FIATA recognised for its contributions to the global industry!

FIATA e-flash
15 December 2023

ACE 2023: FIATA President shares air cargo outlook 

The Air Cargo Event ("ACE") held in Abu Dhabi on 4-6 December 2023 provided the opportunity for the FIATA President Turgut Erkeskin and TIACA Director General Glyn Hughes to have a fireside chat on the 2023 air cargo market overview and 2024 forecast.

Following the fireside chat, President Erkeskin took part in a panel discussion on "Tomorrow's Air Cargo", which focused on the key trends, challenges and opportunities that will affect air cargo in the next decade. 


FIATA is proud to announce that at the event, President Erkeskin was also granted the "Visionary Vanguard Award" for his contributions to the industry.

During the fireside chat and the panel, President Erkeskin observed recent geopolitical events that have had a huge impact on global supply chains as being the new normal, as well as trends towards nearshoring and the changing course of globalisation with foreign direct investment shifting towards emerging countries in Europe, Africa and the Americas. He noted that the core value proposition of air cargo remains intact, particularly for niche services offered for valuables, perishables, pharma and time-critical cargo, for which airlines and forwarders need to work together to offer tailor-made solutions to customers that encompass the door-to-door services demanded. Sustainability was underlined as an increasingly critical topic for the air cargo industry, noting the increased expectations for companies to establish concrete sustainability targets and report progress transparently.

FIATA contributes industry expertise in UNCITRAL work on negotiable multimodal cargo documents

On 27 November to 1 December 2023, the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) Working Group VI held its third meeting on the development of an international legal convention to support the use of negotiable cargo documents in uni-/multimodal transport

During this session, FIATA was pleased to bring together the Global Shippers Forum ("GSF") and the ICC Banking Commission to deliver a presentation to the Working Group on industry practice concerning transport documents and negotiability, as well as to provide information on the Digital FBL. The presentation was well-received by the Working Group for its value to their understanding of industry needs and practice.

FIATA provided proactive industry input in the discussions to ensure clarity and understanding on the practice of the freight forwarding industry, drawing lessons from the FBL, and to ensure that the provisions would provide sufficient support towards digital transport documents. The draft provisions are expected to provide significant support to the use of multimodal transport documents such as the FIATA Multimodal Transport Bill of Lading ("FBL") and Digital FBL in international multimodal transport corridors. 

FIATA will continue to work on this project with the support of the FIATA Advisory Body Legal Matters to ensure the provisions are practical and feasible for in line with industry practice. The next meeting of Working Group VI will take place in New York on 6-10 May 2024.

SPECA States adopt digitalisation roadmap for Trans-Caspian Transport Corridor

The recently concluded United Nations Special Programme for the Economies of Central Asia (SPECA) Week, which took place in Baku, Azerbaijan from 20 to 24 November 2023 in celebration of the program's 25th anniversary, culminated in the adoption of the Baku Declaration by Heads of State and Governments from SPECA participating States. The Baku Declaration outlines a transformative roadmap for the digitalisation of the Trans-Caspian Transport Corridor and paves the way for the establishment of a dedicated SPECA Multi-Partner Trust Fund.

The declaration came in the wake of calls for better transport connectivity by participants, recognising the Trans-Caspian Transport Corridor's vital link between Asia and Europe. The endorsed roadmap for digitalisation aims to facilitate real-time data exchange, using UN digital standards, across supply chains by 2027. The plan includes implementing smart transport solutions and promoting interoperability through B2B operational supply chain data exchanges. The roadmap's successful implementation requires a robust capacity-building initiative, involving both public and private sectors.

FIATA welcomes this important development, which aligns with FIATA's commitment to advancing trade corridors and regional connectivity through digital transformation. FIATA has advocated in various meetings focused on the Caspian region for the use of digital data to increase efficiency in trade corridors, in particular with the Middle Corridor. Recently, the FIATA President and Director General further emphasised the importance of digitalisation in the region during the 2023 FIATA-UIC Market Place Seminar, and the opportunities offered by the FIATA Digital Multimodal Transport Bill of Lading in faciltiating trade. FIATA congratulates the SPECA and UNECE on this decision, and notes with satisfaction that the Digital FBL is fully aligned with the SPECA decision and ready for use, being based on the UN/CEFACT data reference mdoel. FIATA expresses its commitment to support this initiative and to provide industry expertise to ensure greater transport connectivity in the region.

New Cargo Agency Commissioners from 1 January 2024

This week marked the announcement by FIATA and the International Air Transport Association (IATA) of the appointment of two new Cargo Agency Commissioners.

The Cargo Agency Commissioner is an independent arbiter appointed jointly by IATA and FIATA to conduct reviews on decisions and/or actions affecting Agents/Intermediaries and applicants under the Cargo Agency Program and Intermediary programmes, including the Cargo Accounts Settlement System (CASS). 

The newly appointed Cargo Agency Commissioners are:

  • Marco Alvarenga for Areas 1 & 2, encompassing Western Hemisphere (excluding the USA), Europe, Middle East, and Africa; and
  • Paul Cheetham for Area 3, encompassing Asia, Australia, and South-West Pacific. 

Their appointment will start on 1 January 2024. The Commissioners can be reached at [email protected].

FIATA also takes this opportunity to warmly thank the outgoing Cargo Agency Commissioner, Brian Barrow, for his exceptional and valuable contributions to the industry.

For more information on the new Commissioners and their role, please view the original announcement, available on the FIATA website. 


Upcoming events:

  • 13-14 February 2024 ¦ IATA-FIATA Consultative Council (IFCC)
  • 5-6 March 2024 ¦ RAME Field Meeting 
  • 12-14 March 2024 ¦ IATA World Cargo Symposium