By Sebastiaan Scholte
Plans are in full throttle for our Air Cargo Forum taking place this October in Toronto, which promises to be one of the most dynamic and well-connected forums we have had in recent years.
More than 4,000 delegates are expected to visit over 300 exhibitors from leading air cargo companies such as Air Canada, Heathrow, Boeing, John F Kennedy International Airport, Incheon Airport, Group ADP, DSV, the Canadian National Railway, and Chapman Freeborn.
This year the focus has been on partnerships, and for the first time we are working closely with representatives from organisations such as Airports Council International (ACI), going beyond the traditional boundaries of the air cargo supply chain.
We are keen to work with ACI as the association broadens its focus to incorporate more of the air cargo industry in its overall mission, which is the reason we have exchanged our involvement at our two signature events, with Michael Rossell, Deputy Director General – External Affairs, ACI World, taking part in our ACF’s opening plenary session.
Disruptive innovation and new technologies are reshaping airports as we know them, and it is important that air cargo continues to have a strong voice at the table so that we can meet the challenges of today and seize new opportunities for business.
TIACA is the only association representing all parts of the air cargo supply chain and we are that we can deliver an even stronger ACF in Toronto.
Our partnerships do not stop there. Forwarders represent an important part of our forthcoming, three-day event, with the charge led by the Canadian International Freight Forwarders Association (CIFFA), celebrating its 70th anniversary conference this year.
We have also signed agreements with the Federation of National Associations of Cargo Agents and International Logistical Operators of Latin America and the Caribbean (ALACAT), Americas Alliance, AGUNSA, the African Airlines Association (AFRAA), the Airforwarders Association (AfA), and Neutral Air Partner.
The Animal Transport Association, I.E. Canada, AfA, and the Freight Management Association, representing hundreds of supply chain companies, will also hold Board meetings at the ACF.
We have a healthy line-up of speakers who will be providing expert insight on some of the most important issues facing our industry, including OMX Founder and Canada’s Next Gen Den “Dragon” Nicole Verkindt, eBay Canada’s Chief Operating Officer and Director of Product, Robert Bigler.
Debates will explore topics including digital transformation in the airfreight industry, air cargo’s value proposition, global trends, and how industry can work proactively with legislators to improve security.
This past year has seen a sea of change within TIACA itself, with a new logo and redesigned websites to underpin our new vision and mission supporting the development of an efficient, modern, and unified air cargo industry.
These concepts build on our experiences and accomplishments with a new value proposition and fresh initiatives from more training to stronger global networking in order to involve new audiences and represent stakeholders on both a local and an international stage.
As part of that new mission we will soon launch the Cargo Service Quality tool, which will become a new global benchmarking tool to improve air cargo standards by increasing visibility and transparency across the chain.
All of us in air cargo agree on the need to work more closely together, and CSQ has been an astounding example of what is possible.
More than 179 freight forwarders and 18 airports took part in the pilot programme, and we are now fine-tuning details before a global roll-out that will undoubtedly have a real positive impact on our industry.
We are also strengthening our commitment to training, and the ACF has coincided with a new Air Cargo Supply Chain Internship involving a number of Canadian supply chain businesses.
Our ACF features panel discussions on both of the above, and we are keen for you to attend these sessions to find out more on what we have been working towards, and to share your thoughts.
Underpinning our show this year is positive news that the air cargo industry is in the midst of a period of growth, with forecasts continually pointing towards a brighter future, at least for the short term.
The ACF is the perfect platform for us to come together and focus on ways that can continue to strengthen our industry’s competitiveness and find new methods of working together.
On behalf of the Board of TIACA, we look forward to welcoming you to our Air Cargo Forum this October!