Cathay Pacific Cargo gets set for IATA ONE Record

Trial at Hong Kong hub shows commitment and readiness for new industry standard

A new, single digital standard for air cargo that offers end-to-end data transparency and contains everything needed to make digital cargo a reality. This 21st-century solution came one step closer with Cathay Pacific Cargo’s successful trial of IATA’s ONE Record standard in Hong Kong last month.

ONE Record is set to become the new global standard for air cargo. It creates a Virtual Shipment Record for all shipments, a single record view of a shipment that will enable its data to be shared by all stakeholders across the air cargo chain.

Henk Mulder, Head of Digital Cargo, IATA said: ‘The ultimate aim of the ONE Record programme is to enable a data-led digitisation of the global supply chain in order to improve service, speed and reliability, through the standardisation of competing or overlapping systems of the different stakeholders in the air cargo industry into one of shared intelligence and cooperation.’

The pilot, which was run in conjunction with Cathay Pacific Cargo and Hong Kong International Airport, saw three agents – DHL Global Forwarding, Sinotrans (HK) Air Transportation Development Co Ltd and Soonest Express (HK) Co Ltd – contribute shipments using a web-based API (application programming interface) platform developed by Global Logistics System (HK) Co Ltd (GLS). For its part, Hong Kong International Airport took the innovative step among airports of designing its own platform for ONE Record.

(From left) Clera Lam, Cathay Pacific Head of Cargo Digital, and Wayne Lai, Cathay Pacific Cargo Digital Manager – Systems Planning and Operations

‘The programme builds on paperless operations of the e-AWB (electronic air waybill),’ said Cathay Pacific Head of Cargo Digital Clera Lam. ‘Cathay Pacific Cargo was the first airline to implement 100 per cent e-AWB operations in its home market, and we have been the leader in its implementation around the world for the past 10 years.’

The ONE Record system is another leap forward, able to contain much more data than the e-AWB. In the pilot, each of the participating agents submitted two general cargo shipments: after the trial, the contents of the data messages exchanged using the ONE Record web-based API were confirmed to be identical to the exchanges collected through the multiple existing messaging and data mechanisms.

GLS CEO Simon Ng said: ‘On the technical side, the ONE Record programme covers three things. The API – the interface that enables stakeholders to access the data; the security standards that define who can access and modify the data; and the structure of the data for commonality.’

Wayne Lai, Cathay Pacific Cargo Digital Manager – Systems Planning and Operations, said: ‘This pilot demonstrated to the forwarders that they can use ONE Record to support their operations.’

Winnie Ip, who manages the Hong Kong Global Gateway for DHL Global Forwarding, agreed. ‘The ONE Record data exchange will facilitate our daily operations enabling a more near-real-time approach to retrieve data,’ she noted. ‘In future, we will be able to analyse the data to explore the immense potential for other business opportunities.’

That data will include information on emissions, which is becoming increasingly important not just for airlines, but for shippers and suppliers across the supply chain in terms of their own corporate social responsibility reporting. Ip added: ‘ONE Record is an end-to-end digital logistics solution that will enable us to connect with our industry counterparts to achieve a zero-emissions target together in the near future.’

Digitisation of this kind is central to Cathay Pacific Cargo’s strategy to enable a more agile and responsive service for customers. This is the third ONE Record pilot that Cathay Pacific Cargo has participated in, but the first in its home market.

‘We have previously participated in ONE Record pilots in Amsterdam and at London Heathrow,’ noted Clera Lam. ‘After the success of this pilot our next objective is to introduce ONE Record for our global operations, which will build Hong Kong’s reputation as the leading international air cargo hub.’

The Global Logistics System team at Cathay Pacific
The Global Logistics System team

Ng of GLS added: ‘We have been supporting Cathay Pacific Cargo, our biggest airline customer, in all the ONE Record pilots to date. We are aiming at enabling data exchange between forwarders and Cathay Pacific Cargo based on the ONE Record standard over a web-based API by the third quarter of this year. This is a first step towards our ultimate vision in migrating all of our airline and forwarder customers to the ONE Record standard.’

Get ready for a new gold standard for a more agile, connected business.