Air cargo industry talks: BARIG counts on take-off and joint spirit
- Digitalization in air cargo logistics to strengthen Germany’s leading position
- Air freight specialists and authorities must work as a team
In view of the significant increase in demand, air cargo logistics are facing capacity constraints in infrastructure and administrative procedures. “If we want to successfully cope with growing demand in air traffic we have to make massive efforts in all areas, “Matthias von Randow, managing director of the Federal Association of German Air Traffic Industry (BDL), stated on the occasion of the joint air cargo industry talks yesterday in Berlin involving BDL, the Federation of German Industries (BDI) and the German Forwarding and Logistics Association (DSLV). Von Randow underlined, “Especially the interfaces with authority functions such as customs administration and air security controls can and must be organized much more efficiently.” The industry and aviation associations in Germany thus share the opinion of the Board of Airline Representatives in Germany (BARIG). Their Secretary General Michael Hoppe also emphasized these claims of the around 100 national and international BARIG member airlines in the context of the air cargo industry talks.
BARIG and the organized associations identify an urgent need for action in these areas:
• Capacity expansions in airspace
• Need-oriented development of important airport infrastructure
• Optimization of air and ground services
• Significant improvements of security controls
• Digitalization of processes of the logistics chain
The latter aspect was the main focus of the industry talks, which also featured representatives of the Federal Ministry of Finance and the Federal Ministry of Transportation.
Since especially the cross-border online business is rapidly growing, the corresponding air cargo volume is also experiencing steady increases. To handle the additional volume, integrated digital processes along the entire logistics chain are inevitable. Today’s reality and the current legal framework, however, are trailing far behind these requirements.
On the occasion of the industry talks, BDL had presented an analysis of the current situation. The respective report clearly depicts that paper documents continue to play an immense role in air cargo and are massively slowing down the related processes. Consignment notes, customs declarations and insurance documents must still be carried physically. Efficient solutions such as electronic consignment notes from the international aviation organization IATA are not implemented comprehensively at the moment. Against this background, BARIG and the participating associations demand that politics create the framework for electronic handling of relevant documents and information. Moreover, the associations plan to further enhance the good basis of cooperation with the customs authorities.
BARIG Secretary General Michael Hoppe explains, “The extremely competitive situation regarding the development of logistics’ global future is endangering Germany’s leading position in this area. A mutual campaign, on the other hand, could strengthen the location Germany. This requires a joint spirit. All parties involved must act as a team and organize the necessary projects mutually and in a targeted manner. Other countries have identified by now that air freight and logistics are motors of their national economies. The majority of goods comes from overseas and Asia and thus demands a reliable anchor point in Europe. The airport in Frankfurt is currently Europe’s largest cargo airport. Leipzig has established itself as a so-called integrator location for the German DHL and Aerologic, while Cologne is the location for US American integrator cargo airlines Federal Express and United Parcel Service. European airports such as Luxemburg, Brussels, Liège and others are competing for the best positions in the attempt to master the novel streams of goods driven by growing e-commerce. The current challenge is to bring all system partners in Germany together and mutually develop new processes as well as interfaces and electronic procedures. If this is the case, Germany will have a good chance of further expanding its leading role in Frankfurt, Leipzig and Cologne. BARIG and its over 30 German and international cargo airlines are ready to tackle these challenges and contribute to a successful and competitive development of the future of the German air cargo and logistics industry.”
Background information on the air cargo industry in Germany:
According to recent reports of BDL, cargo and passenger airplanes transported goods valued at around 260 billion Euros in the year of 2017. In terms of the value of exported goods, 31 percent of all goods were transferred to overseas locations via aircraft. The demand for transport services with aircraft is further gaining relevance. For example, the value of cargo volume has increased by 60 percent in the last ten years, which is around twice as fast compared to other means of transportation. Additionally, growth in the air cargo industry is further fuelled by the growing international online business, shorter product cycles and the wish for season-independent food products.
- Image: Heads and leaders of air freights and logistics in Germany gathered in Berlin for future-oriented air cargo industry talks.