Los Angeles – The International Air Transport Association (IATA) commenced its 8th World Cargo Symposium in Los Angeles with a call for the average end-to-end transit time to be cut by up to 48 hours by the end of the decade.

“In this FIFA World Cup year, we need to move the goal-posts for customer expectations. Cutting average transit times by up to 48 hours by 2020 would make a huge difference to our value proposition, and enable the industry to arrest modal shift, and drive new efficiencies for the business,” said Des Vertannes, IATA’s Global Head of Cargo in his opening keynote address. This set the tone for a symposium focused on “Transformation through innovation”. Currently the average end-to-end time for consignments is around 6-7 days – a schedule that has not improved since the 1960s.

“Game-changing innovation is sorely needed in air cargo. Our industry has been mostly stagnant since 2008. We face significant challenges in the areas of efficiency, security and sustainability, and the entire industry needs to commit to new innovative processes if we are to benefit from any economic upturn,” said Vertannes. He set out an agenda for value-enhancement for 2014, with the focus on increasing the penetration of e-commerce, and on raising the quality of the air cargo business. “Our customers pay a premium price to ship by air – they deserve to receive a premium service,” he said.

Among the key objectives for 2014 are:

  • A goal to reach 22% electronic air-waybill (e-AWB) global penetration.
  • A Facilities Matrix, developed by the Cargo Operations Advisory Group. The matrix will begin its first pilot in 2014, with the aim to iron out inconsistencies in the provision of cargo handling infrastructure worldwide, such as cool-chain facilities.
  • The Cargo2000 Master Operating Plan (MOP) will be extended over the entire cargo supply chain, not just the airport-to-airport element. The MOP will be the basis of a common platform that measures quality standards, based on neutral milestones.
  • To ensure airline compliance with EU ACC3 regulation through independent security validation at appropriate stations

The 2014 work program builds on an existing cargo agenda embracing safety, e-Freight, security, and sustainability. Of particular note is the adoption by the Cargo Services Conference of a common methodology for calculating the carbon emissions of air cargo. This will help to harmonize efforts to measure emissions and is in line with the industry goal for carbon-neutral growth from 2020.

WCS has attracted a record attendance level of more than 1000 delegates. The entire spectrum of the air cargo supply chain is represented, including leaders from airlines, freight forwarders, shippers, ground handlers, General Sales Agents, and regulators. The plenary discussions featured keynote speeches from Los Angeles City Mayor Eric Garcetti, American Airlines COO Robert D. Isom, and FedEx Chairman and CEO, Fred Smith.

For more information, please contact:
Corporate Communications
Tel: +41 22 770 2967
Email: corpcomms@iata.org

Notes for Editors:

  • IATA (International Air Transport Association) represents some 240 airlines comprising 84% of global air traffic.