PART 1 - TIACA Quo Vadis?

The future of The International Air Cargo Association remains at stake with the Paris convention making no change to the situation. Was it worth attending a show that lasted three days and that participants had to pay between $250 and $1,195 in order to pass through the exhibition centre's gates at Port de Versailles?

Yes and no! Yes, because there were plenty of opportunities to renew, deepen or establish new relationships, face-to-face interaction, attend workshops and panels highlighting some pressing industrial issues or to discuss where air cargo is heading to from here (statements in TIACA - Part 2).
These meetings and program points proved to be beneficial for many, as reactions clearly show.
By contrast, the question has to be raised if the 2016 TIACA event really enabled the air cargo industry to weather the storm better and take the next step to secure or even enhance its role in transportation.
Rather not. Every one of the more than 3,000 participants and over 200 exhibitors that had hoped for a clear signal of change or a new sense of invigoration sent out by TIACA must have left Paris quite disappointed.
It was a gathering that may be summarized as follows: an attitude of doing business as usual prevailed.

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Forwarders and shippers had to be searched for with a magnifying glass
But why then travel all the way to Paris and pay so much money to attend? Maybe TIACA knows.
One major reason for these biannual industry meetings might be to better the organization’s finances, which medium-term could endanger its existence if not improved, based on what has been heard.
However, in view of the moderate attendance it is very questionable if the Paris event filled the organization’s coffers sufficiently to give the cargo club an optimistic view of the future.
What can we take from this? Many talks at stands, deepened relations between the different actors, a number of industrial improvements announced and presented by individual players and some declarations of intent were signed at the show.
Did the conference program produce solutions to push the industry forward?
Doubtful!

Heiner Siegmund  /  Michael Taweel

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Comments: 2
  • #1

    Enno Osinga (Tuesday, 01 November 2016 23:20)

    You mention there were no shippers. But during the shippers summit on Thursday there were many shippers in the room but hardly anyone else turned up. A very good discussion took place between the shippers and those forwarders present and specific action points were agreed. The program clearly mentioned that the shippers were asking for input from industry on how they could improve their actions to support the industry.
    How come Cargo Forwarder Global missed that? No magnifying glass was needed for those that really wanted to talk to the shippers.

  • #2

    Heiner Siegmund (Wednesday, 02 November 2016 09:49)

    Dear Enno
    Good thing you clarified this point. Your assessment was shared by managers from DUS Airport Cargo, as they told me right after your event was over.
    However, this summit where shippers and forwarders met and engaged in an obviously fruitful dialogue, as you point out, was a rare exception.
    Did you spot any stand run by a forwarding agent at the ACF? At least I didn't.
    I'm also asking myself how many of the TIACA claimed "more than 3,000 attendees" were forwarding agents and/or shippers? Maybe 40, 50 or 60? Hard to tell but the overall impression was that the entire show was strongly dominated by carriers and airports.
    It is to be hoped that the next Air Cargo Forum will attract more participants of the industry for solution driven discussions along the entire supply chain. As TIACA Vice Chairman you can surely influence this.
    Kind greetings, Heiner