As previously announced, Doug Brittin will clock out as Secretary General of The International Air Cargo Association (TIACA) by the end of this year. He met CargoForwarder Global at the
recent forum and exhibition in Paris in a one-to-one interview.
Doug joined the organisation in 2013 after an impressive career of 36 years in the air cargo industry. He held executive level sales, marketing and operational positions with leading companies such as BAX Global, Panalpina, Emery and Menlo Worldwide. “I had to bring an integrators’ methodology into a freight forwarders’ organisation,” he recalls one of his bigger projects.
When, in 2010, the U.S. Transportation Security Administration (TSA) wanted to take a closer look at all-cargo carrier’s security schemes, Doug was the right man to do the job. “I had the opportunity to cover all sorts of aspects within the air cargo industry. When the U.S. Congress passed its screening program, there was no one with air cargo experience in the government.”
So Doug Brittin was promoted to Division Director, Air Cargo at the TSA headquarters in Arlington, VA, where his expanded responsibilities included all-cargo carrier programs, development of risk-based security programs, and management of the Division's $122 million annual budget.
“We were able to put a good team together,” he says modestly. “We wrote a regulation and screening scheme, allowing not only airlines, but also freight forwarders and shippers to screen. For shippers this specifically meant that they had to extend screening requirements to their own subcontractors. We did not explicitly invite the ground handlers to join, as they had to follow the airlines.”
Passing on the regulation
On 15 August 2013, Doug joined TIACA. “One of our jobs was to convince the broad community to adopt the regulations and put them in practice, assuring security along the entire supply chain of air freight. We at TIACA feel that it is imperative that all regulations are met, meaning that all parties and countries have to be aligned.”
The nature of air freight is changing
Doug says he wants to stay involved in the industry after retiring. For the near future, he admits that the latest generation of passenger aircraft have great belly capacity, that threaten the pure freighters, however there will always be room for freighters going forward. “There are still lots of goods that cannot be carried in passenger aircraft, but it is a fact that the growing lower deck capacity of passenger jetliners has a major impact on pricing.”
The nature of freight is changing as well, Doug thinks. Today smaller packages are on the rise, due to e-commerce. However, they demand a different form of handling.
E-Commerce is a big challenge for freight forwarders, he adds, especially in an environment in which Amazon offers more and more its very own door-to-door delivery.
The recently Paris-held Air Cargo Forum was very successful, Doug concludes. “We had a great attendance, including the fair and also the panels. A lot of pressing issues were tabled and there were many side meetings and workshops.”
Marcel Schoeters in Brussels