A global effort needed to secure air cargo

Nearly 1,000 industry executives gathered in Istanbul today for The International Air Transport Association World Cargo Symposium. As one might imagine, supply chain security is high on the agenda.

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Nearly 1,000 industry executives gathered in Istanbul today for The International Air Transport Association (IATA) World Cargo Symposium. As one might imagine, supply chain security is high on the agenda.

“The air cargo value chain must offer better quality and improved efficiency with operations that are safer and even more secure,” said Giovanni Bisignani, IATA’s Director general and CEO.

IATA’s vision for air cargo security includes a supply chain approach that keeps shipments secure from the time of packing to loading. IATA’s Secure Freight initiative helps industry and governments to work together on investment, processes, technology and risk assessment to implement a supply chain approach.


Secure Freight is being piloted successfully in Malaysia and the target is for two other countries to implement in 2011, including the United Arab Emirates. Second, new certified screening equipment is needed to supplement the supply chain security process and handle oversize items and pallets if required. And third, to facilitate effective risk assessments, better use must be made of electronic information.


At the same time, however, IATA . said Bisignani, no easy soutions are at hand:

“Our message to governments is clear. We must resist the knee-jerk call for 100 percent cargo screening,” he said. “The industry must be secure with effective measures that facilitate the speed needed to support global commerce. Air cargo security must be based on a combination of three measures—supply chain security, scanning technology and better use of e-freight data.”

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About the Author

Patrick Burnson, Executive Editor
Patrick Burnson is executive editor for Logistics Management and Supply Chain Management Review magazines and web sites. Patrick is a widely-published writer and editor who has spent most of his career covering international trade, global logistics, and supply chain management. He lives and works in San Francisco, providing readers with a Pacific Rim perspective on industry trends and forecasts. You can reach him directly at [email protected]

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