ICAO takes aim at air cargo digitalisation with proposed task force

Image source: Pixels Hunter/ Shutterstock

An International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) paper championed by India has proposed the creation of a task force to help drive efforts to increase digitalisation in air cargo.

The United Nations (UN) organisation’s working paper urges the creation of an Air Cargo Multidisciplinary Digitalisation Task Force to develop a strategy covering the key aspects of economic development, safety, security and sustainability relevant to air cargo.

The paper also proposes that the task force develop a pilot programme using the latest innovations in digital information exchange. 

According to the paper: “Speed is of the essence in air cargo as the customer expects the goods to be picked up from their premises as late as possible and delivered to the consignee as quickly as possible.

“However, over time the industry has become marred by significant amounts of avoidable paperwork that became integral to core supply chain processes.”

It added: “Technology can play a pivotal role in making air cargo much more efficient, secure, safe and sustainable. It acts as the common thread across the spectrum of air cargo.”

Quoting research from IATA, the ICAO paper states that an air cargo shipment is accompanied by up to 30 types of documents (invoice, packing list, letter of instruction, master air
waybill, house air waybill, manifest, customs declarations, etc.) and depending upon the origin and destination points, more than 100 copies of paper is generated per air cargo shipment.

“Most of the data across these 100+ copies of papers are identical. Hence, there is a great optimisation possibility in reducing the paperwork, which will make air cargo not only more environmentally sustainable, but efficient as well.”

It is proposed that the charter of the proposed task force has a strategic plan/road map; explores innovative digital concepts; provides a neutral forum; provides guidelines for the implementation of technology; harmonises cargo-related data requirements; formulates implementable measures to align with UN Sustainable Development Goals; counters counterfeit and illicit trade; monitors air cargo-related developments; and strives towards the goal of ‘global ease of doing business’.

The proposed paper is due to be discussed at the ICAO triennial assembly next month.

Share this story

Related Topics

Latest airfreight digitisation news

Air Canada Cargo signs up for Rotate’s Sales Cockpit

Air Canada Cargo will use Rotate’s Sales Cockpit technology with the goal of increasing sales and monitoring performance of its…

Read More

Share this story

Thai Airways joins WebCargo platform

Thai Airways will place its cargo capacity on the WebCargo by Freightos platform to offer forwarders access to real-time booking,…

Read More

Share this story

NAV AERO signs up to Awery’s technology

Awery Aviation Software has partnered with cargo GSSA and brokerage network, NAV AERO to become the primary aviation technology platform…

Read More

Share this story

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]