Industry leaders gather in the Lone Star state
06 / 03 / 2018
From the desert oasis of Abu Dhabi in 2017 to a Texan treasure in 2018, the global airfreight industry’s annual conference forum will gather in Dallas for IATA’s 12th World Cargo Symposium (WCS), March 13-15, at the Hilton Anatole.
IATA has promised that this year’s WCS will “continue to move the industry from talk to action” as more than 1,000 air cargo leaders and over 40 exhibitors arrive in town.
WCS 2018 will feature plenary sessions, specialised tracks, workshops and executive summits, tackling aspects related to technology and innovation, security and customs, cargo operations, and sustainability.
Air Cargo News’ editorial team of Damian Brett and Roger Hailey will be there too, providing social media updates, a newsletter on Tuesday and Thursday and immediate online analysis of each day’s key events.
The open session WCS 2018 begins with a welcome reception on the Monday (March 12) evening at 18.30.
The informal pre-event icebreaker enables attendees to relax ahead of a packed three days tackling a wide range of issues challenging the air cargo industry.
Ours is an industry which has enjoyed a tailwind of increased volumes and higher yields since the end of 2016 and throughout 2017, and with optimistic sentiment for the first half, at least, of 2018.
Glyn Hughes, IATA’s global head of cargo, has already outlined the key challenges: Congested airports; slot restrictions; capacity constraints; complex regulations; ever more demanding customer expectations; facility congestion; increasing needs for digitalised data; rapid technology enhancements; and the need to attract, retain and develop quality people.
The opening plenary on the Tuesday (March 13) begins at 09.00, with contributions from (as we went to press), among others, Brian Pearce, chief economist at Iata, and John Scanlon, secretary general of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).
The plenary session continues in the afternoon.
The full-event programme and track line-up, as well as registration details, can be found at: iata.org/events/wcs/pages/index.aspx.
For an update on all sessions, registered attendees can also download the easy-to-use WCS 2018 app for either Apple or Android mobile phones.
The app outlines all the registered attendees, plus full profiles on the speakers, session times and venues. There is also a floor map for the exhibition.
The Wednesday (March 14) sees the launch of four contemporaneous (09.00 to 12.00) breakout sessions: Cargo Transformation, Focus on Dallas, Perishables and ULDs.
There will be a morning networking break each day and a chance to visit the exhibition from 10.30 to 11.15. A networking lunch will run from 12.30 to 14.00.
Wednesday’s afternoon sessions (14.00 to 17.30, with a networking break form 15.30 to 16.15) are Dangerous Goods, E-Commerce and Live Animals.
In the evening there will be the traditional gala dinner, this year with a denim and diamonds theme at Gilley’s.
Air Cargo News, mobile phone in hand, will bring you a picture selection of the best outfits.
The final day’s sessions (09.00 to 12.30, again with a mid-morning break) will feature: Cargo Border Management, Cargo Operations, Digital Cargo and Pharmaceuticals.
The three day cargo-fest ends with the closing plenary, which will feature a run through of the conclusions and outcomes from the previous sessions, plus of course an announcement on the 2019 host venue.
Said Hughes: “I look forward to welcoming all delegates for what I anticipate being the best WCS yet, with a great programme encompassing thought provoking speakers, educational and challenging tracks, great networking opportunities, a varied and comprehensive exhibition and, of course, there is always something exciting planned."
And attendees are assured of a warm welcome, as the tourist board states: “Dallas is certainly not the Texas of pickup trucks and cowboy boots. You can find world-class museums and restaurants, funky neighborhoods, swanky shopping malls, gritty bars and a vibrant music scene.”
Just like the average air cargo complex.