Thursday, September 22, 2011

Cargo Advisory Group Target Security and Pollution Issues in Air Freight

GACAG Forms Four Separate Task Forces
Shipping News Feature

WORLDWIDE – The Global Air Cargo Advisory Group (GACAG), first mooted at a meeting of minds at the International Air Cargo Association’s (TIACA) Forum and Exposition in Amsterdam last November, has issued details of the four Task Forces it has formed to study security, e-commerce, customs and trade facilitation, and sustainability of the global air freight industry. GACAG is made up of elements from its four founding members, i.e. TIACA plus the International Federation of Freight Forwarders Associations (FIATA), the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and the Global Shippers’ Forum (GSF).

In March the group’s newly-formed Steering Committee formally signed the Basic Principles of GACAG and discussed the aims and areas it would concentrate on. Now the four task forces which were a product of these discussions have been formulated with a view to improve specific areas of the air cargo supply chain. The four consist of:

Security (Chair: Frederic Leger, Head, Cargo Business Process & Standards, IATA). Will focus on Advance electronic information process and timelines to improve aviation security risk assessment. Consignment security declaration process and layout to provide aviation security regulators with an audit trail of who secured what, how and when. Supply chain security program guidelines to introduce supply chain security in countries where there is none. Ad hoc supply chain security issues, as they develop and require actions by the GACAG.

E Commerce (Chair: William (Bill) Gottlieb, Past President, FIATA). To study E-Commerce facilitation in the booking and movement of air cargo and facilitation of an electronic air waybill for issuance by either carrier or agent. Electronic air cargo track and trace plus ad hoc air cargo e-commerce issues.

Customs and Trade Facilitation (Chair: Sue Presti, Senior Director of Government Affairs, TIACA). Looking at Customs modernization and automation plus Customs advance data collection and targeting. Ongoing customs initiatives within the World Customs Organization and the World Trade Organization’s negotiations on trade facilitation. Ad hoc air cargo customs and trade facilitation issues.

Sustainability of the Global air cargo industry (Chair: Chris Welsh, Secretary General, GSF). To examine environmental issues, including ATM modernization, noise, pollution and carbon emissions and sustainable biofuels. The significance of the air cargo industry to global commerce and its future, plus any ad hoc air cargo sustainability issues.

Upon the announcement Michael Steen, Chairman of GACAG said:

“With the formation of these Task Forces we are getting down to business in beginning to focus on the priority areas we first identified in March of this year. Each GACAG member has committed high level resources to the Task Forces and we are confident this combined expertise, knowledge and talent will enable us to identify and develop ways to improve the air cargo supply chain for all participants.

“Each Task Force will now commence exploring its subject matter in detail and will also consult with other experts in each specific field to increase their level of understanding. The GACAG Steering Committee will act on the recommendations proposed by the Task Forces.”

GACAG has already issued a strong statement regarding the future of security in the air freight market which we reported last December. These new task forces will have the resources to study such problems in detail and hopefully recommend measures which will improve the conditions of the air cargo industry for the future.

Photo: Michael Steen, GACAG Chairman