Toronto, ON — The Canadian International Freight Forwarders Association (CIFFA) and Air Canada Cargo take the lead as Canada launches the new global IATA-FIATA Air Cargo Program (IFACP). To meet the evolving needs of the air cargo industry and better reflect the change in relationships and the transformed role of the freight forwarder, IATA and FIATA joined forces to review, refine, and re-engineer the current Cargo Agency Program to develop a new and modernized program: the IATA-FIATA Air Cargo Program (IFACP). This program, which begins its global rollout with the Canadian pilot in August, replaces the current IATA Cargo Agency Program.
CIFFA and Air Canada Cargo are pleased that an IATA-FIATA Governance Board (IFGB) has been established to govern the activities of the IFACP. It will jointly, with equal airline and forwarder representation, manage the program and provide the policy, strategy, oversight and guidance as to how the IFACP operates.
The new IATA-FIATA Air Cargo Program (IFACP) is the culmination of over five years’ joint discussion between representatives of the airline and forwarding community to bring about the changes needed to modernize and replace the existing IATA Cargo Agency Program, which was established in the 1960s. Over the years, the role of the forwarder has evolved from the original concept of acting solely as a sales agent for the airlines, to the current business relationship whereby the forwarder routinely contracts directly with the airline as a customer on a principal-to-principal basis.
The IFACP provides a framework of industry standards that are relevant, in line with best practices and safety regulations and fit for purpose. Standards to cover the endorsement of freight forwarders will be administered as a joint program on behalf of and to the benefit of the participants.
“Canada is uniquely situated to pilot this new global initiative,’ says Gary Vince, CIFFA president. “There is an excellent working relationship between the forwarder community and the airlines serving Canada. Our forwarder community is connected through CIFFA and the association is well positioned to champion such an initiative, with well-established communication channels that reach the majority of forwarders across the country.”
Bill Gottlieb, former president of both CIFFA and FIATA, has worked for several years on the IFACP design and development. Bill, who is currently chair of the CIFFA National Airfreight Committee, explained further why Canada was chosen as the global pilot. “Early on, the joint airline/forwarder working group identified Canada as the natural choice for the IFACP pilot country. Canada has a relatively small number of IATA cargo agents, yet spread over a large territory, that will be transitioning to the new program, so we are able to manage the communication and react to any unforeseen issues while we migrate the forwarding community within the timelines.”
“As the Air Cargo industry continues to evolve, so does the partnership between the forwarding community and the airlines. The new IATA-FIATA joint program clearly demonstrates this strengthening relationship, which is felt strongly here in Canada, making it a fitting launch country,” says Matthieu Casey, General Sales Manager for Canada at Air Canada Cargo.