IATA Calls for Improved Air Cargo Competitiveness

“World trade grew 7.5% last year [2007] and our growth forecast for this year is 4%, ”said Bisignani. Speaking to the World Annual Cargo Symposium, he pointed out, “Our sea competitors are gaining market share with faster ships, lower prices and innovative solutions. And new capacity coming into the market—200 to 300 wide bodies entering the market each year to 2011—will put even greater pressure on yields. This is a tough business that is only getting tougher. The only way to succeed is to please the customer,” he added.

Bisignani pointed to the industry's agenda to please the customer based on safety, security, quality, efficiency and the environment.

On the matter of safety, he pointed out cargo accidents had dropped from 25% of the industry total in 2006 to 16% in 2007.

Security is still “a US $ 5.9 billion uncoordinated mess for the air transport industry,” he said. "Effective security must involve the entire logistics chain. To clean up this mess we need a coordinated effort across the supply chain.”

Cargo 2000 was established to simplify processes and implement effective quality standards, said Bisignani. In the decade since it was begun, it has simplified the supply chain process from 40 steps to 19 and developed common parameters for quality measurement, he noted.

“Air cargo business processes belong to another age,” said Bisignani. It is time to modernize and drive paper from the business, he continued, pointing to the e-freight initiative begun in 2004. It first replaced 12 paper documents with electronic messages and a single point of data entry. The target for e-freight for 2008 is to expand its benefits to another eight locations (it is presently in six key locations covering 10% of cargo volumes).

“Environment is an issue the entire supply chain must address quickly and with a common goal—to achieve carbon neutral growth leading to a carbon-free future,” claimed Bisignani.

IATA represents 240 airlines comprising 94% of scheduled international air traffic.

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