‘Giant step forward’ for dangerous goods compliance

14 / 03 / 2018

  • David Brennan

IATA has launched a new digital solution, Dangerous Goods AutoCheck (DG AutoCheck), that allows the air cargo supply chain to check the compliance of shippers’ Declaration for Dangerous Goods (DGD) against the association’s Dangerous Goods Regulations (DGR).

“The air transport industry handles in excess of 1.25 million dangerous goods shipments transported per year, said Nick Careen, senior vice president, airport, passenger, cargo and security at IATA.

“With the air cargo growth forecast at 4.9% per year over the next five years this number will rise significantly. To ensure that air cargo is ready to benefit from this growth the industry needs to adopt modern and harmonised standards that facilitate safe, secure and efficient operations, particularly in relation to carriage of dangerous goods.

“DG AutoCheck is a significant step towards achieving this goal,” he said.

The tool enables electronic consignment data to be received directly, supporting the digitisation of the cargo supply chain, IATA said. Optical character recognition technology also transforms a paper DGD into electronic data. This data is then processed and verified automatically using the XML data version of the DGR.

DG AutoCheck also facilitates decisions to accept or reject a shipment during the physical inspection stage by providing a pictorial representation of the package with the marking and labelling required for air transport, IATA outlined. 

“The DGR lists over 3,000 entries for dangerous goods,” David Brennan (pictured), IATA assistant director, cargo safety and standards, pointed out. “Manually checking that each Shipper’s Declaration is compliant and the package(s) are correctly marked, labelled and packaged is a complex and time-consuming task.

“Automation with DG AutoCheck brings us a giant step forward. The cargo supply chain will benefit from greater efficiency, streamlined processes and enhanced safety,” he said.

An industry working group made up of more than 20 global organisations including airlines, freight forwarders, ground handlers and express integrators supported the development of DG AutoCheck. 

“The air cargo supply chain is currently undergoing a major digital evolution. Collaboration across the industry is essential if the goal of a digitized electronic end-to-end messaging platform is to be realised,” Careen said.

He concluded: “There is no time to lose; our customers already expect the efficiency of electronic documentation throughout the supply chain.”