Industry strives to heal the wounds

AS the great and the good of the air cargo industry gather in Amsterdam this week for the Air Cargo Forum, leading associations are undergoing a remarkable change in attitude, that they hope will help solve some of the bitter disputes between the major players in the logistics supply chain.

IATA, so long considered in cargo as a mouthpiece and lobby for the largest combination carriers, is reaching out to freight forwarders, according to its global head of cargo, Des Vertannes (right).

Accepting that IATA has not always got its cargo strategy right, Vertannes said that IATA will start listening to freight forwarders more than it has in the past. “People who know me know I am a man of my word. I promise [their] problems and concerns will receive attention and action.”

The volte-face on IATA’s attitude to freight agents is driven by its desire to get real momentum behind the e-freight project.

Forwarders and general sales agents, however, are still seething at the airlines use of surcharges to guarantee revenues and raise yields, without paying any commission. “We are fed up of acting like a bank for the airlines with no reward,” said a major German forwarder.

Airlines themselves have painful memories of the collapse in demand in 2008-09 and the way forwarders used this to drive rates down to unsustainable levels.

 

For the full story read the latest free digital edition of Air Cargo News, no. 689 dated 18 October, here.

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