The International Air Transport Association (IATA) asked air cargo carriers to cut their delivery time by up to two days to improve the competitiveness of the industry, which remains in the doldrums and faces stiff competition from ocean liners.
The IATA batted for the average end-to-end transit time to be cut by up to 48 hours by the end of the decade to increase the attraction of air transport.
“Cutting average transit times by up to 48 hours by 2020 would make a huge difference to our value proposition, and enable the industry to arrest modal shift, and drive new efficiencies for the business,” said Des Vertannes, IATA’s global head of cargo in his opening keynote address at the 8th World Cargo Symposium in Los Angeles.
Currently the average time for consignments is around six to seven days, a schedule that is said to have been set since the 1960s.
“Game-changing innovation is sorely needed in air cargo. Our industry has been mostly stagnant since 2008. We face significant challenges in the areas of efficiency, security and sustainability, and the entire industry needs to commit to new innovative processes if we are to benefit from any economic upturn,” said Vertannes.
He said an agenda to improve value-added has been laid down for 2014, focused on increasing e-commerce and raising the quality of the air cargo business. “Our customers pay a premium price to ship by air—they deserve to receive a premium service,” he said.
The 2014 work program builds on an existing agenda embracing safety, e-freight, security, and sustainability, he added.