Interest Organisations

Interest Organisations

The most important Air Cargo Interest Organisations are:
  • airlines:
    • IATA
    • ICAO
    • AEA
    • A4A (formerly ATA)
    • ULD CARE
  • forwarders:
    • FIATA
  • general industry:
    • TIACA 
    • GACAG 
    • WCO / OMD
  • shippers:
    • GSF
    • ESC 
    • TAPA 
  • postal organisations (airmail):
    • UPU
    • IPC

International Air Transport Association 

IATA is an international trade body, created over 60 years ago by a group of airlines.  IATA has developed the commercial standards that built a global industry. Today, IATA's mission is to represent, lead and serve the airline industry. Its members comprise some 230 airlines - the world's leading passenger and cargo airlines among them - representing 93 percent of scheduled international air traffic.

The organization also represents, leads and serves the airline industry in general.

For the IATA cargo activities, look here ; for the IATA cargo working groups concerning the different  subjects, look here

For IATAtv on YouTube, look here.

IATA leading change

International Civil Aviation Organization

The Convention on International Civil Aviation (also known as Chicago Convention), was signed on 7 December 1944 by 52 States. Pending ratification of the Convention by 26 States, the Provisional International Civil Aviation Organization (PICAO) was established. It functioned from 6 June 1945 until 4 April 1947. By 5 March 1947 the 26th ratification was received. ICAO came into being on 4 April 1947. In October of the same year, ICAO became a specialized agency of the United Nations linked to Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC). 

ICAO formulated the 5 Freedoms of the Air, which have been officially recognized as such by international treaty.  More about this and some examples here.

The Convention on International Civil Aviation set forth the purpose of ICAO:
"WHEREAS the future development of international civil aviation can greatly help to create and preserve friendship and understanding among the nations and peoples of the world, yet its abuse can become a threat to the general security; and
WHEREAS it is desirable to avoid friction and to promote that co-operation between nations and peoples upon which the peace of the world depends;
THEREFORE, the undersigned governments having agreed on certain principles and arrangements in order that international civil aviation may be developed in a safe and orderly manner and that international air transport services may be established on the basis of equality of opportunity and operated soundly and economically;
Have accordingly concluded this Convention to that end."

Today, the International Civil Aviation Organization, a UN Specialized Agency, is the global forum for civil aviation.
ICAO works to achieve its vision of safe, secure and sustainable development of civil aviation through cooperation amongst its member States.
To implement this vision, the Organization has established the following Strategic Objectives for the period 2005-2010:

  1. Safety - Enhance global civil aviation safety
  2. Security - Enhance global civil aviation security
  3. Environmental Protection - Minimize the adverse effect of global civil aviation on the environment
  4. Efficiency - Enhance the efficiency of aviation operations
  5. Continuity - Maintain the continuity of aviation operations
  6. Rule of Law - Strengthen law governing international civil aviation

Freedoms of the Air (ICAO)

For ICAO video on YouTube look here.

ICAO uniting aviation on climate change

Association of European Airlines 

AEA brings together 36 major airlines, and has been the voice of the European airline industry for over 50 years.  Informing, strategy-building and influencing are the main roles of the organisation.

Airlines for America

Airlines for America (A4A), formerly known as Air Transport Association of America, Inc. (ATA), was the first and remains the only trade organization of the principal U.S. airlines. 
A4A leads industry efforts to fashion crucial aviation policy and supports measures to ensure aviation safety, security and well-being. Key current ATA initiatives include:
  • Safety First
  • Energy Commodities Reform
  • Support International Framework for Cintinuing Emission Reductions
  • NowGen – Accelerate ATC Modernization NOW
  • Reduce Unfair, Increasing Tax Burden

Since its founding in 1936, the Air Transport Association of America (ATA) has played a major role in significant government decisions regarding aviation, including:
  • The creation of the Civil Aeronautics Board
  • The creation of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)
  • The creation of the air traffic control system
  • Airline deregulation
  • Security and other legislation in the aftermath of the Sept. 11, 2001 attack on America
ATA is recognized by federal and state government agencies in the United States, as well as the press and general public, for its representation of the industry.
ATA provides valuable expertise, guidance and assistance to its members as they chart their futures in an ever-changing market.
ATA leads industry efforts to fashion crucial policy, and supports measures that enhance aviation safety, security and viability of our aviation system.


ULD CARE is a not-for-profit Canadian corporation. Its membership is open to organizations whose scope encompasses any aircraft unit load device (ULD) activity. ULD CARE started as an IATA committee in 1971 and became a legal entity in 2011.

The Mission of ULD CARE is to use the collective resources, skills and grass roots experience of the ULD CARE membership to provide direction and deliver appropriate change in ULD operations throughout the global air cargo operating environment.

The vision of ULD CARE is that regardless of location or process, any ULD shall, at all times and by all parties, be handled, stored, transported and otherwise used in a responsible manner by persons who are suitably trained, managed and supported such that ULD assets may be operated at all times in a manner that is both efficient and meets all regulatory requirements.

Core activities
  • Operation of the interline ULD database system, a global and neutral multilateral ULD Control System which provides tracking of ULD movements between members and calculates demurrage for owner’s compensation. 
  • Facilitation of regulatory compliance and best business practices for ULD operations 
ULD CARE shall be continually directing its membership and other resources towards:
  • Elimination of waste and efficiency improvement in ULD operations 
  • Management of Risk in ULD operations 
  • Utilization and adaptation of new technologies in ULD operations 
  • Global standardization of ULD regulatory and operational practices 

In support of the ULD CARE deliverables and in consultation with the membership, the Board will, on an ongoing basis:
  • Evaluate industry needs 
  • Formulate suitable responses to these needs 
  • Facilitate actions to support these responses 
  • Promote industry wide acceptance of new practices and procedures 

International Federation of Freight Forwarders Associations

FIATA was founded in Vienna/Austria on May 31, 1926.

FIATA, a non-governmental organisation, represents today an industry covering approximately 40,000 forwarding and logistics firms, also known as the "Architects of Transport", employing around 8 - 10 million people in 150 countries.

FIATA has consultative status with the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) of the United Nations (inter alia ECE, ESCAP, ESCWA), the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), and the UN Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL).

It is recognised as representing the freight forwarding industry by many other governmental organisations, governmental authorities, private international organisations in the field of transport such as the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), the International Air Transport Association (IATA), the International Union of Railways (UIC), the International Road Transport Union (IRU), the World Customs Organization (WCO), the World Trade Organization (WTO), etc.

In summary FIATA is the largest non-governmental organisation in the field of transportation. Its influence is worldwide.

The International Air Cargo Association

TIACA is a not for profit trade association for the air cargo industry, pledged to support and assist progressive liberalization of the global market, and easier, enhanced trade between developing and developed economies.  It is a worldwide organization that serves a membership which includes all major segments of the air cargo and logistics industry; airlines, forwarders, airports, ground handlers, all-cargo carriers, road carriers, customs brokers, third party logistics companies, integrators, shippers, and educational institutions.
To accomplish its mission and role, TIACA engages in activities that are geared to improve industry cooperation, promote innovation, share knowledge, enhance quality and efficiency, and develop educational programs. TIACA's activities are aimed to inform both the public and its membership about the role and importance of air cargo, industry developments and technical trends.
TIACA publishes industry position papers, the TIACA Times newsletter and the weekly Regulatory Update. The TIACA website is a valuable industry resource which contains a fully searchable database of information on industry issues. TIACA has developed research relationships with several universities through joint projects and student scholarship programs.
TIACA is committed to representing and advocating the interests of the air cargo industry at meetings of relevant regulatory bodies including the WCO, ICAO, UNCTAD, OECD and others that are open to trade observers.

Global Air Cargo Advisory Group

Air cargo security and e-commerce are the priorities of the Global Air Cargo Advisory Group (GACAG).  The four founding member Associations are FIATA, IATA, TIACA and GSF.  

In relation to air cargo security, the Security Task Force will focus on four areas:
  • Advance electronic information process and timelines to improve aviation security risk assessment
  • Consignment security declaration process and layout to provide aviation security regulators with an audit trail of who secured what, how and when
  • Supply chain security program guidelines to introduce supply chain security in countries where there is none
  • Ad hoc supply chain security issues
The Steering Committee will work on a similar set of objectives for e-commerce, Customs and facilitation, and sustainability of the global air cargo industry. These will be published in due course.

World Customs Organisation
Organisation Mondiale des Douanes

The World Customs Organization (WCO) is the only intergovernmental organisation exclusively focused on Customs matters.  With its worldwide membership, the WCO is recognised today as the voice of the global Customs community.  It is particularly noted for its work in areas covering the development of global standards, the simplification and harmonisation of Customs procedures, trade supply chain security, the facilitation of international trade, the enhancement of Customs enforcement and compliance activities, anti-counterfeiting and piracy initiatives, public-private partnerships, integrity promotion, and sustainable global Customs capacity building programmes.  The WCO also maintains the international Harmonized System goods nomenclature, and administers the technical aspects of the WTO (World Trade Organization) Agreements on Customs Valuation and Rules of Origin.
The WCO’s mission is to improve the effectiveness and the efficiency of its Member Customs administrations across the globe.  While three-quarters of its Members are developing countries, the WCO’s combined membership is collectively responsible for managing and processing more than 98% of world trade.
Key activities are:
  • Harmonization and simplification of Customs procedures aimed at facilitating trade
  • Trade supply chain security and enforcement
  • Partnerships and cooperation between Customs organisations on one hand, and with trade related international organisations on the other hand
  • Modernization and capacity building of Customs organisations

Global Shippers Forum

GSF, the Global Shippers’ Forum, originally comprised the European Shippers’ Council, the Japan Shippers’ Council and the US National Industrial Transportation League, under the name ‘Tripartite Shippers’ Group’. More recently the group has been joined by the Asian Shippers’ Council and the Canadian International Transport Association.
Formed in 1994, the Tripartite Shippers’ Group (TSG) met annually around the globe to discuss issues of topical importance, whether barriers to competition in the freight industry, maritime cargo liability reform; congestion on critical transport infrastructure, or developments in supply chain security. In September 2006, Antwerp, the group changed its name to the Global Shippers’ Forum (GSF) to reflect the increasing number of countries being represented by the group.

The aims and objectives are: to share information about developments and issues of critical importance to shippers and, where possible through a common voice, seek to facilitate the optimisation of transport efficiency and service quality for shippers by aligning government policy, industry practice and shippers’ objectives for mutual advantage.

European Shippers' Council

The ESC represents the interests of companies represented by 15 national transport user organisation and a number of key European commodity trade associations.  It is the principal recognised voice of European shippers.

The ESC maintains an on-going dialogue and is regularly consulted by the European Commission and other Community institutions on transport policy and logistics issues. The ESC also has reciprocal representative arrangements with UNICE (the European Employers Organisation). Another unique aspect of the European Shippers' Council is it is the only multi-modal shippers organisation in Europe.
The E(A)SC document "A Shippers' White Paper on Airfreight" published in September 1995 generated considerable discussion within the European Air Freight Industry.  This culminated in the formation of a joint European industry forum, the Forum for Air Cargo in Europe (FACE), in March 1997.
The Shipper's Voice is the webportal of the ESC.

Transported Asset Protection Association

TAPA is a forum that unites global manufacturers, logistics providers, freight carriers, law enforcement agencies, and other stakeholders with the common aim of reducing losses from international supply chains.  TAPA is represented in the regions Americas, EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa) and APAC (Asia / Pacific).

The Association’s Mission is to help protect its members’ assets by:
• Exchanging information on a global and regional basis
• Co-operating on preventative security
• Increasing support from the logistics and freight industry and from law enforcement agencies and
• Promoting and enhancing TAPA’s globally recognised and applied Security Requirements
For companies that manufacture, distribute or transport high value products, TAPA membership can add to the success of the business by safeguarding goods and employees, ensuring customer orders are fulfilled and protecting business reputation and financial performance.  According to TAPA, their statistics prove repeatedly that their members are measurably reducing cargo crime compared to the rest of the industry. 

Specifically for the Air Cargo supply chain, TAPA has developed the TACSS (TAPA Air Cargo Security Standards).  These standards have been created and are regularly updated by security and logistics specialists to help TAPA members reduce losses and provide a platform for more uniform conformance with best of breed security.  All TAPA standards are independently audited.

Universal Postal Union

Established in 1874, the Universal Postal Union (UPU), with its headquarters in the Swiss capital Berne, is the second oldest international organization worldwide.  With its 192 member countries, the UPU is the primary forum for cooperation between postal and airmail sector players. It  helps to ensure a truly universal network of up-to-date products and services.
In this way, the organization fulfils an advisory, mediating and liaison role, and provides technical assistance where needed.  It sets the rules for international mail exchanges and makes recommendations to stimulate growth in mail, parcel and financial services volumes and improve quality of service for customers.

The UPU consists of:
4 bodies
    • The Congress
    • The Council of Administration (CA)
    • The Postal Operations Council (POC)
    • The International Bureau (IB)
2 cooperatives
    • Telematics Cooperative
    • EMS Cooperative

International Post Corporation

The International Post Corporation (IPC) is dedicated to improving service quality, promoting cooperation and interoperability, and providing informed intelligence about the postal and related markets.  Since 1989, the International Post Corporation has set standards for upgrading quality and service performance and developed technology that has helped members improve service for international letters, parcels and express.
IPC helps the postal sector by developing technology and quality improvement systems that are guiding postal operators into the future and keeping the industry a viable and competitive source of communications.

In their own words, as the natural partner for the postal industry, IPC adds tremendous value. Respected as the industry leader in measurement and tracking technology, monitoring service performance, negotiating inter-company pricing and managing operations upgrading, IPC enables posts to achieve the highest standards of quality.  In addition, IPC provides platforms for member CEOs and senior executives from the world’s leading posts to come together to examine best practices, benefit from shared research, and debate and determine the strategic future of the postal industry.

NCA - Nippon Cargo Airlines aircraft loading


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