Burying the hatchet after four years of protracted negotiations and occasional disagreements, IATA and FIATA have joined forces to “review, refine, and reengineer the current Cargo Agency Program to develop a new and modernized Program – IATA-FIATA Air Cargo Program (IFACP).”
The new agreement will replace the current “IATA Cargo Agency Program,” and will establish an end goal of giving freight forwarders a table at IATA negotiations, rather than regarding the sub-sector as mere sales agents.
The new arrangement defines forwarders as “purchasing customers,” thus acknowledging forwarders as equal partners in the decision-making process. Previously, IATA had considered forwarders as mere “agents” of the airlines.
The new joint council can propose minimum criteria to the new joint governance board regarding “financial standing required for endorsement and retention of Freight Forwarders in their respective country/ies or region,” according to a white paper released by FIATA.
Other proposals include changes to the current Cargo Committee and Cargo Agency Conference advise strategic direction. The new model will be as follows:
- The IATA-FIATA Governance Board sets strategic direction for the IATA FIATA Air Cargo Program
- The Cargo Agency Conference advises strategic direction on CASS
- No change from the existing role; the Cargo Committee advises strategic direction to IATA on all Cargo matters
- The Cargo Committee and FIATA Airfreight Institute advises strategic direction to respective IFGB delegates
“IATA and FIATA have reached an important agreement on a new jointly managed air cargo program. This is the result of four years of hard work to modernize the relationship between freight forwarders and airlines,” said Aleks Popovich, IATA’s senior vice president, financial and distribution services. “These standards cover the endorsement of freight forwarders and more broadly the safe, secure and efficient transportation of air cargo shipments.”
Rudi Sagel, chairman of FIATA’s Airfreight Institute, added that, “this agreement paves the way for a more successful future for the fastest and most fascinating mode of international transport.”
The phased rollout of IFACP is scheduled for early 2017 starting in Canada. IATA anticipates the full global rollout by end of 2018. The public signing and endorsement of the agreement will take place this October, at the FIATA World Congress in Dublin, Ireland.