“New normal” and upcoming vaccine transports at some point, pose a number of challenges to the air cargo industry. IATA recently took steps to improve and prepare, as communicated in two press releases last week.
"Air cargo has been essential in the global fight against COVID-19, transporting vital equipment and medicines to those who need them most. However, with over 3,500 differently sized cargo handling facilities worldwide, the industry until now has lacked visibility on the capacities and services these facilities can offer. The need for greater transparency is even more critical in the current context. ONE Source addresses this by providing a single reference point for up-to-date infrastructure and certification data, helping save time and keep air cargo moving," Glyn Hughes, IATA's Global Head of Cargo, was quoted in the release.
One dream, one soul, one prize, one goal…
Actually, “ONE Source” is IATA’s answer to improving visibility when it comes to the infrastructure and certification validation. As the name states, a single platform provides information on a location or service provider’s handling capabilities and operational standards. IATA checks that the information provided from the relevant players at various steps along the supply chain is accurate. Users, who can sign up for free (and IATA certification is not a prerequisite to signing up), can create a business profile that highlights their certifications, thus gaining visibility across the IATA network.
Search Engine experience
In its information video, IATA likens the experience to the searches everyone already knows – restaurants, hotels, etc. ONE Source follows the same principle and allows users to compare company features. It does not state if the different companies can also be reviewed or awarded stars depending on their performance. Already 311 companies ranging from airlines to airport operators, freight forwarders, ground handlers, cargo handling facilities, and ramp handlers have registered. There is a tab for shippers, too, though this is still empty.
The tool provides an easy-to-read color-coded overview, with different badges denoting various certifications, and shows which data has so far been verified by IATA and which is pending verification. An overview world-map also allows users to immediately see which locations offer information, and who is available there. The ONE Source API enables a direct data feed to company systems.
Filling a gap at a time when it is most needed
“ONE Source is part of the IATA Smart Facility program, an initiative to create transparency in cargo handling services and enhance essential cargo operational capabilities to a consistently higher baseline level across the industry,” the press release reads, and it points out the huge relevance especially during the COVID-19 crisis of transparency, particularly when it comes to shipping medical supplies and temperature-sensitive pharmaceuticals. Reliability and quality handling are key.
“New normal”, new audit methods
As stated before, users do not need to already hold certifications such as CEIV Pharma, CEIV Live Animals, CEIV Fresh or competence certificates. IATA now also offers Smart Facility Remote Validation which can lead to Smart Facility Operational Capacity Audits. What is that? The ONE Source site explains: “There are over 3,500 differently sized cargo handling facilities worldwide, with little visibility on the capacities and services they can offer. The Smart Facility program creates transparency in cargo handling services and enhances essential cargo operations capabilities to a consistently higher baseline level across the industry.
The program reduces audit frequency, complexity, and cost through the Smart Facility Operational Capacity (SFOC) certification. Besides, a remote validation process captures the existing physical infrastructure and equipment of Cargo Handling Facilities (CHF). Finally, it creates visibility by making this information available on ONE Source, the new online platform for the entire aviation industry.”
The new tool saves everyone in the cargo industry a great deal of time and effort when it comes to locating services for particular shipments and routings. Where, in the past, a great deal of research was involved, followed by numerous e-mails or calls to check the requirements could be met and service offers were still valid, ONE Source now provides all the information in one place – and vetted, IATA assures.
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