When Qatar Airways finishes refitting its freight terminal at the Doha airport, cargo general manager John Batten is hoping to have the facility certified by the Transported Asset Protect Association. That follows the group's recent certification of AirBridge Cargo, making the Russian freight airline the latest operator to get the seal of approval from the shipper-led organization.
"It truly is a professional organization, much needed in our business," says AirBridge president and CEO Stan Wraight. "It brings together all the elements of the logistics chain into an open and frank discussion, and also serves as a benchmark for what airlines and all the industry serving air cargo processes should achieve."
Interest from such companies shows how well established TAPA's name is becoming in air cargo, and illustrates how awareness of its security procedures is spreading around the globe. Already well established in the United States, Europe and Asia, the group has recently formed two new chapters, TAPA South Africa and a TAPA Brazil.
Thorsten Neumann, chairman of TAPA Europe Middle East and Africa, says a Dubai chapter is being formed under the leadership of Emirates Airlines, and includes the involvement of the Dubai airport police.
It's a dramatic expansion for an organization that started as the Technology Asset Protection Association in the U.S. in 1997 with handful of concerned manufacturers of high-technology goods. Theft of goods in transit was spreading right alongside the Internet-fed explosion in high-tech shipping and the companies believed common standards would help address the problem. Realizing there was a global problem, TAPA EMEA and TAPA Asia quickly followed.
The association is reaching out to other industry groups to adopt their standards. It is expanding from its original base in forwarding and ground transportation to look at security in air and ocean freight, and to connect with U.S. and European initiatives against the terrorist threat to cargo.
Source: Air Cargo World, http://aircargoworld.com
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