SINGAPORE — Air France-KLM Cargo has become the first carrier group to adopt IATA’s Dangerous Goods AutoCheck system for the acceptance of dangerous-goods shipments.
Of the more than 1.5 million shipments moved by the Franco-Dutch carrier each year, 173,000 fall under the category of dangerous goods, such as caustic chemicals, flammable materials or lithium batteries, said Marcel de Nooijer, executive vice president of AF-KLM Cargo.
With DG AutoCheck, carriers can manage their dangerous goods manifests on a digital platform that allows shippers and forwarders to instantly assess their Declaration for Dangerous Goods against all relevant regulations contained in IATA’s Dangerous Goods Regulations. The tool includes optical character recognition technology that can convert information from paper to digital form and can also access other DGDs for processing and verification.
AF-KLM has been intimately involved with the development of DG AutoCheck for the last few years, said de Nooijer. “This is the perfect example of the industry taking the digital transformation seriously. We followed up to provide input to the team actually building AutoCheck. I really see it as a industry effort of the members, together with IATA, to bring this great product to life.”
“Sometimes it takes time to collect all the input from the industry, but the advantage is that when it’s done, it can be implemented on a worldwide basis,” said de Juniac.
DG AutoCheck can facilitate a carrier’s or ground handler’s decision to accept or reject a shipment during the physical inspection stage by providing a pictorial representation of the shipment to make sure all of the required labeling and documentation of the contents have been provided.
“We will work closely with our ground handling partners to expand the use of DG AutoCheck beyond our hubs,” said de Nooijer, who signed the agreement Wednesday morning with Alexandre de Juniac, the director general of IATA. “In order to have a safe cool chain you have to bring in all the other stakeholders.”
With air cargo demand forecast to double over the next 20 years, the industry needs to remain vigilant that shippers are complying with modern and harmonized standards that facilitate safe, secure and efficient operations, particularly in relation to the carriage of dangerous goods need to be implemented, said Frederic Leger, IATA’s director of airport, passenger, cargo and security products.