IATA sets out three priorities for air cargo

IATA called for further action on three vital aspects of the air cargo business: transitioning to paperless freight processes, a focus on global handling standards for pharmaceutical freight, and tough action to ensure the continued safe transportation of lithium batteries by air.


battery CEIV Pharma China e-AWB IATA pharmaceutical Tony Tyler world cargo symposium


The International Air Transport Association (IATA) called for further action on three vital aspects of the air cargo business: transitioning to paperless freight processes, a focus on global handling standards for pharmaceutical freight, and tough action to ensure the continued safe transportation of lithium batteries by air.

“Air cargo has had a challenging few years. 2014 saw the first significant boost in volumes since 2010, a trend we expect to continue this year. Revenues, however, are still down from the 2011 peak, and yields are falling for the fourth straight year. I am a cargo optimist. But business improvement will only come by constantly improving the value of cargo. There is a long haul ahead to recapture lost revenues, nevertheless the prospects for the future are bright because the industry is really starting to act strategically and plan for the future,” said Tony Tyler, IATA’s director general and CEO at the opening of the 9th World Cargo Symposium in Shanghai, China.

The transition to paperless freight finally saw lift-off in 2014, as the industry exceeded 24 per cent global e-Air Waybill (e-AWB) penetration. Key to the improvement was enhancing collaborative work across the air cargo chain and with customs authorities. A growing number of routes around the world now have the necessary regulatory approval, including, from November 2014, Shanghai. “We still have work to do to help businesses transition, but there has been a big change in the mentality of the industry. We can now look ahead and plan for the digitization of other air cargo documents, through a collaborative industry approach,” said Tyler. The industry is aiming to achieve 45 per cent e-AWB penetration in 2015 and 80 per cent in the following year.