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            may 21, 2018

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IATA head calls on air freight industry to modernize


The air freight industry is being urged to adopt modern processes and deliver high quality service, particularly for the e-commerce and pharmaceutical sectors, according to Shipping Gazette.
Speaking at the World Cargo Symposium in Abu Dhabi, the International Air Transport Association's (IATA) director general Alexandre de Juniac told delegates: "Complicated and convoluted paper-based processes that are basically unchanged from the 16th century are still being used in air cargo today.
"Our customers pay a premium to ship by air and they rightly expect modern processes and high quality services."
Mr De Juniac highlighted that the industry has been pursuing e-freight for over a decade, especially the adoption of the e-air waybill. Global penetration of the e-airway bill stands at nearly 50 per cent and the industry is targeting 62 per cent by the end of the year on enabled trade lanes, reported London's Air Cargo News.
In the rapidly expanding areas of e-commerce and time- and temperature-sensitive cargo such as pharmaceuticals, Mr De Juniac said: "Shippers today want responsive services based on intelligent systems able to self-monitor, send real-time alerts and respond to deviation. Technologically speaking, this is totally possible.
"The key to this and other innovations is using data efficiently and effectively. Finding solutions to unfulfilled (or even unrealised) expectations creates value for customers. And that propels a business forward," he said.
The Cargo iQ and the StB Cargo initiatives are helping to boosting quality standards and to support data-driven innovations to add value to the customer experience, Mr De Juniac added.
Partnerships are also critical in driving industry transformation, he continued. "Driving change - whether it is to modernise processes or unlock value through innovation - is challenging for a business where global standards are so vital. Air cargo is highly regulated, so governments must be on board with change. We are a complex value chain, so building industry consensus is critical," he said.
The IATA head also noted the need to address safety concerns over the shipment of lithium batteries. While industry and government have worked together to put in place regulations so that they can be shipped safely: "The problem is that the regulations are not being enforced. We still see too many examples of abuse including mislabelling of batteries.
"We ask governments to step up enforcement and take a tougher stance against rogue shippers... to impose significant fines and custodial sentences on those violating the regulations," Mr de Juniac added.

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