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GACAG forms airfreight task forces

By Hpanchal on September 21, 2011

The Global Air Cargo Advisory Group has formed four task forces to spirit change throughout the worldwide aviation sector: e-commerce, Customs and trade facilitation, security, and sustainability in the global air cargo industry. By establishing these task forces, GACAG members hope to address some of the key issues affecting the industry’s future.

GACAG, a coalition formed in November 2010 by officials from the International Federation of Freight Forwarders Associations (FIATA), the International Air Transport Association, The International Air Cargo Association and the Global Shippers’ Forum, has made immense progress in recent months. Members of GACAG’s steering committee signed its founding document, “Basic Principles of the Global Air Cargo Advisory Group,” in March and appointed key leaders.

But it’s the coalition’s formation of the task forces and designation of each chairperson that has really set the group in motion, GACAG Chairman Michael Steen said. “We are getting down to business … to focus on the priority areas we first identified in March. Each GACAG member has committed high-level resources to the task forces, and we are confident this combined expertise, knowledge and talent will enable us to identify and develop ways to improve the air cargo supply chain for all participants.”

Frederic Leger, head of IATA’s cargo business process and standards, will lead the security task force while FIATA Past President Bill Gottlieb will manage GACAG’s e-commerce initiatives. Some of the key objectives of Leger’s task force are to help nations develop supply-chain guidelines and to promote electronic data processes that assess risk. Gottlieb’s e-commerce task force will endorse electronic track and trace and the issuance of electronic air waybills for carriers or freight forwarders.

TIACA Senior Director of Government Affairs Sue Presti and GSF Secretary General Chris Welsh will also serve in key roles, with Presi heading up GACAG’s Customs and trade facilitation task force and Welsh chairing the sustainability of the global air cargo industry task force. Presti’s Customs and trade facilitation task force will promote the modernization and automation of Customs processes in collaboration with the World Customs Organization, while Welsh’s task force will delve into environmental issues.

According to Steen, each task force will consult with experts in the given field and explore the subjects at hand in greater detail. The members of each group will then present their recommendations to GACAG’s steering committee, which will act on them accordingly.

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