Supply Chain News / eSupply Chain / Air Cargo

Strategic Partnership for Descartes and IATA

Descartes Systems Group, a global purveyor in uniting logistics-intensive businesses in commerce, announced it has worked as a strategic partner with the International Air Transport Association (IATA), an international trade body that represents, serves and leads the air industry.

Together they plan to develop an innovative technology bridge that helps air cargo messaging participants easily transition from legacy messaging procedures to the new Cargo-XML standards. The solution provides bidirectional translation and message version control between legacy Cargo Interchange Message Procedures (Cargo IMP) and the new Cargo-XML schema.

Since 2009, the IATA Cargo-XML Task Force, on which Descartes is a participant, has been developing new XML standards designed to innovate how the air cargo industry communicates and offer industry stakeholders an alternative to Cargo-IMP messages. The new Cargo-XML standards provide airlines, freight forwarders and their trading partners with:

  • More robust capabilities for data capture;
  • Enhanced data exchange and accuracy in support of the e-Freight initiative;
  • Ability to keep pace with rapidly evolving customs and security requirements; and
  • Reduced cost of infrastructure and communication.

"XML is the next logical step for air cargo messaging, offering a standardized approach for describing, capturing, processing and disseminating data" explains Global Head of Cargo for IATA, Des Vertannes. "We look forward to continuing to work with Descartes and other strategic partners to improve the efficiency, sustainability and security of the air cargo industry."

The IATA Cargo-XML Task Force has indicated that the Cargo-XML schema is extendable and opens a channel for greater data sharing and communication between trading partners and intermediaries. It enables the air cargo industry move towards a more robust degree of data portability while helping adopters streamline integration, improve productivity and reduce operational costs.

"Active participation on the IATA Cargo-XML Task Force and working collaboratively with key customers has enabled us to develop an innovative conduit that enables Cargo-IMP users to efficiently move to the next level of communication sophistication," says Chief Commercial Officer at Descartes, Edward Ryan. "As a long time IATA strategic partner, we are pleased to be among the leaders who can help the industry facilitate adoption of Cargo-XML by bridging the gap from the previous standards."

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