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TIACA: Bringing the future of air cargo to the table

 

 

Key decision makers from the air cargo world will be meeting in Budapest for the annual TIACA Executive Summit running from 19-21 NOV 19. The focus is particularly on the new TIACA management team and their efforts to strengthen the role of the organization as a driver of innovation in the air freight industry, as Cologne-Bonn’s head of Cargo, Torsten Wefers, puts it. Hence, the expectations on the event are very high.

Budapest–Image – courtesy Budapest Airport

Budapest Airport is the host for this year’s event, and for good reason: the climax of the event will be the grand opening of the state-of-the-art Cargo City at Budapest airport on 21 NOV 19 – a construction project that started just over a year ago, and – according to Rene Droese, Chief Property and Cargo Officer at Budapest Airport – will “cement our position as the air cargo hub for Central and Eastern Europe.” It has already attracted the business of several strong air cargo logistics companies and will certainly continue to ensure Budapest’s impressive double-digit cargo volume development from the past few years.

Sustainability Award
The future of air cargo is therefore secure at Budapest Airport. What about the future in general? Sustainability is a major topic in all industries these days, and this TIACA Executive Summit 2019 will see the premiere of the TIACA Sustainability Program, consisting of a Working Group and the presentation of the first Sustainability Award.


Steven Polmans (Chairman of TIACA) explains: “Sustainability is and should be high on the agenda for all of us, as it is important for our future – both our personal future as well as that of our industry. The Sustainability Program aims to support the air cargo industry with its necessary transformation, involving environmental, social and business issues through innovation and partnerships. It’s what we’ve called the 3+2 vision: people, planet, prosperity + innovation & partnerships.

Roundtables to define industry needs and challenges
The summit will kick-off with a series of 5 parallel roundtable working sessions focusing on airlines, airports, cargo handling, freight forwarders, and shippers. These are intended as an idea exchange as to how TIACA can support in seeking solutions and improving the air cargo industry. The results of these working sessions will be incorporated into the future TIACA strategy.
Vladimir D. Zubkov, Secretary General of TIACA summarises the focus of the event as “The TIACA Executive Summit is about demonstrating the dynamic nature of the air cargo sector and developing its future. For this event, we’re glad to be surrounded by the most experienced and innovative people in the industry. It’s an opportunity for them and for us to meet, think, design and decide together. TIACA is proud to be recognized as the link between all sector stakeholders and this Executive Summit will have one sole aim: to help develop the air cargo industry of tomorrow.

No future view is complete without digitization
eCommerce, drone usage, innovations, digitization, and artificial intelligence are all focus topics, along with an intial project result presentation from the new Internet of Logistics project run by the DCF (Digital Cargo Forum). What are the opportunities the air cargo industry can benefit from, and how will all these digital innovations impact the industry? These are just a couple of the questions for discussion.
Yet, the air cargo industry is also volatile. This has been a tough year for many in the industry and the future has become more difficult to predict. Therefore, one agenda topic will also take a look at how to navigate through fluctuations in the economy.

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Network, network, network
Why do people decide to attend TIACA? CFG spoke with Torsten Wefers, Director General Cargo at Cologne Airport about this.


CFG: “As Head of Cargo at CGN, you have decided to attend the TIACA event in Budapest. Why?


TW: “Under the new leadership TIACA has developed very positively, playing a more and more important role as innovation-driver and think-tank for our industry. Cologne Bonn Airport is supporting this development by attending the Budapest-event.


CFG: “Any specific program items that you intend to focus on and learn more about?”
TW: “As for our entire industry, sustainability is also in CGN getting more and more important and I am looking forward to the related panels. Based on CGN's role as a leading European express cargo and e-commerce platform, another focus is on digitalization.


CFG: “What role does networking play?


TW: “Networking is and has always been important at TIACA events. The increasing number of senior level attendance from the air cargo industry at this event is even strengthen the importance.


CFG will be there!
TIACA write: “TIACA aims to represent the air cargo industry and to unite the industry behind a shared vision and common goals. The TIACA Executive Summit is an opportunity to meet and hear from a carefully selected line-up of speakers and to network with leading representatives from the whole supply chain.


Networking is high on the agenda, too, with ample time put aside for it next to the very current, very necessary focus topics. CFG is looking forward to attending the next three days, and will, of course, be reporting back in detail!
Brigitte Gledhill

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