The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has launched an innovative new solution for the air cargo industry: Dangerous Goods AutoCheck (DG AutoCheck) that will enhance safety and improve efficiency in the transport of dangerous goods by air and support the industry’s goal of a fully digitized supply chain.
“The air transport industry handles in excess of 1.25 million dangerous goods shipments transported per year. With the air cargo growth forecast at 4.9% per year over the next five years this number will rise significantly. To ensure that air cargo is ready to benefit from this growth the industry needs to adopt modern and harmonized standards that facilitate safe, secure and efficient operations, particularly in relation to carriage of dangerous goods. DG AutoCheck is a significant step towards achieving this goal,” said Nick Careen, Senior Vice President, Airport, Passenger, Cargo and Security, IATA.
Facilitating Acceptance Checks
DG AutoCheck is a digital solution that allows the air cargo supply chain to check the compliance of the Shipper’s Declaration for Dangerous Goods (DGD) against all relevant rules and regulations contained in the IATA Dangerous Goods Regulations. The tool enables electronic consignment data to be received directly, supporting the digitization of the cargo supply chain. Optical Character Recognition (OCR) technology also transforms a paper DGD into electronic data. This data is then processed and verified automatically using the XML data version of the DGR. DG AutoCheck also facilitates a ground handlers or airline’s decision to accept or reject a shipment during the physical inspection stage by providing a pictorial representation of the package with the marking and labelling required for air transport.
“The DGR lists over 3,000 entries for dangerous goods. Each one of which must comply with the DGR when shipped. The paper DGR is 1,100 pages long. Manually checking that each Shipper’s Declaration is compliant and the package(s) are correctly, marked, labelled and packaged is a complex and time consuming task. Automation with DG AutoCheck brings us a giant step forward. The cargo supply chain will benefit from greater efficiency, streamlined processes and enhanced safety,” David Brennan, Assistant Director, Cargo Safety and Standards, IATA.
Collaboration is critical in driving industry transformation especially for a business with such a complex supply chain. DG AutoCheck is a good example of effective industry partnerships.
An industry working group made up of more than twenty global organisations supported the development of DG AutoCheck. This group contains airlines, freight forwarders, ground handlers and express integrators including Air-France-KLM Cargo, Swissport, Panalpina and DHL Express.
“The air cargo supply chain is currently undergoing a major digital evolution. Collaboration across the industry is essential if the goal of a digitized electronic end to end messaging platform is to be realized. There is no time to lose; our customers already expect the efficiency of electronic documentation throughout the supply chain,” said Nick Careen, Senior Vice President, Airport, Passenger, Cargo and Security, IATA. (iata)