Shippers want progress on air cargo digitisation

A new position paper from TIACA’s Shippers’ Advisory Committee (SAC) has urged the air cargo industry to work together to drive adoption of new technology to improve data flow and create greater transparency.
The paper, which is supported by the Global Shippers Forum (GSF) and the European Shippers’ Council (ESC), identifies several short-term goals which include investigating a logistics data backbone solution and which also champions innovative technology such as smart labels and intelligent boxes as ways to increase transparency.
“At the moment, the air cargo supply chain requires 21 documents to be sent 40 times, in 20 steps,” according to the SAC paper. "It is complicated, it is expensive, it is outdated, it is slow.
“A decentralised open platform with a shared collaborative environment would enable seamless integration and real time visibility over freight.
“We would be eliminating data re-entry and errors, instead having first-time-right data, updated by real time events and maintained to reflect one version of the truth.”
“This is a high level document which will start an important dialogue for the industry,” said SAC chairman Lars Droog, head of supply chain and general affairs for Tosoh Corporation. 
“Each shipper faces different challenges and has different needs and, in the coming months, we will explore these as part of the conversation.
“It is only by working together that we will be able to get results and improve the industry.”
SAC was formed last year and aims to bring the voice of the shipper to existing discussions and initiatives, as well as spark debate on how to innovate, be it adopting new process, or new technology.
The group will meet regularly to discuss options for the industry to better collaborate, and over the course of the next few months, each member will be drafting an essay outlining their concerns and challenges based on the sector they are involved with.
“TIACA fully endorses this position paper and we are thrilled that we now finally have the shipper’s voice and engagement to make much-needed changes in the air cargo supply chain,” said Sebastiaan Scholte, chief executive, Jan De Rijk Logistics, and vice chairman, TIACA.
"Our members have been asking for more shipper’s involvement for some time and we are very happy to have such an active and enthusiastic advisory committee."
The SAC will be discussing the paper and next steps at the executive summit, which takes place in Miami from October 18-20, 2017.

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