‘Speed-dating’, a refreshed FIATA and a newly emboldened air cargo industry
The market may be challenging; the mood for 2024 muted – but there is a breath of fresh air running through the air cargo industry.
The new ACE event, held this week in Abu Dhabi, was rare for an air cargo conference: it attracted forwarders – the missing but crucial link from most shows – and focused heavily on networking.
‘Speed-dating’ sessions ensured delegates enjoyed a series of pre-booked face-to-face meetings. More conferences should do this; picking up new contacts, and welcoming old ones, is infinitely more useful than yet another sponsored, hand-wringing speech about digitisation.
But the event also showcased a refreshed FIATA, a process under way since the appointment of Stéphane Graber as director general in 2019, and now also under the oversight of the highly experienced Turkish forwarder Turgut Erkeskin, who was appointed president in October. Together with the also highly experienced Glyn Hughes, director general of TIACA, the pair showed that associations, which often appear divorced from industry, can be relevant, instructive and useful for the members they serve.
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