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What is on our radar in 2013?

2013: IATA Cargo Agenda Priorities

The global economy is showing signs of recovery, China production output has picked up and US consumer confidence is returning, yet the shoots of optimism are tainted by the continuing Eurozone crisis. Air cargo looks ahead to another year of challenges with security, modal competition, high fuel costs and capacity excess as critical obstacles to growth and profitability.

In 2013, IATA Cargo will continue to prioritize areas which lead to safe, secure, efficient and sustainable supply chains.

Reshaping our industry

The IATA Agency program has remained pretty much unchanged for 50 years, is going through a radical overhaul. Working with FIATA, the Cargo Agency Modernization Program (CAMP) will ensure the right legal framework exists and align the current Agency program to a more collaborative industry managed program recognizing the modern business relationships that exist today between airlines and their forwarder customers.

In addition, the March ICAO Air Transport Conference will once again debate air liberalization. With air cargo being a key driver of the global economy, it’s imperative to have the right balance in place between historic air services agreements and open skies.  Cargo capacity flexibility and market access ease will help deliver efficient supply chain solutions.

Finally, we will continue and accelerate our collaboration with the rest of the supply chain for a sustainable industry: continue exposing the benefits our great industry brings to the global community, promote our industry as a great career choice to tomorrow’s work force and work on environmental issues. We will be working with our airlines and partners to tackle the very tricky issue of a carbon calculator for freight and identify best practices to reduce our footprint.

Air Cargo Security

The US “Air Cargo Advance Screening” (ACAS) pilots move to the pilot assessment phase wherein legislation drafting begins. The industry needs to ensure its voice is heard during this phase of the program. To facilitate global harmonization amongst security programs the IATA electronic Cargo Security Declaration (e-CSD) will be tested in further countries following successful 2012 pilots.

IATA security initiatives will continue to build on past success with the Secure Freight program pilot locations expanding to further markets. Additional, in preparation for the 2014 deadline imposed by the EU on independent validation of inbound air cargo station security programs (ACC3) IATA will launch a training program and pre-validation assessment seminars to assist the industry ahead of this new legislation.


A pivotal year lies ahead as the industry strives towards attainment of the e-Cargo targets, encompassing the components of the GACAG 3-pillar strategy. For 2013, this translates into the successful launch of the multilateral e-AWB agreement that supports acceleration of e-AWB penetration towards the industry target of 20% on all feasible trade lanes where MC99 and MP4 have been ratified.

On the wider e-freight, attention will be centered on global network expansion with new pilot solutions operating from at least two BRIC countries and working with supply chain partners to establish a plan to address the removal of the commercial document pouch.

Operations and handling

Safety remains the industry’s number one priority and in light of some dangerous goods incidents that occurred during 2012, IATA cargo will increase its awareness campaigns on the importance on properly packaged and declared shipments.

The area of handling standards will also be tackled as a new industry working group sets about the task of looking at harmonization of handling standards and processes to support supply chain efficiency.

Industry Collaboration

One thing that won’t change in 2013 is IATA Cargo’s commitment to collaborative activity as spearheaded by the GACAG and its various task forces. A unified industry voice is louder than each as soloists and we shall continue to support this and other collaborative activities.

I invite the whole industry to unite in tackling the challenges that lie ahead as we strive to keep air cargo as the quality based safe, secure and predictable supply chain transportation mode of choice.

Des Vertannes

Global Head of Cargo, IATA


Additional information

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