A quick chat with... Vladimir Zubkov

Vladimir Zubkov, the secretary general of The International Air Cargo Association, discusses the role of the association and why he is looking forward to speaking at World Routes 2017.

Vladimir Zubkov is the secretary general of The International Air Cargo Association (TIACA). Ahead of his appearance at World Routes 2017 in Barcelona, Routes caught up with him to find out more about the TIACA and the challenges currently facing the industry.

Vladimir ZubkovWhat is the role of the TIACA?

TIACA is a global not-for-profit trade association representing all the major segments of the air cargo and air logistics industry. We champion every size of business, and help shape the policy which affects all of our members, providing a unifying voice for the industry, working for global standards and raising the profile of air cargo.

Our mission is to represent, support, inform and connect every element of the global air freight supply chain. Our vision is for a strong and unified air cargo industry working in a modern environment, equipped with knowledge and electronic tools, supported by the adequate infrastructure and working in a favorable regulatory environment.

One of the ways we achieve our objectives is advocacy. Everybody appreciates how important it is to have the uniform implementation of regulations.

In addition, we write to the regulators, we debate with them and organise joint events. We also provide valuable networking opportunities and organise training programmes.

What are the main challenges the industry is currently facing?

The first things which come in mind are either excessive capacity or insufficient capacity; slow pace of implementation of electronic documents or a lack of digital penetration; and shipments taking too long to reach customers.

But I mainly want to talk about the collaboration at different levels and issues which arise when we don’t work together in harmony.

With the growing security concerns around air cargo movement, the advance cargo information initiatives are being considered seriously across the globe. The cargo information declaration requirements have moved from post-arrival to pre-arrival to pre-loading.

Hear from Vladimir Zubkov at World Routes 2017

Vladimir Zubkov, secretary general of TIACA, will be among the top-level speakers taking part at World Routes 2017. The event is the global meeting place for every airline, airport and aviation stakeholder.

There are several pre-loading Advance Cargo Information (PLACI) initiatives in the world. No doubt these initiatives have an important role to play in the safety and security of air transport. However, industry members often feel that such projects and procedures have become an endless exercise.

Additionally there are concerns that these regulations being developed in different environments and by different specialists might cause complications and possible disruptions to the air cargo supply chain.

There is a promising project Single Window for Advance Cargo Information (SWACI) which has been under consideration, but it seems to be dormant now because of a lack of resources.

How can airports take advantage of opportunities in the cargo industry?

I wouldn't separate the airports from the rest of the air cargo supply chain. If the whole chain is efficient and attractive to the customers, everybody benefits.

A study completed last December suggested that 1 percent increase in air cargo connectivity is associated with a 6.3 percent increase in trade.

So, if the services adjacent to the airport increase connectivity by 5 percent, for example, the trade flow through the airport may increase almost by a third. Therefore, because the trade increases, so does the whole economy which the airport is serving. Air cargo is a main facilitator of global trade.

Are there magical solutions to improvements at the airports? Yes, they are known. The issue is in the implementation. Several airports - members of TIACA, Brussels, Heathrow, and Schiphol - just to name the few, have been applying the concept of "airport community".

It allows for the services which make contribution to the efficiency (or the lack of it) to better coordinate their procedures and work in harmony. The big benefit of this is also in more rational utilisation of the infrastructure. Less time for handling - more cargo going through the same facilities.

Another project useful to the airports is called CSQ - Cargo Service Quality. It has been developed entirely within TIACA, with the initiative coming from the board.

The main feature of the CSQ project is the ability of the management of the cargo facility to assess themselves and the cargo facility against the set of objective criteria as well as against its peers.

Are you looking forward to World Routes, and why?

World Routes in Barcelona is not the first Routes event I have attended. The events are always an excellent opportunity for networking, for exchanging news and views, obtaining new knowledge and generating ideas. 

However, there are some specific subject areas which are of particular interest this time. I very much like the concept of the session: 'Air cargo development for airports: challenges in 2020'. It will be exciting to exchange views on how to develop more efficient local logistic supply chain beyond the airport; consider how the airports and the airlines can make air cargo develop even faster and gain economic impact. 

World Routes 2017

The 23rd World Route Development Forum
Barcelona, Catalonia • 23 - 26 September 2017

Confirmed speakers include: 

Willie Walsh

Willie Walsh



Olivier Jankovec

Director General
ACI Europe

Vincent Hodder

Vincent Hodder

Chief Commercial Officer 

View the programme

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