Shippers come on board

posted on 3rd April 2018

Cargo owners have agreed to encourage wider industry recognition and adoption of Cargo iQ and its standards, reports Will Water

Shippers will finally get a chance to ensure the air freight sector’s performance standards meet their needs after the Global Shippers’ Forum (GSF) and Cargo iQ agreed formally to work together.

Getting cargo owners directly involved in Cargo iQ may seem an obvious thing to do, and some may wonder why it has taken so long to happen. But responding to a question from CAAS on that very theme, Cargo iQ executive director Ariaen Zimmerman said: “Good ideas often seem obvious with the benefit of hindsight.”

Obvious or not, shippers and the air freight sector will now work together for the first time within the key air freight quality initiative after GSF and Cargo iQ signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) at Tiaca’s Air Cargo Forum (ACF) in Paris. The two have agreed “to work co-operatively to ensure shippers’ needs are met, to support the implementation of Cargo iQ’s Quality Management System (QMS), and to promote the efficiency and sustainability of the air cargo supply chain”.

GSF and Cargo iQ signed the agreement following a joint briefing looking at how data, quality, and interoperability underpin performance. The MoU outlines six areas for the two groups to work together towards a more efficient, quality-driven, and secure air cargo supply chain, and explores methods for industry and shippers to better communicate so that customer needs are met and the benefits of air cargo are understood by the customer.

Under the agreement, GSF and Cargo iQ have agreed:


  • To promote the acceptance, implementation, and use of Cargo iQ standards and processes, improving efficiency and on-time delivery for air cargo customers.

  • To share information and best practices aimed at continuous improvement of the air cargo supply chain.

  • To identify and promote ways that performance data of the air cargo supply chain becomes better accessible to customers.

  • To share details of forthcoming events where progress can be reviewed aiming at the industry engagement in its shipment control and process improvement.

Chris Welsh, secretary-general of the GSF, commented: “Our new cooperation will make sure (air freight) industry performance standards meet shippers’ needs, and also help shippers understand the improvements the air cargo industry is making.

“Against the backdrop of weak growth in international trade, shippers are looking for even greater value from the air cargo industry. While the industry enjoys traditional benefits of speed over other modes, it needs to ensure that it is worth the premium service cost versus ocean, road and rail.”

Zimmerman responded: “As shippers continue to look for the best solutions to their logistical needs, our industry is facing continuous challenges to reinvent itself. With continuous pressure on rates and emerging technologies putting more and more demand for real time information and shipment control, industry participants need to make the right choices in developing future services and improving the current ones.”

He continued: “The air freight industry, being one of the biggest enablers for our modern, globalized economy, is a highly competitive environment. Knowing customers’ wants and needs is crucial. And only when shippers participate in avoiding costs and value its products, can the industry offer the services our world needs in an economically sustainable way.”