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Research exposes lack of high-level air cargo training

A two-year research project undertaken by four of the largest air cargo and freight groups has found that there is a grim lack of training programmes t...

Freddie Pierce
|Jan 23|magazine7 min read

A two-year research project undertaken by four of the largest air cargo and freight groups has found that there is a grim lack of training programmes teaching the higher level skills needed to be a manager in the worldwide air cargo industry.

A task force led by The International Air Cargo Association (TIACA), with active participation from the International Air Transport Association (IATA), the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and the International Federation of Freight Forwarder Associations (FIATA) has published the results of the project that focused on identifying educational needs for the next-generation of managers for the worldwide air cargo industry.

The task force concludes that managers not only must possess basic skills and detailed operational knowledge, but also the so called “higher-skills”, which include leadership, team-building as well as market and financial analysis techniques.

While numerous training programmes are available to teach the fundamental skills, the availability of air cargo-focused programmes that teach these higher-level skills is limited.

The researchers agreed that the industry as a whole must address this deficiency to ensure it maintains its long history of innovation, quality service provision and financial robust performance. The potential for the creation of a certificated and preferably accredited programme may assist in this goal. As part of its effort, the task force compiled a comprehensive educational matrix identifying existing courses and areas of deficiency.

The report stresses that without access to such programmes, the air cargo industry faces the additional difficulty of attracting and equipping qualified talent to successfully lead the industry through future challenges. Another consequent risk without such an offering is the loss of rising managers to other sectors of the logistics industry or to other industries completely as workforce dynamics become more fluid. Both situations would put the air cargo industry at a competitive leadership disadvantage.

As implications and task force recommendations are reviewed by the four organisations, a series of next steps will be established including the creation of focused courses as part of a comprehensive programme addressing the needs of the next-generation of worldwide air cargo industry managers and leaders.

The final report and accompanying educational demands matrix is being made available through the respective websites of the participating organisations.