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What is ONE Record and how will it benefit the air cargo community?

What is ONE Record and how will it benefit the air cargo community?

What is ONE Record and how will it benefit the air cargo community?

The air cargo community has been preparing for the adoption of IATA’s ONE Record initiative, which aims to harmonize the industry through the creation of a new digital ecosystem that will bring with it standardization. 

CHAMP Cargosystems recently hosted a webinar exploring IATA’s ONE Record initiative, and how the air cargo community stands to benefit from its widespread implementation. 

CHAMP’s Head of Corporate Marketing, PR, and Events, Bart Jan Haasbeek was joined by Henk Mulder, the Head of Digital Cargo from the International Air Transport Association (IATA), Adam Brownson, IT Programs and Business Relationships Manager at Worldwide Flight Services, and Nemil Sheriff, Senior Product Manager at CHAMP. 

Industry specialists joined the discussion to hear from the expert panel and better understand ONE Record and the benefits that can be unlocked on its adoption. 

Henk Mulder from IATA explained that ONE Record “standardizes and streamlines the sharing of logistics and transport data across the aviation industry which enhances efficiency and transparency. It also fosters seamless data exchange, paving the way for a smarter and more integrated supply chain in the future.” 

He gave an interesting perspective on the digitalization of the air cargo community, explaining that some 60 years ago we were still using cassettes to listen to our music. The air cargo community were also using Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) which was developed around the same time as the cassette. 

While the way we listen to music quickly evolved to records, CDs, MP3s, streaming services and more – our air cargo digitalization was a much slower process. In fact, the air cargo industry still uses EDI to this day. 

When you compare the pace and adoption of technological innovation between the two, the difference is stark. 

The need for digitalization and innovation in the air cargo industry is apparent, and ONE Record is the foundation upon which we can build a more interconnected community. 

This will be driven by the standardization of data sharing, which moves away from a sequential data sharing model and allows data to be fetched right from the source. This improves data quality which allows for fewer errors, more consistency, and a reduction in duplicate data. 

However, as with any large-scale transition, the adoption of ONE Record will not be without its challenges. CHAMP’s Nemil Sheriff explained that the full benefits of ONE Record can only be realized when the entire supply chain is engaged in ONE Record. Whilst it’s possible to ONE Record enabled parties to engage with other formats like cargo IMP, the data has to be scaled down. 

This is ultimately doable, but by no means ideal. 

While IATA’s proposed deadline for ONE Record adoption is January 2026, the benefits of digitalization are inherent and can be realized right now. CHAMP is already helping early adopters with ONE Record connectivity and proactively enabling the success of ONE Record. 

CHAMP recently partnered with Worldwide Flight Services (WFS) to put its first ONE Record use case into production and enable ONE Record connectivity between WFS and Cathay Cargo. Adam Brownson from WFS explained that with the existing Cargo IMP model, data often arrives incomplete, too late, or incorrect, which impairs their ability to manage resources and loading efficiently. However, through ONE Record, WFS’ cargo management system can be auto populated with booking data from Cathay Cargo in real-time, which allows for greater efficiencies, resource planning, and creates a single source of truth. 

Not only is this beneficial for Worldwide Flight Services and Cathay Cargo, but it creates greater efficiencies for their customers – and their customers’ customers.  

While this is a small and specific use case, it becomes clear that there are countless rewards to be unlocked when ONE Record is adopted throughout the air cargo industry. 

There will be some challenges in adopting ONE Record at scale and pace, and it’s important to consider that this considerable transition will be a marathon and not a sprint. 

Nonetheless, it is crucial for air cargo businesses to take the first step in order to keep up with the clear transformation taking place. 

You can find out more about IATA’s ONE Record initiative and hear directly from our panel of experts by watching the full recording of our recent webinar. Please find the recording and slides available here. 

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