An initiative launched almost ten years ago to secure greater independence for freight forwarders in the air cargo sector, has been discontinued amid much demurring from its progenitors, Freight News has learned.
This seems clear after it emerged that the Air Cargo Programme (ACP), a joint endeavour by the International Air Transport Association (Iata) and the International Federation of Freight Forwarders Associations (Fiata), has had the proverbial plug pulled on it because carriers and customers aren’t seeing eye to eye.
Officially known as FIACP, the initiative appears to have been doomed from the start over the heavy cost of membership of the Cargo Account Settlement Systems (Cass) which Iata – according to reports from the UK – insisted was a precondition for FIACP collaboration.
However, the inability of officials to establish a general cooperative relationship to cement the programme has also been mentioned as a key reason why the initiative has failed to live up to expectations.
Now, in the absence of the programme, Iata’s Cargo Agency Conference (CAC) has undertaken to work towards enabling the kind of agency for which freight forwarders have long clamoured.
This will be done, supply chain portal Loadstar reports, through regional joint councils (RJC) comprising forwarders, their associations, and airlines.
According to Muhammad Albakri, senior vice-president for customer, financial and digital services at Iata, the development is a step in the right direction.
He indicated that representation was strengthened through RJC and CAC engagement, each being exclusively geared to the interests of its respective members.
Once decisions and developments have been separately finalised, these will be consolidated to better represent airlines and freight forwarders alike, Albakri points out.
It comes as no surprise though that the CAC airlines-only body will oversee collaborative engagements.
Nevertheless, it is hoped that in time forwarders will have no reason to believe they are merely agents of airlines.