The use of air freight as a transport method for Australian international trading industries is currently on the increase. Research from the Australian Government’s Infrastructure Bureau has forecasted national imports and exports to increase by 2.7-6.0% by the end of 2030, meaning up to 1.2 million tonnes of total air freight transport per year.

But after the recent incident of missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370, the security of airplanes and air cargo is on everyone’s lips. What standards does Australia have for domestic and international air freight forwarders?

Read which bodies are responsible for Australian air freight security and what regulations Australia has in place.

Australian air freight industry standards

To ensure security on air freight transport there are professional and legal safeguards in place to prevent complications. All air freight legalities are covered under the Aviation Transport Security Act 2004, which the main goal is to protect businesses and cargo against unlawful interference and practices. This act requires all Australian air freight forwarders to have official detailed processes on how they will manage security for their cargo operations, which must then be approved by industry regulatory bodies. This includes procedure details on screening all aircraft’s before departure, searching all freight for weapons and prohibited items, mandatory onboard security, onboard and airport optical surveillance, and correct handling procedures at airports.

Keeping air freight forwarding companies in line

The Australian air freight forwarder industry is namely governed by two regulatory schemes under the Office of Transport Security (OTS). The primary association for air cargo transporters is the Regulated Air Cargo Agent (RACA) which all professional Australian freight forwarding businesses that handle, store, examine, process or transport air freight must join. This association scheme makes air freight forwarders responsible for developing a Transport Security Program for their business, which enforces security checks and provides employees with security training. All RACA members are subject to periodic compliance and audit checks by the OTS. The other regulation scheme, Accredited Air Cargo Agent (AACA), covers the security measures for road transport businesses like couriers that deliver/pick-up air freight cargo. Goods identified as hazardous are protected by more government legislative standards, including correct use of safety equipment, documentation and emergency safety procedures.

Additionally, one of the largest and most influential global regulatory bodies is the International Air Transport Association (IATA). Their mission is to create a ‘safe, secure and profitable industry’ that represents over 240 airlines and 84% of worldwide air traffic. BCR is an IATA accredited air “freight forwarding company, which means we can quickly and efficiently book customer air cargo directly onto airlines while keeping in line with industry policy and standards.

Easy flying: why it’s better to use an accredited air freight forwarder

The Australian and global air freight industry have evolved into a quick and effective method for transporting large-scale cargo. Freight forwarding companies, who usually manage air freight on behalf of importers and exporters, have the ability to handle everything involved in the transport process, including transporting goods to and from the airport, customs brokerage, packaging and crating. The Australian air freight forwarding standards and regulations currently in place are to accommodate the forecasted popularity in air freight transport for Australia, prevent safety breaches, and provide aviation security to businesses and personnel.

For more than a century, BCR has continued to help small, medium and large businesses achieve an optimum logistics solution with warehousing and transportation, including air freight and sea freight services to and from the major ports including Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Fremantle (Perth).