Tiaca membership bounces back as sustainability remains a key focus

Glyn Hughes

Airfreight organisation Tiaca saw its membership numbers bounce back last year after a dip in 2020 and is continuing to ramp up its focus on sustainability.

In a media update, Tiaca director general Glyn Hughes revealed that in 2020 the organisation’s membership numbers had suffered a Covid-related dip but numbers were now back up to previous levels.

It has welcomed six new members since the start of the year and nine companies have also become trustees – the highest level of membership.

“The number of organisations that are looking at Tiaca or are re-looking at Tiaca and are wanting to play a part going forward is a significant step forward,” he said.

Tiaca chairman Stephen Polmans added: “Membership is growing again despite the difficult situation and that is a very clear signal. The most important part for me is that we have seen for the first time in more than 10 years the number of trustees is growing again and significantly.”

Hughes added that the organisation is also seeing growing numbers of corporate and small business members.

“This is an area we hope to encourage going forward, utilising the network aspect so we can connect these small start-up businesses with more established business and encourage innovation.”

Tiaca is also continuing its drive to add members in Africa and Asia and has formed a partnership the African Airlines Association as part of efforts on the continent.

Polmans also provided an update on Tiaca’s financial performance as it continues to move away from making a profit in a year it held its biennial Air Cargo Forum (ACF) event and making a loss in the alternate year.

He said that the organisation is diversifying its revenues and has insourced functions such as marketing and finance. It is also now budgeting three years ahead, instead of one, and the board has more involvement. Tiaca was ahead of budget in 2021 and there is a good forecast for 2022.

Hughes has also been given more oversight in making sure the budget is invested to achieve its strategic priorities.

Hughes and Polmans also re-emphasised Tiaca’s six key priorities announced last year following an internal organisation: digitalisation, sustainability, partnerships/collaboration, safety/security, liberalisation and promoting the value of air cargo.

During the presentation, sustainability took centre stage. Tiaca is hoping to drive environmental improvement in the industry through its awards, annual survey, the continued development of its roadmap towards sustainability, the launch of a new assessment programme, providing information on offsetting, the development of a training portal and supporting the United for Sustainability programme with Fiata and Iata.

Tiaca is also calling on its members to set specific targets for sustainability actions, measure progress, communicate on achievements and get recognised for results.

The annual Tiaca sustainability survey results are due to be published in the coming weeks, but some of the key findings were announced during the meeting.

The survey found that 85% of respondents felt that Covid has had a positive or neutral impact on the drive towards more sustainable operations.

Meanwhile, 73% of companies have a sustainability strategy, 93% say sustainability is supported by the chief executive and 81% place sustainability as a strategic priority.

Regulations and shareholder pressure are growing drivers of sustainability, the survey found.

Tiaca also revealed the winner of  the Air Cargo Sustainability Award, organised with CHAMP Cargosystems, for corporate businesses, with United Cargo taking the prize for its Eco-Skies Alliance programme, which is a new initiative for companies to come together and contribute to the purchase of sustainable aviation fuel, with over 20 major corporations having joined so far.

Finally, Lynn Fritz former chairman and chief executive of the Fritz Companies has been chosen as the 2021 TIACA Hall of Fame Recipient.

“Lynn Fritz’s story is truly one of a visionary. He had a clear vision of the importance our industry would play in the global economy and understood the impact technology would have far ahead of his time,” stated Sebastiaan Scholte, chair of Tiaca’s chairman’s council.

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Damian Brett

Damian Brett
I have been writing about the freight and logistics industry since 2007 when I joined International Freighting Weekly to cover the shipping sector.After a stint in PR, I have gone on to work for Containerisation International and Lloyds List - where I was editor of container shipping - before joining Air Cargo News in 2015.Contact me on [email protected]