IATA’s World Cargo Symposium to Focus on Sustainability, Safety and Digitalization
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IATA’s World Cargo Symposium to Focus on Sustainability, Safety and Digitalization

Issue 16 - 2023
IATA’s World Cargo Symposium to Focus on Sustainability, Safety and Digitalization

IATA World Cargo Symposium is focused on sustainability, safety and digitalization this year. Session tracks will cover several key aspects of safety, sustainability, and digitalization:

•Lithium batteries

•ULD and operations

•ESG reporting in air cargo

•Reducing plastic waste in the air cargo industry

•Attracting and retaining talent


•Air cargo market dynamics

•Digital distribution and booking

•Digital Cargo and ONE Record

“Air cargo is operating at nearly pre-pandemic levels. But the way it operates has changed dramatically. This is due to a convergence of economic and geo-political forces, continuing priorities on improving sustainability, safety, and reliability, as well as emerging opportunities with new markets, technologies, and digitalization. This year’s WCS will explore how to keep air cargo profitable while addressing these priorities, challenges, and opportunities,” said Willie Walsh, IATA’s Director General.

Willie Walsh, and Brendan Sullivan, IATA’s Global Head of Cargo will be speaking at the event along with:

-Ahmet Bolat, Chairman of the Board of Directors and the Executive Committee, Turkish Airlines

-Mehmet Tevfik Nane, Chairperson of the Board of Directors of Pegasus Airlines and Chair of the IATA Board of Governors

-Kendra Kincade, President and CEO, Elevate Aviation

-Marco Bloemen, Managing Director Accenture and Head of Seabury Cargo

-Steve Smith, President & CEO, Airlink

-Turhan Ozen, Chief Cargo Officer at Turkish Airlines

Air Cargo’s Humanitarian Efforts

The WCS program will also include a special session on the vital role of air cargo in humanitarian efforts. This session will have a particular focus on recent efforts to deliver aid to the people of Türkiye and Syria affected by the devastating earthquakes in the region.

“Air cargo plays a critical role in delivering aid to those in need. The industry’s recent mobilization to provide support to the people of Türkiye and Syria affected by the tragedy is the latest example. With this year’s WCS being hosted in Türkiye, it’s the perfect opportunity to reflect on the role that air transport plays so that airlines are even better prepared for the next humanitarian crisis,” said Brendan Sullivan, IATA’s Global Head of Cargo.

The WCS program will be complemented by a series of workshops, including:

•The benefits of competency-based training through IATA’s Competency-Based Training and Assessment Center (CBTA Center) and how it helps to improve workplace safety and performance.

•Improving performance on key market segments using IATA Center of Excellence for Independent Validators CEIV programs (CEIV Pharma, CEIV Live Animals, CEIV Lithium Batteries and CEIV Fresh).

•How DG AutoCheck, CargoIS, Net Rates and CO2 Connect, are assisting the industry in decision making and cargo compliance, towards improving safety and efficiency.  

•An interactive E-Commerce Think Tank to identify how more transparency in e-Commerce would benefit stakeholders.

•Building the next generation of talent at the Future Air Cargo Executives Summit (FACES)

IATA Air Cargo Innovation Awards 2023

The winner of the fourth edition of the IATA Air Cargo Innovation Awards which recognizes new solutions, concepts and ideas that contribute to air logistics’ digitalization, sustainability, safety and security will also be decided at WCS. 

“Innovation holds the key to development, sustainability and success in the air cargo industry and we are committed to recognizing and unlocking its potential. The latest edition of the IATA Air Cargo Innovation Awards supports this objective with more than US $20,000 to the winners. Imagination is the only limit to the range of ideas that can be submitted. Based on our past competitions, we expect to see a plethora of creative solutions,” said Brendan Sullivan, IATA’s Global Head of Cargo.

To recognize the creativity of start-ups and innovators that often lead industry transformation while also honoring the work of well-established corporations, the 2023 IATA Air Cargo Innovation Awards have two separate categories:

-Start-ups and innovators (newly created companies, individuals, and small companies with less than 25 staff members)

-Corporate participants

Three finalists will be invited to present their projects during the conference. Delegates will then vote for their preferred innovation and the winners will be announced at the closing plenary of WCS.

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