I had just booked my travel for another business trip and, within minutes, I had my ticket … an e-ticket that is. I couldn’t help remembering how, not so long ago, you would have to get your ticket at the airport or have it delivered to your place of business. Now, you can send an e-mail to someone and give them the specifics of your trip and, before you know it, you have your e–ticket and you’re done. It’s great for the environment, not to mention that it’s a huge time and cost savings for the airline industry. So, I got to thinking, what is the airline industry doing from a cost savings and environmental perspective? I went to the IATA (International Air Transport Association) website and saw that, back in 2004, they launched an initiative called Simplifying the Business. The e-ticket portion of this project was completed in mid-2008, whereby 100% of the airline industry was issuing e-tickets saving the industry about $3 billion.
Wow, if the airline industry could save that much money on e-tickets, it would seem the air cargo booking portion of the business could save even more. Well, sure enough, as part of the 2011 Simplifying-the-Business initiative, there was a cost reduction project for air cargo. The e-freight project was looking to take cargo-loads of paperwork out of the supply chain - literally speaking, the air cargo industry can fill up to 80 Boeing 747s with all the paperwork it has to produce every year. Not only will this paperwork reduction have a significant impact on the environment, but the industry could save over $4 billion annually. And, if that’s not enough to convince you, how about the benefit of reducing transit times, or improved accuracy or just plain-old increased customer satisfaction? I’d also be willing to bet that these benefits will go beyond the air cargo industry and have a direct effect on ocean and ground transport as well.