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Cargo Operations

Safety in the air starts on the ground

Cargo handling is performed at thousands of airports all over the world by hundreds of companies, big and small. This poses a high potential risk for deviations in the quality of handling. IATA actively drives the development of ground handling operations standards, best-practice processes, and procedures, and promotes global consistency and harmonization.

Purpose Service Level Agreement Manuals Facility of the Future

Working for safe ground operations

IATA works to drive efficiency in all areas of cargo operations. The integration of those efficiencies into operations plays an increasingly critical role for today’s air freight industry.

With a plan aligned to Cargo Committee's (CC) priorities, working with the Ground Operations Group (GOG) and other sub-groups, the IATA Cargo Handling Consultative Council (ICHC) brings together cargo handlers and airlines involved in cargo operations. Its objective is to develop best-practice processes and procedures to address all aspects of cargo acceptance and handling.

ULDs and airmail

IATA is aware of the importance of a safe, proper and effective management, use and control of Load Devices (ULDs). Over USD 300 millions are spent each year on repairing damaged ULDs, a result of poor industry awareness and training. ULDs are also the most frequent cause of damage to aircraft on the ground, according to IATA’s Ground Damage Database (GDDB)IATA will continue to run safety campaign workshops in various locations.

Air mail is also an essential part of IATA's scope for cargo operations. Through the Air Mail Board (AMB), IATA works in close collaboration with the Universal Postal Union (UPU) to guarantee an efficient supply chain for the delivery of e-commerce goods as well as your regular mail.

Dwell times in the air cargo supply chain

It is obvious to all stakeholders that the transportation time from the shipper to the consignee needs to be reduced. ICHC investigates this issue and started to perform various measurements to assess those areas where processes could be improved. IATA will later share its views with the Global Air Cargo Advisory Group (GACAG) members.

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