Air Cargo Priorities: Trade, Global Standards & Modernization

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The International Air Transport Association (IATA) calls on governments and the air cargo industry to focus on three priorities to accommodate the expanding demand for air cargo and ensure the economic and social benefits of aviation can be maximized.

The three priorities include accelerating the speed of process modernization, implementing and enforcing global standards, and keeping borders open to trade. These formed the kernel of discussions at the 13th World Cargo Symposium held recently in Singapore. The programme has the theme – Enabling Global Trade.

IATA urges governments to keep borders open to trade, noting that ensuring that global standards are consistently implemented and enforced when necessary.

IATA calls for the modernization of industry processes. This will be critical to efficiently meet the doubling of demand expected over the next two decades. And it is already being called for by customers of the industry’s most promising growth markets—e-commerce and the transport of time – and temperature-sensitive goods such as pharmaceuticals and perishables.

Mr. Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s Director General and CEO, comments: “The operating environment for air cargo is increasingly challenging.  Demand for air cargo grew by 3.5% in 2018, a significant deceleration from 2017 which saw extraordinary growth of 9.7%.  Weakening global trade, sagging consumer confidence and geopolitical headwinds contributed to a general slowdown in demand growth commencing in mid-2018. And January 2019 saw a year-on-year contraction of 1.8%.”

IATA also calls for modernization of air cargo facilities. “The e-commerce world is looking for fully automated high-rack warehouses, with autonomous green vehicles navigating through the facility, and employees equipped with artificial intelligence and augmented reality tools. The average cargo warehouse today is an impressive sight. But there is a huge gap to fill,” says Mr. de Juniac.


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