Cargo iQ to members: ‘Create and they will follow’

Cargo iQ will focus on expanding its coverage and piloting projects this year, as part of its efforts to provide full visibility for the air cargo supply chain.

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Cargo iQ to increase reach and coverage in 2021 Photo credit: Cargo iQ

Cargo iQ, a nonprofit interest group backed by the International Air Transport Association (IATA), has announced a renewed focus on expanding its reach and coverage and piloting projects this year, as part of its efforts to provide full visibility for the air cargo supply chain.

This initiative, announced during its recent annual general meeting, is part of its mission to measure 100 percent of shipments along its ‘master operating plan’ (MOP), including introducing trucking milestones, to enhance its members’ customer service experience through collaboration.

The group, which aims to create and implement quality standards for the global air cargo industry, is working on new rules to prevent ‘unreportable’ air cargo shipments. It will focus on further engagement with independent forwarders—forwarders who work with member airlines on a small-scale or regional basis—to take up its small and medium enterprise (SME) solution.

This provides a ‘route map’ and status updates to forwarders for individual consignments in line with the common business practices and milestones set out in the MOP.

The solution, developed by Cargo Start, currently has three users. The IT provider worked with Cargo iQ’s use cases and reporting definitions for the airport-to-airport section of the MOP.

“Forwarders that have started using the SME solution have chosen to do so to improve visibility and to streamline internal processes when it comes to air cargo shipment planning and quality measurements,” commented Gianni Mauri, director business processes air cargo, Cargo Start.

Cargo iQ’s six strategic focal points, divided into two different themes: The Basics, addressing the industry basics, and The Future, helping the industry to be ready for future opportunities

Other pilot schemes in 2021
After a difficult 12 months, Cargo IQ is set to continue other pilot projects in 2021 to help its members. For high-value shipments, the interest group is currently developing tools and standards for planning and control, as well as process and evaluation, under its ‘care mapping’ project. This is expected to provide visibility on the conditions under which a shipment moves.

The pilot will initially focus on pharmaceuticals, with other ‘special care’ services for valuables, live animals, and perishables to be road-tested once the methodology has been finalised.

For time-specific products, Cargo iQ is developing definitions under its ‘service parameters’ project, which will allow members to better plan and control their shipments in line with their time-definite promise to customers.

“We must ensure that we are keeping up with rapid developments in the industry so that our members have access to a single version of the truth and complete data that they can use to improve the quality of their services,” said Kerstin Strauss, vice chair of Cargo iQ and vice president, global air logistics at Kuehne+Nagel.

“Making that happen is the responsibility of every member and we are confident that by working together we can achieve our plans for the next two years,” Strauss noted.

Cargo iQ executive director Ariaen Zimmerman said that the group had adapted well to new working conditions, and working groups had pushed ahead with ongoing projects.

“We launched more training than ever before, and the videos of those sessions are now online for members to learn from as a resource,” Zimmerman said. “We are pushing ahead with changes to the Audit and Reporting to improve the quality of the data we provide. After the unique and challenging year that we have had, we are ready for 2021,” he added.

Seventy-two Cargo iQ members attended the annual general meeting online, who will be voting over the coming weeks on new board appointments and preferences for changes to the Audit.

Henrik Ambak, chair of Cargo iQ and senior vice president for cargo at Emirates, expressed that the air cargo industry proved its resilience last year and learned a valuable lesson in agility, urging members to embrace a ‘create and they will follow’ mentality.

“The next year will see us further push for 100% reporting, ensure we are the true quality management system that the industry uses to facilitate its commercial customer promise, and we must broaden and grow our membership, including with SMEs,” he stated.

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