the forwarder
  • How to secure the e-freight product in existing pilot locations, and produce a tried and tested e-freight industry handbook, enabling wider rollout

Cargo 2000

  • How to increase performance and grow Cargo 2000 as a percentage
    of total business


  • How to drive growth and adoption in significant markets, particularly in China and India


  • Practical steps towards a compelling vision for supply chain integrity: Secure Freight


  • Assessment of facts, position and actions needed for air cargo
  • Commission and complete an IATA Cargo project to measure the air cargo carbon footprint in comparison with other transport modes
  • Investigate formation of a Climate Change Action Group

Cargo Executive Summit

  • Moving forward with Cargo Executive Summit recommendations (see separate section on Cargo Executive Summit within Cargo Tracker)
  • Customer Forum to be included at next year’s Cargo Executive Summit



Back to menuBack to the menu

Voice of the Customer

Listening and taking action

The second IATA World Cargo Symposium in Rome took seriously its theme: “Focus on the Customer: Dialogue to Deliver Simplicity”.

The customer perspective was provided via keynote speakers and panelists during the opening and closing plenary, and various tracks of the Symposium. This perspective was used throughout the forum to formulate a series of industry actions for delivery in 2008. (See the section on 2008 commitments.)

An illustration of customer straight-talking during the Symposium was provided by the keynote address of Gene Tyndall (EVP Global Supply Chain Services, Tompkins International). Gene challenged the group with a number of trends, key points and questions, including the following:

  • Is air cargo really meeting the needs of the supply chain?
  • Does air cargo really know who its current customers are, and who will be its customers in the future?
  • Does air cargo really know why it is losing market share?
  • e-freight is critical and needs to be expedited
  • Greening of supply chains will be inevitable as customers drive for energy efficiency
  • Supply chain collaboration is critical; air needs to do more with sea

Prior to the Symposium, IATA completed a set of interviews with 36 decision makers from the shipper community to gain the following insights:

Main shipper needs:

  • 36% said airfreight competitiveness has dropped
  • 72% said there was need for airfreight to reduce costs
  • 28% said there was need for airfreight to be more reliable
  • 17% said there was need for airfreight to reduce carbon footprint

Top three criteria that determine choice of mode:

  • Time / Speed (72%)
  • Cost (67%)
  • Reliability (on time and damage free) (64%)

Air Freight:

  • Biggest Strength: Speed (> 80%)
  • Biggest Issue: Cost (> 72%)

IATA e-freight:

  • 36% had no idea about IATA e-freight. However, 38% rate their awareness good or at least fair
  • The majority of respondents judged IATA e-freight relevant to their business in terms of cost, speed and reliability
  • The two most important issues that IATA e-freight must address to increase its relevance to the industry are:
    • 61% of respondents said standardised documentation across the supply chain (shippers, carriers, providers, airport/port authorities etc.)
    • 28% of respondents said adoption of technology across the supply chain
  • On the question how they wish to engage in IATA e-freight, 53% answered that they would like further education and 19% opted for participation in pilot projects / development

For more details on the IATA survey of shippers please email:



Back to menuBack to the menu


e-freight is now a reality in six locations worldwide!

Giovanni Bisignani, IATA Director General and CEO, set the stage on e-freight at the Symposium when he declared in the opening plenary that e-freight is now a reality in six locations.

Building on this initial success, and with the active participation of all the e-freight stakeholders, the project in 2008 targets the implementation of eight new locations.

In parallel, the work will continue on key process and standards items that are required to secure the 'e-freight product' and will allow IATA to publish the first e-freight handbook. In particular, the standards for the e-AWB are well under development and the first e-freight shipment without any paper air waybill was successfully announced during the Symposium (from AMS to SIN on a KLM/Schenker shipment). Progress is also being made to include transit and transhipment freight.

In 2008, it will be critical to work with shippers to determine the electronic standards for three key documents: commercial invoices, packing lists and certificates of origin. This is another illustration of the need to involve customers in the IATA cargo agenda, as reflected in the theme of the Symposium: “Focus on the Customer”.

During the symposium, achievements and targets for 2008 were discussed during the Cargo Committee, Cargo Executive Summit and the e-freight track, and gave rise to valuable discussions.



Back to menuBack to the menu

Cargo Security

Practical steps toward building a Secure Freight programme

There was standing room only for the Cargo Security Track. Keynote speakers Mr. David McGowan, VP Worldwide Security Services, Tiffany and Mr. Robert C. Bonner, Senior Principle, Sentinel HS Group (formerly Commissioner US Customs and Border Protection), spoke about air cargo security from the customers' perspective and customers' security responsibilities, respectively. Throughout the Symposium, customers were invited to talk about how cargo security should develop. Departing commitments were to take practical steps toward building a secure freight programme in which secure operators handle secure cargo in secure trade lanes. Also, there is a commitment to define the basics of supply chain integrity and develop and conduct pilot audits.



Back to menuBack to the menu

Air Mail Management

2008 will see the emergence of the postal air waybill number as a key ingredient in the future of airmail

“Better planning, better tracking and better settlement will result in better service,” said moderator Paul Vogel, Senior Vice-President of the United States Postal Service. Sixty participants, representing a cross-section of postal administrations, airlines, system providers and international organisations heard the message loud and clear from well-recognised industry leaders: the airmail business is alive and growing.

Riding on the achievements of 2007, 2008 will see the emergence of the postal air waybill number as a key ingredient in the future for airmail. It is understood that associating this number with mail delivery bills can bridge the gap between mail and cargo. Postal administrations are looking forward to obtaining capacity and booking their mail consignments against their allotments. Scanning technology and nesting methodology will enable consignment or container status to be provided to the postal services through the cargo window. Associating the postal air waybill numbers, container numbers and receptacle numbers will allow postal organisations to determine the whereabouts of their individual receptacles. The door is now open for airlines to use their established and proven industry settlement systems to improve payment procedures.

The players in the airmail business are excited and the movement of airmail without the need of a paper delivery bill is fast approaching.



Back to menuBack to the menu


The CASS success story continues

CASS discussions figured in numerous meetings during the World Cargo Symposium, from the CASS policy group to the Cargo Committee, and to the cargo conferences themselves.

The successes of 2007 were celebrated, including records set in volumes processed – 17 million AWBs, settled funds – USD 23 billion, and the highest ever collection success – 99.94 %.

Additional successes were also highlighted, such as the launch of 11 new CASS operations in 2007 and the reduction of unit costs by 47% since 2003.

Attention then focused on 2008 targets, which will see the continuance of the CASS expansion and diversification programme as well as further driving down unit costs.

Over the next 12 months IATA has committed to dedicate attention to introducing CASS to the following key markets:

  • Export: India, Chinese Taipei, Colombia, and Israel
  • Import: Australia, Canada, and Singapore
  • Domestics: China, USA, Brazil

Additionally IATA has committed to implement the Forwarder Billing eXchange in 2008, which will be the first dedicated freight forwarding community billing and settlement system.

Airlines and IATA made a further commitment to address an issue which has been raised by the forwarding community: namely, the speed that carriers take to adjust incorrect billings.



Back to menuBack to the menu

Dangerous Goods by Air

Moving toward e-freight capability

The World Cargo Symposium incorporated both the meeting of the IATA Dangerous Goods Board (DGB) as well as the commercial DG track.

In excess of 40 airline and Strategic Partnerships representatives attended the DGB meeting. This meeting adopted all of the changes to the 50th edition of the IATA Dangerous Goods Regulations to become effective 1 January 2009. One change of note: it will be possible for a shipper to provide all the information applicable to a dangerous goods consignment electronically, in lieu of the paper shipper's declaration for dangerous goods.

Attendees at the DG Track included representatives and experts from all segments of the transport chain. The initial portion of the programme addressed updates about the activities of the ICAO Dangerous Goods Panel and on the United Nations Subcommittee of Experts on the Transport of Dangerous Goods, provided by the Chairman and Vice-Chairman respectively.

Moving from the immediate to the future, the programme then considered the issue of multi-modal harmonisation in the transport of dangerous goods and how that impacts on the ability of the customer to move their goods from origin to destination without delay or impediment. A panel of experts representing the air, road and sea modes considered some of the modal differences and the barriers that those differences create for the customer.

The commitment coming from the DG Track is that IATA will work with the ICAO Dangerous Goods Panel and the UN Subcommittee to enhance multi-modal harmonisation for the transport of dangerous goods.



Back to menuBack to the menu

Perishable Goods

Our Members consistently express support toward delivering quality services

Putting the customer first was the common theme; transforming words into action, the common approach across the tracks. Well over 100 attendees participated and shared their views on issues of concern in their daily operations. From representatives of the pharmaceutical industry, via growers, distributors, airport representatives, regulatory authorities, third party service providers, and pet industry representatives, all of the supply chain segments were present to stress the need for participative collaboration. Increased time and temperature management were some of the buzzwords launched during the event, so moving forward, expect plenty of action for 2008.

From WCS in Mexico to WCS in Rome, the results and achievements are there. A great testimony to the credibility and industry relevance of IATA and its partners!


World Cargo Symposium 2008: Focus on the Customer
Pharma / Perishables / LAR Action:

Pharma Health care industry support for T&T Task Force
Perishables CITES recognition
LAR CITES recognition


2008 Commitments
Pharma T&T task force proposal for QMS for Pharma
Perishables Visuals (e.g. labels) communicating temp ranges
LAR Formal agreement with World Organization Animal Health



Back to menuBack to the menu

ULD and Asset Management

The number ONE concern for ULD owners is the cost of ULD damage.
It is such a concern that to get the message across the ULD Track Team went as far as demanding capital punishment for ULD damage.

Of course, this statement was meant to create and generate awareness.
In numbers, the worldwide situation is as follows: 1 million ULD units for a value of USD 1 billion cost USD 250,000 in repairs yearly.

Standards of compliance must be defined for ground handlers to change the operating environment. A position paper will be distributed to the participants of the IGHC and IATA Ground Symposium 2008 and a course will be offered by IATA on the matter.



Back to menuBack to the menu


The environment was a key theme during the IATA World Cargo Symposium with industry action to be taken highlighted in the opening plenary, the Cargo Executive Summit, and the Cargo Committee.

During the opening plenary, Professor Paul Forster of the University of Hong Kong made a number of critical points including the flawed logic of food miles in misleading the consumer about the supply chain carbon footprint. He recommended that carbon labeling for the whole supply chain was the way to go. Professor Forster also recommended that IATA should take the lead in creating a climate change action group consisting of representation from the supply chain and academic institutions. The function of the group would be to support key research studies, promote best practices and methods, and to assist companies in base-lining their emissions.

A number of speakers at the Symposium, including Knud Pontopiddan (SVP Moller-Maersk) and Gene Tyndall (EVP Global Supply Chain Services, Tompkins International) stressed the importance of a cooperative multi-mode supply chain approach for the environment.

The environmental theme was further explored by the Cargo Executive Summit and the Cargo Committee. The result was the following agreed actions for 2008:

  • A database of facts (backed up by research) to be compiled in partnership with other trade associations (including Cool Chain Association) and made available to air cargo key decision makers
  • IATA to investigate the merits of potential cooperation with sea freight and other transport modes in taking multi-modal action to reduce emissions along the whole supply chain
  • Promote total supply chain carbon labeling; the concept of food miles is flawed, being neither a reliable way to measure the carbon footprint of a product nor accounting for social and economic impact in developing countries; carbon labels, when based on proper metrics, may help in providing consumers with relevant information about the climatic impact of products
  • IATA to proceed with a cargo project to measure the total supply chain carbon footprint of a range of airfreight products in comparison with other modes
  • IATA to enable formation of a climate action group for the cargo supply chain



Back to menuBack to the menu

Cargo Airport and Terminal Development

The opportunity for cooperation

Among airport operators it is relatively rare to have staff specifically dedicated to air cargo. Outside of North America where Airports Council International has a strong regional cargo committee, it was agreed that IATA could be a uniquely useful resource. Moreover, it was voiced by airline, forwarder and ground-handler participants on panels, that a more cooperative relationship with airport operators would be to the benefit of all.

Track participant Robert Ryan states “carriers work globally, in a global industry, while airports work locally in a global industry.” Airports must answer to local governments and citizens for the activities of tenants whose operations extend well beyond their fence-lines. Airports have local grass-roots contacts that neither IATA nor its Members usually possess, but often lack the ability to communicate effectively on behalf of their tenants.

Track participants acknowledged that IATA has had an occasionally contentious relationship with particular airport operators but held that beyond the unavoidable tensions of ‘rates and charges’, a tremendously important common ground exists in a variety of areas, not least being: 1) Security 2) Customs 3) Environment and 4) Facilities Planning.

Items # 1, 2 and 3 are relatively ‘low-hanging fruit’ in terms of potential cooperation. On security in particular, there is a relatively recent history of collaboration between IATA and the airports and for customs. There is equally indisputable evidence that both airports and their tenants have the same interest in optimising cargo operations while ensuring that external regulatory requirements are met. Both for private tenants and for airport operators, the potential of hamstrung cargo operations are ultimately detrimental.

Environmental concerns are increasingly prominent at the local level – a realm where, typically, airport operators have far more influence. For many airport operators - as well versed in noise complaints as environmental concerns - being held to account for the environmental impact of operations that may have originated thousands of kilometres away is a relatively new challenge. Airports have much to gain from being effective champions of air transportation.

Through the master-planning process, airport operators engage in the bricks-and-mortar of cargo development using 20-30 year planning horizons for tenants and prospects with more transitory investments. For airports with legacy cargo facilities, space-utilisation has changed greatly due to higher throughput of the dominant integrated carriers, as well as the prominence of 3rd party ground-handlers who often use space more efficiently than a variety of carrier-clients had previously done (belly carriers in particular). IATA and its Members could help airports reassess common planning metrics. Airports do not oppose the industry’s operational evolution but as caretakers of what is often public land, and the responsible parties for long-term development, they need more applicable planning tools for cargo.

Moving to action, a briefing paper will be prepared for the Cargo Executive Summit documenting action items, as well as the cargo-related airport action IATA is already taking. Feedback will be sought from the Cargo Executive Summit regarding what more can be done by IATA. IATA will also make itself available to explore common-ground agenda items with other trade associations and directly with airports.



Back to menuBack to the menu

Cargo Technology

Does IT matter?

The technology track hosted 15 presentations and one panel discussion, involving a total of 18 experts, ranging from customers to most of the key players in the transportation chain, including technology providers.

There was lots of interesting content relating to the supply chain and revenue management themes, where speakers enjoyed sharing their insight and vision for the future. Still, the industry has a long way to go as more than 50% of airlines do not have systems to process electronic messages instead of paper.

Revenue management is out; contribution management is in. Speakers stressed that one of the keys to better management is to know shipment dimensions, which is still pretty much neglected today. Also, based on weight calculations alone, statistics show that airlines would be better off transporting cargo rather than passengers. But as Sir Winston Churchill once said “I trust only those statistics, which I have manipulated myself”.

Today, investing in technology is key to secure business. Those airlines who do not have adequate systems in place are likely to be confined to niche markets. Investing wisely in technology is key to secure future business success and outperform the competition.

As a conclusion, IT will surely will never matter for followers. For leaders, IT makes a big difference.



Back to menuBack to the menu

Open Skies

31 March 2008 marked a historic day in Transatlantic aviation as the EU/US Open Skies agreement came into effect

In recognition of this event IATA designated a specific track within the World Cargo Symposium to explore what the agreement was about and how it would impact air cargo. The focus was on education about the agreement and learning how different sectors of the industry are preparing for the changing environment.

A senior member of the EU negotiating team provided insight into the negotiation process. This was followed by speakers from the legal profession and a panel comprised of shippers and other industry members examining the impact. The session closed with numerous case studies provided by individual carriers.

According to feedback from delegates in attendance, the objective to educate and stimulate debate on the benefits of this move towards greater liberalisation was very successfully achieved.



Back to menuBack to the menu

Cargo Outlook

It’s official: opportunity abounds for everyone in cargo

The Outlook Track examined three basic areas. Firstly, it examined the potential of the major emerging markets (Brazil, Russia, India and China) – the so-called BRIC economies. There was a consensus that success in each of these markets is assured, but each will be facing different challenges. Everyone saw infrastructure development as being a key area.

The second theme of the track was an examination of trends in developed economies. Special focus was given to the potential for a business shift from air cargo to ocean, on airport facilities and the increasingly important issue of food-miles.

Finally, the track heard back-to-back contributions from Airbus and Boeing, who both have quite similar, and optimistic, views on the future growth of air cargo.

The stage was set for each of the three themes through introductions by IATA’s Chief Economist, Brian Pearce, who balanced a description of expected growth rates against macro-economic realities.

All in all, the outlook track revealed a consensus that air cargo will rise to any challenge in the short and long term.



Back to menuBack to the menu

2008 Commitments

During the concluding plenary, Aleks Popovich outlined a series of commitments for 2008 arising from the work of the World Cargo Symposium.

Click here to see the presentation with full list of commitments, featured
at the concluding plenary.

Key commitments for 2008 included the following:

Customer Continue customer dialogue and engagement via:

  • A customer forum within the Cargo Executive Summit focused on the industry agenda
  • Annual customer feedback process
  • Engagement of customers in formulating e-freight document standards


  • Secure the e-freight product, and produce a tried and tested e-freight industry handbook, enabling wider rollout
  • Deliver e-freight product capability in eight additional locations giving network connectivity to existing pilots
  • Focus the Message Improvement programme on root cause analysis enabling significant improvement in data quality within e-freight locations

Cargo 2000

  • Rollout Q Cargo, enabling small- to medium-size forwarders to participate
  • Deliver 85% penetration of Cargo 2000 amongst existing Cargo 2000 members
  • Engage customers and FIATA in Cargo 2000

Secure Freight

  • Build a long-term vision and road map for 100% secure operators on secure trade-lanes
  • Define the basic supply chain integrity system
  • Deliver a pilot voluntary audit of secure operators


  • Build a set of facts plus supporting research for access by air cargo key decision makers
  • Communicate a position on air cargo and the environment
  • Deliver a project to benchmark CO2 emissions in the air cargo supply chain for specific freight types
  • Work to develop a supply chain climate change group


  • Introduce new CASS in the following major markets:
    • Export: India, Chinese Taipei, Colombia, Israel
    • Import: Australia, Canada, Singapore
    • Domestics: China, USA, Brazil
  • Encourage small volume carriers to adopt CASS
  • Address billing error rates


  • Implement Indian air cargo programme
  • Implement new CIS rate programme, aligned with changing immunity environment affecting US, EU, Australia
  • Develop claims event and handbook as the supply chain guide



Virtual Lounge

Register to get updates on
our products & services
and receive newsletters.


This message was sent by $_AccountDisplayName_$ using Responsys Interact.
Safely unsubscribe from $_AccountDisplayName_$ e-mail at any time.

IMPORTANT PRIVACY INFORMATION: The International Air Transport Association (IATA) does not sell or rent your email address to any third party. You received this email message due to your membership, participation or interest in IATA. IATA sends various advertisements, promotions and special announcements regarding products and services that we feel may be of interest to you. If you wish to contact us, please click here.