eGlobe, your CASS IATA Agent
Air freight transport is a growing industry. For this reason, there is a need for freight forwarding companies that meet the technical and financial requirements of IATA, the umbrella organisation for almost all airlines.
We have already mentioned in other articles that the supply chain is an extraordinarily complex machine, involving an infinite number of players: logistics operators, customs offices, administrations, shipping companies, airlines, financial companies, insurance companies, ports, airports…
Our mission, as freight forwarders, is to take responsibility for all the procedures to ensure that the goods reach their destination.
If we use air transport, the challenges are different. That is why, among other reasons, there is the International Air Transport Association, or IATA, an international body created in 1945 to encourage cooperation between airlines, and to promote safety and reliability in international air transport operations for people and goods.
Member airlines (the vast majority of airlines) use procedures, methods and terms approved by the organisation. One example is the IATA airport codes. The IATA code for Valencia, for example, is VLC.
What is an IATA Agent?
An IATA Cargo Agent is a freight forwarding company specifically licensed by the organisation for operations such as:
- The issuance of the international air transport contract (AWB or Air Waybill).
- The collection and payment of freight.
- Coordination of aircraft loading and unloading operations.
- Carrying out the necessary formalities with the airport and customs authorities.
How to become an IATA Agent
Being an IATA Cargo Agent entails a series of technical and economic responsibilities. For this reason, the Association establishes a series of very strict requirements.
- At least two people must work full time in the company. They must be able to perform the activities outlined in the Air Cargo Programme Manual issued by IATA.
- At least one of these two persons must have the availability to be present at the locations where the air cargo is arranged for transport.
In addition, IATA requires rigorous experience and training. For this reason, agents must be able to prove:
- IATA Introductory Course Diploma or equivalent. Alternatively, they must have two years’ experience in international air cargo services.
- In addition, they must have completed an official course in Dangerous Goods Handling and Acceptance.
Financial requirements. The CASS system
But, in addition to these personal and technical requirements, the IATA Agent also has financial obligations. And very important ones: let’s not forget that among their missions is the collection and payment of freight.
According to World Bank data, the annual average of goods transported by air is around 200,000 tonnes. We can imagine the amount of financial transactions involved in this activity.
That is why IATA set up the Cargo Account Settlement System (CASS), which acts as a clearing house. That is, it acts as an intermediary between all parties to the transaction, facilitating and simplifying payment and collection operations.
To put it simply, CASS does the accounts, adds and subtracts and collects and pays the money paid by customers to their suppliers. The objectives are:
- To optimise costs by streamlining settlement services.
- To offer value-added services to the parties, so that customers achieve a higher degree of satisfaction.
The IATA CASS Agent must have the appropriate solvency and technical competence to operate in this area. In addition, IATA agents also assume professional liability for the issuance of documents.
Advantages of eGlobe as a CASS IATA Agent
At eGlobe we transport satisfaction. That is the most important thing for us. That’s why we offer you experience, training and maximum reach. All the advantages of air transport operations, backed by a network of correspondents at the world’s most important airports.
In addition, we are accredited as IATA agents, which provides you with these added benefits:
- Transparency, as we work with homogeneous regulations recognised by the vast majority of airlines.
- Rates without surprises, in accordance with standardised tables that can be assumed by the majority of companies that require air transport services.
- Up-to-date technology.
- Procedures and documentation (forms, reports…) standardised worldwide.
- Simplification of payments and collections. CASS distributes payments between airlines. Thus, the Cargo agent only has to issue one payment.
- Documentation compatible with all IT platforms, which saves a lot of management time.
- Electronic corrections simplify error management.
- Impartiality in the management of irregularities or differences in criteria through the use of standard regulations.
- Improved financial control and cash flow.
- Oversight of the process by an IATA official appointed by ISS (IATA Settlement System) Management;
- Much more transparent timeline management, as the regulations apply equally to all carriers and freight forwarders.
The difference between a CASS IATA Agent and another freight forwarder that does not have this accreditation, translates into a much simpler, more transparent and easier management for freight forwarders, companies and, of course, the company that carries out the operation.
That is why eGlobe is an agent recognised by the organisation and we can provide you with security and transparency, offering very competitive prices for your air transport operations.