IATA's STB Cargo to push on industry transformation

11 / 05 / 2017

  • Celine Hourcade

IATA’s recently created Simplifying The Business (STB) Cargo project will aim to push industry transformation in the areas of visibility, processes and booking.

Speaking at an Air Cargo Europe conference session, Celine Hourcade, head of cargo transformation at IATA, said STB Cargo had been developed out of the flagship IATA STB programme and was launched last year.

The original STB began life 13 years ago and was a key driver in the creation of electronic ticketing, barcoded boarding passes, mobile boarding passes and self-service check-in.

STB Cargo aims to drive similar transformation within the cargo sector, Hourcade said, particularly in the areas of visibility, creating modern process and making the booking procedure faster as these were improvements that customers wanted to see.

The team behind the project had begun by looking at around 12 different innovations but had eventually narrowed this down to five projects.

These are e-freight, digital cargo, interactive cargo, smart facilities and an air cargo incidents database.

The e-freight push continues work already started on electronic documentation, such as the electronic air waybill.

Digital cargo will go beyond electronic documents and look at creating a single digital record that can be accessed by multiple supply chain parties, rather than relying on peer-to-peer sharing of documents.

Interactive cargo is about “making cargo talk” to improve supply chain visibility; smart facilities will aim to drive excellence in ground handling and the warehouse; and the incidents database will use big data to collate any incidents and identify why they have happened.

STB Cargo will also examine other technological developments that could transform air cargo.

“We have plenty of ideas around making booking more efficient and open, embracing new technologies, looking at the integration of unmanned aerial vehicles in our air space, it is part of the innovation frame work we have built,” said Hourcade.

“Those technologies may or may not have an impact on our industry, they may or may not be long term innovations, but if they are we need to anticipate that and do this research work to address the potential impact and opportunities they represent.”