It’s a structure that has long been in need of updating. For the last fifty years or so, forwarders have been defined as agents for carriers under the old Cargo Agency Programme. It’s an old model that no longer reflects the reality of the way that the two entities work together, and so the introduction of the new IATA-FIATA Air Cargo Programme (IFACP) is a welcome development.
Five year journey
The new framework agreement has taken five long years to develop – including a pilot phase in Canada – but it’s been worth the wait. Juan Antonio Rodriguez, IATA director FDS operations explains.
“Given that more than 80% of transactions are performed by freight forwarders acting as principals, IFACP better clarifies and validates the business through a buyer-seller relationship,” said Juan Antonio Rodriguez, IATA director FDS operations. “Simplifying the governance structure reduces the administrative requirement to manage the programme.”
The new framework has the buy in of most of the major players in the industry – including forwarders from Canada, Hong Kong, South Africa and India, executives from Panalpina and Kuehne + Nagel and airlines represented by teams from Lufthansa, Emirates, American Airlines, FedEx, Cathay Pacific and EgyptAir.
The team behind the new framework hope that it will be rolled out globally in January next year, and they claim that the transition will be seamless, with no noticeable impact on day-to-day operations such as the air waybill.
Building for the future
Ignazio Coraci comments: “The old Cargo Agency Programme was out dated and the time had certainly come for it to be changed. There’s been a lot of hard work put into creating the new IATA-FIATA Air Cargo Programme (IFACP) – I see this a framework that not only redefines the relationship between forwarders and airlines, but also opens the door to more innovation in the future.”