Keeping up with TIACA’s Glyn Hughes

In this interview, we catch up with TIACA's Glyn Hughes on sustainability, supply chain trainings, and the group's ongoing activities.

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There are only a handful of individuals who know the industry from the inside out and TIACA’s Glyn Hughes is certainly one of the main ambassadors for air cargo and logistics. With shippers and players in the supply chain taking notice, air cargo has been brought into mainstream media, setting the stage for industry groups and leaders to educate and influence a much wider audience, hopefully the next generation of aviation and cargo professionals. In a brief interview, Payload Asia catches up with Mr Hughes as he shares more about training and development, sustainability, as well as the highly awaited executive summit happening in March next year.

What can you say about your transition to TIACA and what have you been busy with over the last few months?
I have now completed six months in my new role and it was full speed ahead from day 1. TIACA has gone through a great transformation over the previous 12 months with a great vision and set of objectives going forward. The Board is very engaged and highly motivated and it’s been a pleasure to work with them and the entire TIACA team and membership. Regulatory issues, sustainability, vaccine movement challenges and consequences of the continuing covid situation has occupied much of the time. We have also been heavily engaged in event planning and member outreach.

Based on your current data and talks in the VACscene initiative, in which regions do you anticipate a further need for capacity and perhaps infrastructure to support the transport of jabs?
Unfortunately that is an easy question to answer. Africa currently poses the largest challenge when it comes to capacity, connectivity and adequate on the ground infrastructure to address the vaccine requirements. The positive aspect is the desire and willingness of those located in the region and partners from around the globe to try and find adequate solutions wherever possible.

What has changed over the last year in air cargo and logistics from a training perspective? What do stakeholders need to unlearn or relearn more than ever to ensure safe supply chains?
There have been several impacts to the area of training during the covid pandemic. Firstly, training needs in areas not previously focused on have become critical. Sanitization, staff health and safety, vaccine handling, new aircraft loading solutions etc. have been required.

Secondly, training delivery methods have had to be rethought. We previously relied on the classroom or in company for much of the training that was provided. With social distancing, home working and other constraints such as travel we have all had to turn to virtual, digital and on demand training solutions and I see much of this will continue post covid.

Talking about supply chains, who amongst the stakeholders (regulators, carriers, ground handling agents, logistics service providers, online retailers and shippers) do you think have been effective in executing their sustainability agendas? Is there more work that needs to be done?
I am pleased to say that many supply chain partners have taken sustainability responsibilities very seriously and a recent TIACA survey indicated that about 70% of respondents have or are developing programs to address. But it’s also true to say that we all have much more to do. TIACA defines sustainability as looking at People, Planet and Prosperity and we are working on some exciting programs in these areas.

What can you tell us about the upcoming Executive Summit? What can people expect from the event and how are the preparations going?
Unfortunately, due to the continuing travel ban on people coming from the EU, UK, China, India and other places by the US meant we have had to postpone the event until March 22-25, 2022. We will still hold in San Francisco and look forward to an exciting event that will have a unique focus on innovation, considering the proximity to silicon valley. We will also focus a lot on interactive sessions helping to create an open debate on the key challenges the industry is facing. There will be networking opportunities and some great solutions will be showcased. We will also hold our 2021 sustainability awards final and will induct the next leader into the TIACA Hall of Fame. I look forward to welcoming Ing everyone to the event.

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