Cargo Operation Advisory Group to help the adoption of e-AWB
At the World Cargo Symposium 2012 in Kuala Lumpur, the industry asked IATA to reposition cargo operations as a core cargo activity and to engage more regularly with key cargo operations stakeholders.
To that end, the IATA Cargo Committee decided to form the Cargo Operations Advisory Group (COAG) comprised of eight airlines and six Ground Handling Agents (GHAs).
The mission of COAG is to:
- Ensure the cargo operational aspects are taken into consideration by any other IATA initiatives that are impacting them, such as the e-Cargo initiatives (e-AWB, e-freight)
- Review existing standards ensuring they include cargo operations or to develop new ones when appropriate
- Review existing IATA Manuals, such as the IATA Ground Operations Manual (IGOM) and the Airport Handling Manual (AHM) to reflect and document cargo operational procedures
First priority for COAG: cargo operations in a paperless environment
The industry has been talking about the move to e-freight and e-AWB for years. Airlines and freight forwarders are progressively adopting e-AWB. They are supported by the IT solution providers to be technically ready. They are adapting their internal procedures to the paperless environment. They are working with their ground handling agents to ensure the cargo delivered without the paper documentation can be handled properly. It was therefore critical and urgent to reflect these new procedures into the existing IATA reference manuals.
As one of their first priorities, the COAG was tasked to:
- Review the cargo section of the Standard Ground Handling Agreement (SGHA) in order to include references to the acceptance of electronic messages in lieu of paper
- Develop a GHA capability matrix listing standard cargo operational capabilities
In addition to the recent amendments of the SGHA, the COAG amended the operational procedures found in IGOM Chapter 3 to facilitate acceptance in an e-AWB environment.
Both these important initiatives will facilitate the adoption of e-AWB and will improve processes by including e-business into standard operating procedures that can be adopted globally.
Additional information available in the COAG webpage