To make air freight more accessible to shippers, there must be a paperless exchange of information, sustainability must be stimulated, investments in capacity should be made and global standards for security measures.
The ESC and the International Air Transport Association (IATA) are working together in piloting electronic and paperless data. IATA started a project focused on the E-Airway Bill. The ESC would like to add also documents which have a specific link to shippers. An extra asset for shippers is the possibility to link these documents to ERP systems. By doing this, administrative burdens can decrease and the visibility of the supply chain can be improved.
Creating a more sustainable air cargo operation and reducing the carbon footprint is a major challenge in air cargo. Shippers can play a rol by stimulating innovations such as sustainable aviation fuels, electrification of ground handling equipment and raising load factors per airplane to reduce carbon emissions per ton.
European Airports should create capacity for air cargo operations, by securing the position full freighter flights through a revision of the EU slot allocation. Furthermore invests must be made to tackle congestion issues in handling operations on the ground and the infrastructure to and from airports.
A global standard on air cargo security should be developed by 2020. Regional and national rules have to be merged to form global ones on the basis of customs (AEO) and presently existing aviation security standards.
Key performance indicators are important to be able to benchmark the service levels for customers. The air cargo industry started developing quality standards and the creation of Cargo 2000/C2k. In modern air cargo industry, focusing only on price levels is not sufficient. A cooperation between C2k and the ESC will safeguard the KPI’s being independent.
A stronger linkage between the surcharge level and the fluctuation of fuel prices will improve the transparency and ability of shippers to compare freight prices. The introduction of an all in price is a very good example of this.