At its fifth Security Conference, Lufthansa Cargo called for swifter implementation of the certified shipper approval process in Germany. Addressing more than 250 delegates from the logistics industry in Frankfurt, Dr. Karl-Rudolf Rupprecht, Lufthansa Cargo Executive Board Member Operations, said, “The fact is that today, with only 13 months to go until EU Directive 185 goes into force, fewer than one per cent of shippers in Germany have been accredited. This shows that there is an enormous need for action. All the partners in the logistics sector must take steps to significantly speed up the approval process.” Lufthansa Cargo was nonetheless making thorough preparations for the time after April 2013, Dr. Rupprecht added, so as to be able to continue to offer its customers seamless security processes.
Speakers at the Lufthansa Cargo Security Conference – besides the airline’s representatives – included representatives of political parties, the logistics industry, the shipping industry and manufacturers of security technology. In addition to the former Minister of the Interior, Gerhart Baum, representatives of the German Aviation Office (LBA) and the US Transportation Security Administration (TSA) had accepted Lufthansa Cargo’s invitation to attend the conference.
One of the main topics under discussion was the as yet inadequate level of harmonisation of international security standards. Mutual recognition of EU directives and US regulations, particularly as regards transatlantic traffic, was long overdue, Lufthansa Cargo Board Member Dr. Rupprecht said. “It is neither comprehensible nor acceptable,” he added, “that the US authorities recognise security measures for air cargo from France or Switzerland, say, but do not recognise the virtually identical measures that apply in Germany. This results in additional checks on all departures from Germany to the USA.” Insufficient harmonisation was thus creating inefficiencies, lengthy processes and high costs, and did not result in any security gains, Dr. Rupprecht stressed. “In the past few years, Lufthansa Cargo’s security costs have increased more than tenfold. And that trend looks set to continue.”
However, the airline manager also pointed out that, in spite of the scope for improvement as regards processes and harmonisation, security levels in the industry were recognised as being high, and the measures in place ensured a high degree of security for airfreight traffic. “For Lufthansa Cargo the rule will continue to apply that security is not negotiable. For that reason, we will continue to work very closely with the authorities and all those involved in the air cargo industry in order to develop meaningful security measures,” he explained.
Harald Zielinski, Head of Security & Environmental Management at Lufthansa Cargo, stressed that the airline’s Security Conference had a key role to play in this process. “Dialogue between politicians, the authorities and the logistics companies is crucial if we want to further improve security regulations and at the same time ensure smooth implementation as well as competitive processes and costs. With our fifth Security Conference, we have once again brought together top representatives from all the areas involved.”