According to IATA, the platform will expand the cooperation of air cargo carriers, simplify and support all business processes, accelerate the growth of work efficiency, and also increase the security of the exchange of important information.
IATA emphasizes that EPIC (Enhanced Partner Identification and Connectivity) supports digital customs clearance processes, and when using the platform, companies retain complete control over their data with the flexibility to control how they communicate with their respective business partners. EPIC is open to use by airlines (IATA members and non-members), freight forwarders, intermediaries or air cargo IT service providers.
Experts of the ZetAvia airline, which transports cargo on IL-76 aircraft to the countries of the Middle East, Europe and Africa, will study the basic principles of this digital platform to understand its potential benefits.
The minimum package costs $ 999 per year, the maximum package will cost $ 5999. Initially, the International Air Transport Association is selling access to its digital platform at a 50% discount. More than ten international air carriers have already started using this platform, including Lufthansa, Qatar Airways and Turkish Airlines. There are no airlines from the United Arab Emirates among the users at the moment. It is not yet clear to what extent the connection costs and time costs will be justified. And most importantly, how many users the platform will have in the future.
The creation of a digital platform for the interaction of air cargo carriers in IATA is explained by the exponential growth of e-commerce during the pandemic, when, in addition, the requirements of shippers for the quality of services are increasing, which can only be provided by a digital supply chain.
The association adds that today more than 40,000 forwarders exchange messages with over 450 airlines and 23 third-party messaging providers. Due to the lack of a tool to share the information needed to establish business contacts, the digitization process is inherently manual, slow and not straightforward.