March 16 - IATA has launched a Cargo Handling Manual (ICHM) in order to help airlines and cargo handlers work together more effectively while improving safety and efficiency in air cargo operations.

IATA says that the manual is the first complete set of standards covering the operational activities of all stakeholders in the cargo handling supply chain.

It has been developed in consultation with air carriers and cargo handlers, based on industry best-practices, the Cargo-iQ Master Operating Plan (MOP) and international regulations and standards.

Glyn Hughes, global head of cargo at IATA said: "Cargo operations are performed at thousands of airports, by hundreds of handlers. With that number of parties involved, ensuring that global standards and best practices are being observed at all times is a constant challenge.

"The ICHM is a single reference source that will help promote global consistency and harmonisation of cargo handling procedures, thereby facilitating the movement of goods safely, securely and efficiently while contributing to a reduction in air freight logistic costs."