The International Air Transport Association (IATA) recently launched Dangerous Goods AutoCheck (DG AutoCheck), a new innovative solution for the air cargo industry, which will enhance safety and improve efficiency in the transport of dangerous goods by air, and support the industry’s goal of a fully digitised supply chain. Digitisation is an unavoidable necessity for all sectors as its ability to improve productivity cannot be argued, and some businesses are even choosing to hire dedicated development team to help them facilitate this shift to software-based systems. The sooner it is established, the sooner they will be able to begin profiting from it.
“The air transport industry handles over 1.25 million dangerous goods shipments transported every year. With the air cargo growth forecasted at 4.9 percent every year over the next five years, the number is expected to rise significantly. To ensure that the air cargo industry is ready to benefit from this growth, it needs to adopt modern and harmonised standards that will facilitate safe, secure and efficient operations, particularly in relations 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, which supports the digitisation 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 must comply with the DGR when shipped. The paper DGR consists of 1,100 pages. Manually checking each shipper’s declaration is a complex and time consuming task. Automation with DG AutoCheck offers us a giant step forward. The cargo supply chain will benefit from greater efficiency, streamlined processes and enhanced safety,” said 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. The group comprises 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 digitised electronic end-to-end messaging platform is to be realised. There is no time to lose as there is a growing demand from our customers for efficiency of electronic documentation throughout the supply chain,” said Nick Careen, senior vice president, airport, passenger, cargo and security, IATA.