The International Air Transport Association has called on the industry to build on the momentum for digitalisation that Covid has created to drive improvements in operational efficiency and to meet the needs of customers.
“The pandemic accelerated digitalisation in some areas as contactless processes were introduced to reduce the risk from Covid-19 transmission,” says Brendan Sullivan, Iata’s global head of cargo.
“The biggest growth areas are in cross-border e-commerce and special handling items like time- and temperature-sensitive payloads. Customers for these products want to know where their items are, and in what condition, at any time during their transport. That requires digitalisation and data,” he says.
Iata has highlighted three major projects moving the industry towards digitalisation and the progress being made in each:
- E-air waybill is at 75% now and is expected to achieve 100% by the end of 2022.
- Iata’s ONE Record vision, enabling the whole supply chain to work together off one standardised and exchangeable set of data, has 17 pilots in progress involving 145 companies and three customs authorities.
- Iata’s Cargo XML messaging standards are being accepted by an increasing number of customs authorities.
“E-air waybill, ONE Record and Cargo XML are big industry projects. And they are moving us in the right direction. But we need to continue working at the same pace as we did during the Covid-19 crisis,” says Sullivan.