The ULD CARE Annual Conference held this year in Mainz, Germany, gathered 88 delegates (view list) made up of 31 airline representatives, 51 ULD associated operations and 6 industry guests who spent 2 ½ days on intensive and productive discussions around the conference theme of “Call to Action”.
Coming 16 months after the last conference and 21 months since the publication of the IATA ULD Regulations, this event was about implementing changes in the way ULD operations are carried out across the air cargo industry.
Right from the outset of the meeting the member feedback indicated that the IATA ULD Regulations are already making a difference to their operations, highlighting that a good number are already using the ULD Regulations as a facilitator for change, both inside their own organizations and also with service providers and other users of their ULD.
During the first day, members heard presentations around the key issues of Asset Control, Cost Efficiency and Safety, highlighting exciting new technologies, increasing technical challenges and innovative management approaches. These were followed by a comprehensive briefing by IATA on regulatory, training, standardization and the other areas in which IATA takes the lead as well as a series of briefings by airlines and service providers on their perspectives about the current state of ULD operations.
Day two saw the members getting down to the serious business of identifying the key issues and developing action plans. This exercise was conducted in a wholly inclusive manner, with the entire membership providing their views on the issues facing the industry, distilling these into 4 major headings:
- Operational Training/Communication/Awareness
- Accountability/responsibility/compliance/consequence/ performance rating of all parties
- Enhance the image of ULD / ULD CARE to senior industry management
- Broader participation in ULD CARE
and then working to develop a set of actions for each.
A summary of the actions planned can be found on the ULD CARE website under Mainz Annual Conference 2014 in presentation item E03 titled: Call to Action – What’s next for ULD CARE. All other presentations made during the conference can also be found in the same section under ULD CARE Annual Conference Archives which you may access from the Home Page.
ULD CARE believes that the adoption of these action plans will not only produce change in the manner in which ULD operations are carried out but will also progress the status of ULD CARE as a facilitator of change. While the action items are ambitious, they recognize the limited financial and, more important, human resources of ULD CARE, an organization that for the most part has to rely on the efforts of people who also have demanding “day jobs” and who cannot be expected to devote unlimited hours to ULD CARE projects.
Looking ahead ULD CARE, working “off line”, will take the results of the meeting forward by developing more detailed plans for actions to take place under these four headings, and then move to step by step implementation. The ULD CARE “U-Map” will be updated to reflect these new targets.
To summarize, this year’s conference theme “Call to Action” has certainly achieved its aims. As a body representing the interests of stakeholders in the ULD activity, ULD CARE can continue to build on its past actions and take on new ambitions that will, by taking an industry wide approach result in a far better outcome that individual airlines working in isolation.