Cargo Agency Modernization Program
The IATA Cargo Agency program has operated for decades without significant alteration, despite the evolution in the business relationship between the airlines and freight forwarders. The traditional role of the agent has given way to that of a forwarder acting as a contracting principal, dealing independently with shippers.
In an effort to modernize the Agency Program, FIATA, the International Federation of Freight Forwarders' Associations, representing international freight forwarders and logistic service providers, and IATA, representing airlines, joined forces. The objective of this collaboration is to review, refine, re-engineer the airline conference based program to one which would be jointly managed by airlines and forwarders. Major steps have been made for the development of a joint program and significant strides have been taken in redefining airline and forwarder responsibilities.
The new proposed governance mechanism, which would recognize the role played by forwarders in today’s marketplace as customers of the airlines, is a common desire and remains an objective for both FIATA and IATA.
The extensive negotiations of the parties have contributed to clarifying a number of points that had to be fully absorbed, in particular what regards to the form of the legal agreement between them. The current phase of the discussions has been finalized and it is expected that the process will resume with future consultations based on a new system.
IATA plans to proceed in the meantime with the introduction of certain enhancements to the existing programs that have emerged from these discussions with the forwarding industry, and it is thankful to FIATA and its members for their efforts towards achieving positive results.