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Encouraging the little grey cells

BRUSSELS: May 05, 2017. According to Steve Polmans, TIACA Board member and head of Cargo at Brussels Airport Company, e-commerce is booming, the decline in air cargo yields has halted, airlines are showing cargo growth and several airports are reporting close to, or even more than, double digit growth:

Not so long ago things seemed not too positive, suddenly the world looks different. Welcome to the world of air cargo.

But these positive signals should not be a reason for stopping the initiatives that we as an industry have started. More standardization, increase collaboration, finally looking at digitization as a solution rather than something we should be afraid of. More than ever, we should take the opportunity to intensify collaboration. TIACA can and will do this on a global level, but also locally, several initiatives could be taken.

Personally, I really believe in stronger local cargo communities. Amsterdam has shown already many years ago this kind of cooperation benefits everybody in the logistical chain and all participants.

In recent years, Frankfurt airport is also working hard on a stronger cargo community, launching several new initiatives and projects. And earlier this month, we celebrated the one year anniversary of our Brussels cargo community. I would never have thought that in such a short time frame, we would be able to attract so many participants and could launch so many projects.

From e-freight to Customs, from AVI to pharma, from innovation to training. On all these subjects we were able to make progress.

Aligning with one of the topics that is important to TIACA, knowledge, we were able to set up a bachelor in air cargo management with a local school. In three years from now, we will see the first students leaving school with a diploma in logistics management with a specialization in air cargo logistics.

We also launched Young Airfreight Network, YAN. Everybody at the airport or linked to our industry can join, as long as you are under 35 years of age.

With their own agenda and budget, these people have organized themselves around three themes: jobs, networking and knowledge exchange. Organizing their own meetings, going to schools to talk to students, ... But more important: they are learning from each other, meeting each other, exploring opportunities, increasing knowledge of the different stakeholders in the process and building of their network.

We should support these kinds of initiatives in order to see fresh blood in our industry, to keep talent and to create the future managers that will shape our industry.

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