The International Air Cargo Association (TIACA) in its latest media session 2022 on Thursday with chairman Steven Polmans and director general Glyn Hughes listed out its industry priorities as digitalisation, sustainability, partnerships, safety & security, liberalisation and promoting the value of air cargo.

The meet also revealed its membership profile with 187 freight forwarders, 44 airports and 30 airlines as well as new trustee members. In the geographic distribution, it has 143 members from Europe, 91 from Asia, 33 from Middle East, 89 from North America, 22 from Latin America and 23 from Africa.

Sustainability took a centre stage for the meet as TIACA announced United Cargo as the winner for 2021 in corporate category while mentioning Mission Go, Waves and XFret as other finalists in startup or small business category. The survey and report on sustainability noted that there is a growing pressure from stakeholders and regulators on air cargo stakeholders to be more sustainable. The pressure is more in Americas with a percentage of 61 perent followed by Europe at 60.

The report noted that the Covid-19 pandemic had a positive impact on the industry sustainability agenda. "Air cargo recorded an exceptional year 2021 with 18 percent growth in demand year on year. Despite supply chain issues, continuing travel restrictions due to the global pandemic, the industry had a healthy year 2021. The survey respondents confirm it had a positive impact on the sustainability agenda with an exception of Africa and North Asia," it reads.

TIACA pointed at the fact that air cargo generates social and economic benefits, but 25 percent of industry still lacks awareness of its value to communities. "Countries with developed air cargo connections and smarter borders are more integrated into global value chains reaping the associated benefits, such as local income growth and poverty reduction," the TIACA says.

While commenting on technologies, TIACA noted that companies continue to improve efficiencies and accelerate their digital transformation. TIACA urges, "Industry needs to continue pushing forward as industry standards, modern and robust, are now available. Legacy players have transformed into digital companies and successful digital native companies are challenging the status quo and introducing modern practices. It is time for the 34% who are not yet adopting digital processes to accelerate the pace!"

According to TIACA, attracting, retaining & developing employees have become more critical than ever in the global air cargo industry. TIACA noted that 73percent of the organisations invest in training and education, 71 percent improve employee experience, 67 percent advance diversity and inclusion and 53 percent promote air cargo as a career choice.

TIACA also revealed a 2022 project plan for a training portal with a central training repository. It has also highlighted its role during the Covid-19 pandemic and noted its partnership with, Sunrays whitepapers, VacScene newsletter and engagement with UNICEF and COVAX.

TIACA urged air cargo stakeholders to make s difference in safety & security, efficiency and innovations. "TIACA calls upon states to take action against rogue shippers who continue to manufacture counterfeit lithium batteries," it reads.

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