Four air cargo trade organizations—The International Air Cargo Association (TIACA), the International Air Transport Association (IATA), the International Federation of Freight Forwarders Associations (FIATA) and the Global Shippers’ Forum (GSF)—have signed a letter of intent committing to work towards the formation of an industry advisory group facilitated by TIACA to ensure the air cargo industry has a strong, unified voice in its dealing with worldwide regulatory authorities and other bodies whose decisions directly impact on air cargo.
The agreement commits TIACA, IATA, FIATA and GSF to work together to look at their current positions on issues such as security, customs reform, e-Commerce and the environment to try to find common ground to best protect and promote the interests of the air cargo industry, the organizations and its customers. The review will also look at the associations’ respective resources committed to industry affairs and consider how to make the most effective use of the existing and growing relationships TIACA, IATA, FIATA and GSF have with relevant government departments and other regulatory bodies.
The associations will also discuss the involvement of other global industry groups in the air cargo supply chain and seek the support of bodies such as the World Customs Organization (WCO).
“TIACA, GSF, FIATA and IATA will continue to operate as they do today in terms of how they support their respective memberships,” says Michael Steen, vice chairman of TIACA. The initiative will look at how the organizations can combine their respective strengths, contacts and resources in the area of regulatory affairs.
“We all share a common goal to protect our members against costly and sometimes unnecessary changes in legislation and to have a practical input into any future regulatory challenges before they become mandatory,” Steen adds. “We also want to have the strongest possible voice when it comes to highlighting to policy makers the vital role air cargo plays in world trade, in employment, in consumer choice and in the growth of developing markets.”
“By value 35% of goods traded internationally travel by air cargo. In volume, that’s 26 million tons of cargo annually. Without air cargo, the global economy cannot function,” notes Giovanni Bisignani, IATA’s director general and CEO. “The industry is working together to improve efficiency with programs like IATA’s e-freight. But governments have not always received clear signals from industry on what is needed for efficient global air cargo operations. A strong and unified industry voice with the Global Shippers Forum is a step in the right direction. But we cannot be successful without an effective regulatory environment.”