THE International Air Transport Association (IATA) expects a surge in air freight volumes the result of disruptions caused by the implementation of compulsory maritime container weigh-in rules on July 1, reports IHS Media.
"We don't think this change will have the same impact on air cargo volumes as the port strike did, but IATA will be alerting airline members of the change so they can be prepared in case post July 1 port queues start to build," said IATA cargo chief Glyn Hughes.
The new Verified Gross Mass regulation, approved by the UN's International Maritime Organisation (IMO) as an amendment to the Safety of Life at Sea Convention (SOLAS), will be enforced worldwide.
Once the rule is enforced, terminals and carriers will not be permitted to load containers unless they have weigh-in papers.
Fears are mounting that new rules will lead to containers being turned away at terminal gates, leading to backlogs and congestion at ports.
This will result in shippers turning to air cargo as an emergency measure to keep their supply chains moving, said Mr Hughes.
While there have been many shipper position papers and industry FAQs, many questions remain unanswered. Because of this, TT Club risk management director Peregrine Storrs-Fox said it was crucial for shippers to talk to the carriers to understand how they wanted to receive the container weight information and what their expectations were.
"It will differ from carrier to carrier and trade to trade, so the shippers will have to understand how it will affect their specific operation and jurisdiction," he said.
Source : HKSG.