At a signing ceremony held today at FIATA Airfreight Institutes 95th meeting in Dublin, Ireland, the International Federation of Freight Forwarders Associations (FIATA) and the International Air Transport Association (IATA) officially signed the agreement to launch the IATA FIATA Air Cargo Programme (IFACP) first announced in July.
The IFACP is the result of years of work which kicked off after a 2012 review of the existing programme. The new structure shaping the relationship between carriers and freight forwarders reflects the evolution of freight forwarders, from being ‘selling-agents’ for airlines into ‘purchasing customers’ and aims to involve forwarders as equal partners in the decision making process.
It also moves decision-making on the rules governing the airline-forwarder relationship away from an airline-led conference to a governance body, the IATA-FIATA Governance Board (IFGB). This will be jointly managed by forwarders and airlines, to reflect current market conditions.
A phased roll-out of IFACP will begin in early 2017 with Canada as the pilot country and worldwide complete completion expected by the end of 2018.
FIATA president Huxiang Zhao signed in the company of IATA’s senior vice president for industry distribution and financial services, Aleks Popovich the Cooperation agreement for the launch of IFACP.
Representatives of both organisations – who have frequently been at loggerheads over the course of their history – shared the same enthusiasm and optimism that this agreement ushers in a new era of forwarder – airline cooperation.
Calling it a “gigantic breakthrough,” J.C. Delen FIATA past president and treasurer noted the project had from its inception, received strong support from the FIATA presidency.
“The IFACP delegates have always displayed a strong commitment to craft and implement a new global program aligned to the objectives of partnership, mutual benefits and reflective of today’s forwarder – airline relationship. This gigantic breakthrough was formally agreed in July and we are here today to sign and give a recognition to those who made this agreement possible,” Delen said.