Last reviewed 1 April 2021

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has announced the launch of the IATA Enhanced Partner Identification and Connectivity (EPIC) platform to support the digitisation of the global air cargo supply chain.

EPIC simplifies the complex process of making digital connections across the air cargo value chain including enabling the efficient exchange of critical information such as messaging capabilities and identities, IATA explained.

As the air cargo industry continues to digitalise, airlines, freight forwarders, ground handlers and customs authorities need to be able to securely work together digitally.

This is seen as a considerable challenge given that more than 40,000 freight forwarders exchange messages with more than 450 airlines and 23 third party messaging service providers.

In the absence of a tool for companies to exchange the information needed to make these business links, the process of digitisation is essentially manual, slow and unduly complex.

IATA Senior Vice President Nick Careen said: “EPIC is a simple idea. It makes the information needed to do business across a digitised air cargo supply chain easily accessible. And in doing so, it will accelerate efficiency gains for air cargo.”

The timing of this initiative is important, he went on, as Covid-19 has led to exponential growth of e-commerce and shippers are demanding quality services that only a digitised supply chain can provide.

More information about EPIC can be found at https://www.iata.org/en/publications/store/epic.