Hitting the ‘reset button’ nearly 20 years after the unfortunately-named cargo quality initiative – Cargo 2000 – was first created, the IATA-supported interest group with the mission of creating and implementing quality standards for the worldwide air cargo industry was officially renamed Cargo iQ at the World Cargo Symposium in Berlin.
The rebrand, aside from moving away from the negative imagery of a name that suggests a 16 year lag in reaching its intended goals, is part of a much larger change programme which has seen the 82-member IATA specialist interest group embark on a Smart Data Project, as well as a new audit and certification scheme.
“What is different now is that we have smart data – it’s a sort of shared version of the truth so that we can improve as members and as an industry,” said KLM’s Kester Meijer.
“Cargo iQ members work together to measure success and continuously improve the value of airfreight for customers,” said Ariaen Zimmerman, executive director, Cargo iQ. “We have successfully developed a system with clear milestones and unique route maps and thanks to our reliable monitoring, members can improve their services to customers.
He added that the new Smart Data Project will add 110 million lines of performance data annually, allowing members to further improve their processes and adding more value to the air cargo industry. “We are excited to embark on this next chapter of our work, which benefits the whole industry, with innovative ideas and new members, Zimmerman added.
The use of so-called ‘smart data’ is a distinctly new approach in how the group measures its performance. Previously Cargo 2000 measured every single shipment and then applyed shipment control – if a shipment didn’t meet a milestone, then that shipment failed. “That doesn’t give us much information, all we know is whether a shipment fails or passes a Cargo 2000 quality target or not,” said Zimmerman speaking to media previously in Geneva.
“It doesn’t allow us to isolate sectors in the process, it doesn’t allow us to say anything about the performance of a participant of the process, all we know is 80 or 90 or 98 per cent of shipments meet their targets. We’re now going to measure every single step in the process and extract smart data.” It’s not ‘big data’, he notes, because very specific elements are going to be measured in every shipment in the Cargo iQ community which currently comprises nearly 50 per cent of all cargo shipments worldwide.
“We measure every time stamp for that and we can then isolate every single element within this process to see how efficient a particular participant is, or supplier to our participant. This will allow true benchmarking because we can start to actually communicate performance of participants in relation to other participants. This will truly be reflecting the performance of these participants and it will come to a standardised methodology on how we standardise performance,” he said.
Ten million airport-to-airport and 5.5 million door-to-door shipments were measured by Cargo iQ in 2015, enabling members to take action to improve and standardise internal processes by identifying where quality was an issue. By speaking the same language, Cargo iQ members are also able to follow best practices and define common processes with industry partners in the supply chain.
This new smart data focus also goes a long way to answering why the C2K programme was unable to realise its goals. “It was a bit like trying to throw a lasso around a cloud – there was not enough to actually grip the industry in terms of the need for something you can mould when you are trying changing things,” Zimmerman said speaking of the issues that Cargo 2000 faced previously.
A crucial step in the transformation of the old C2K programme was to move the team in-house at the IATA headquarters in Geneva late last year, where greater synergies could be tapped according to Glyn Hughes, IATA’s global head of cargo.
Another key element to pushing the quality programme to the next level was to create the master operating plan (MOP) which involved all the people invovled in C2K sitting down to work out a road map of how to manage freight in the most efficient way. “We were not there to create a roadmap, we where there to put in shipment control, process control and transparency of shipments,” Zimmerman said.
“We are going to innovate meaning that we are going to focus on the promise for the customer – it’s important that we as an industry do that. And we are going to focus on the process in a more efficient way and a more commercially relevant way for our partners. And if our partners are members of Cargo iQ, it will add to their commercial reality as a value. Part of that for us means that we as Cargo iQ have to step up and show what we’re here for.”
Importantly this Cargo iQ Master Operating Plan (MOP), has subsequently been endorsed by IATA as a recommended industry practice and describes the air cargo industry standard description of the end-to-end transportation process from shipper to consignee. Another key foundation of this new quality push is the implementation – later this year – of a new audit and certification scheme, which is focused on giving the Cargo iQ Quality Management System Certification higher international recognition.
The initiative also got a substantial push from a number of important new members joining, including: Emirates SkyCargo, Brussels Airport, Frankfurt Airport, Vienna Airport plc, and CargoAware, a division of Franwell.
“Having the biggest air cargo carrier on the planet amongst our new members just adds to that excitement,” said Max Sauberschwarz, chairman of Cargo iQ’s membership board and Kuehne+Nagel’s global head of carrier and gateway air logistics. He added that he was looking forward to the rebrand building positive momentum for the organisation’s work in the industry, saying: “Cargo iQ stands for collaboration, trust, quality, reliability, and innovation,” he said. “Our organisation provides value for our members and for the air freight industry and we are excited to be progressing with the new name now, based on the achievements of the group to date.”
Emirates’ divisional senior vice president, cargo, Nabil Sultan expressed his delight at becoming a member – after having been an observer on the board for the last year – saying Cargo iQ’s mission “dovetails Emirates SkyCargo’s long-established commitment of ‘Delivered as Promised’ to our customers.
“With the rebranding of Cargo iQ and the launch of their strategic transformation programme, we felt that the time was right to become a member. We look forward to making meaningful contributions to the group as well as learning from fellow members to further improve our own quality assurance programme,” Sultan added.
Henrik Ambak, senior VP for Emirates’ cargo operations worldwide will provide representation and leadership on the board of CargoiQ. As a start, Emirates will adopt the Master Operating Plan into its shipment cycle management.
“Emirates SkyCargo has always driven industry development and it’s exciting to see them recognising our value in setting industry standards and innovating air cargo quality. With Emirates SkyCargo on board, serving over 150 destinations in over 80 countries on six continents, we see our impact on the industry grow significantly. Cargo iQ will be stronger than ever in showing the value of transparent performance,” added Zimmerman.