The long, steady march of digitization in the air cargo world took another step forward this month with the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) agreement to integrate IATA’s Cargo-XML messaging standard into ASYCUDA World, the UNCTAD automated customs management system used by 90 countries worldwide for their customs procedures.
What all this alphabet soup means is that “the industry is one step closer to achieving the global adoption of a standard air cargo messaging system,” said Glyn Hughes, IATA’s global head of cargo.
In a nutshell, ASYCUDA World standardizes the electronic communications between airlines and customs authorities., covering declaration processes (for import and export), direct trader input, accounting, warehousing data, and temporary admission/importation. After gathering all of this information, ASYCUDA (short for Automated System for Customs Data) produces around 200 customizable reports and spits out data in raw or aggregated form that can be processed by other systems.
Cargo-XML, meanwhile, “makes it easier for airlines, freight forwarders and shippers to ensure that the information being provided to the customs authorities is technically correct and in line with the standards of industry bodies such as the World Customs Organization and regulators,” IATA said. IATA has promoted the ASYCUDA program to reduce message duplication and simplify communication across the supply chain.
“Having a standard air cargo digital messaging system between customs authorities, airlines and other air cargo stakeholders is fundamental to enhancing efficiency, driving trade growth and maximizing safety and security across the industry,” Hughes added. “IATA’s successful partnership with UNCTAD means that airlines, freight-forwarders, shippers and border agencies in over 90 countries can now talk the same digital language.”
Those interested in learning more about where cargo IT and air freight are headed in 2017, should join us at Cargo Facts Asia in Shanghai, 25 – 26 April, where we will have a panel dedicated to the subject. To register, or for more information, go to CargoFactsAsia.com.