IATA’s flagship Simplifying the Business (STB) programme has transformed the passenger airline industry – now it’s time for cargo.
The passenger airline industry has transformed over the last decade or so – think electronic ticketing, barcoded boarding passes, mobile boarding passes and self-service check-in. But it’s also fair to say that the air cargo industry has sometimes struggled to keep up with the pace of change.
An inefficient process
The air cargo business is a complex one – and there are multiple points along the journey that a piece of freight takes that can cause issues for our customers, from inefficient and complex paper-based systems to a lack of transparency.
The industry transformation programme announced by IATA is all about improving two key areas – the service that air cargo carriers provide, and the efficiency of that service. The stated aim of Simplifying the Business (StB) for Cargo is to make air cargo easier, smarter and faster.
Areas of focus
Celine Hourcade, head of cargo transformation at IATA, laid out some of the key issues that the new programme will focus on – the areas of visibility, creating modern processes and making the booking procedure faster.
To achieve these aims, Hourcade explained that the project would be looking at five projects that, if implemented properly, could transform the industry –
These were e-freight, which uses electronic documentation; digital cargo, which would create a shared digital record; interactive cargo, which would share data and improve visibility; smart facilities to drive excellence and an air cargo incidents database.
The right approach
Ignazio Coraci of SW Italia comments: “The Simplifying The Business programme already has a great track record in the passenger industry, and it’s to be hoped that the successful approach taken to transform that area of the business can be just as successful with air cargo. The key is for everyone in the industry to approach the future with an open mind – the opportunities are huge if we go about this the right way.”