Con­cern for lithium-ion bat­tery ship­ments

At the 10th an­nual World Cargo Sym­po­sium (WCS) in Ber­lin, the In­ter­na­tional Air Trans­port As­so­ci­a­tion (IATA) called for con­tin­ued trans­for­ma­tion in the air cargo in­dus­try with a fo­cus on rais­ing the qual­ity of its of­fer­ing.

Cargo Talk - - Awards -

The global air cargo sec­tor con­tin­ues to face a dif­fi­cult busi­ness en­vi­ron­ment. The ane­mic growth ex­pe­ri­enced since 2010 con­tin­ued in 2015 with a 1.9 per cent ex­pan­sion of vol­umes. And yields have con­tracted each year since 2012.

IATA es­ti­mates that vol­ume growth will in­crease to 3.0 per cent in 2016. Un­der pres­sure from in­te­gra­tors, com­pet­ing modes of trans­port (land and sea) and in­creased cargo ca­pac­ity in the pas­sen­ger fleet, yields are ex­pected to fall a fur­ther 5.5 per cent in 2016.

“Com­pared to other modes of ship­ping, air cargo is a pre­mium ser­vice. Yet ship­pers give the in­dus­try a sat­is­fac­tion rat­ing of only 7 out of 10 on av­er­age. That is not good enough. The in­dus­try must raise the ser­vice qual­ity of air cargo and pro­vide a more per­son­alised cus­tomer ser­vice,” said Tony Tyler, Di­rec­tor Gen­eral and CEO, IATA. Tyler also noted that team­work will be crit­i­cal in re­solv­ing is­sues around the ship­ping of lithi­u­mion bat­ter­ies. In Fe­bru­ary 2016 the In­ter­na­tional Civil Avi­a­tion Or­gan­i­sa­tion (ICAO) tem­po­rar­ily banned ship­ments of lithium-ion bat­ter­ies as cargo on pas­sen­ger flights, pend­ing the de­vel­op­ment of a fire-re­sis­tant pack­ag­ing stan­dard. Some 400 mil­lion lithium-ion bat­ter­ies are pro­duced each week. Safety con­cerns arise from sev­eral ar­eas: ir­reg­u­lar man­u­fac­tur­ing, mis­la­bel­ing and im­proper packing, in­clud­ing non-com­pli­ance with dan­ger­ous goods reg­u­la­tions and the IATA Lithium Bat­tery Ship­ping Guide­lines.

“Safety is the top pri­or­ity. Ban­ning lithium-ion bat­ter­ies from air freight does not solve the is­sue of coun­ter­feit or non-de­clared goods. The is­sue lies with the lack of en­force­ment of the reg­u­la­tions by govern­ments.

Un­der pres­sure from in­te­gra­tors, com­pet­ing modes of trans­port (land and sea) and in­creased cargo ca­pac­ity in the pas­sen­ger fleet, yields are ex­pected to fall a fur­ther 5.5 per cent in 2016

“So it is es­sen­tial that au­thor­i­ties re­dou­ble their ef­forts to en­force the reg­u­la­tions and close the loop­holes that pre­vent pros­e­cu­tions of se­rial of­fend­ers,” said Tyler.

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