16 Additional Carriers to Move to the eAWB at First U.S. Airports

On July 1st, 16 airlines at John F. Kennedy (JFK) International Airport in New York and Dallas-Fort Worth International (DFW) airport in Texas, are switching to electronic Airway Bill (eAWB) as the preferred means to ship air cargo. JFK and DFW are the first airports in the United States with airlines making the transition toward the eAWB.

Earlier this year on March 1st, 15 air cargo carriers implemented the eAWB Single Process Approach, a technique which places the bulk of eAWB processing and data management on carriers to increase freight forwarder and Ground Handling Agent (GHA) uptake.

A total of at 9 airports throughout North America are mirroring this trend including Chicago O’Hare International (ORD), Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International (ATL), Los Angeles International (LAX), Miami International (MIA), Montréal–Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport (YUL), Toronto Pearson International (YYZ), Vancouver International (YVR) as well as JFK and DFW as mentioned.  According to the International Air Transport Association (IATA), JFK is the second largest airport in the United States by eAWB volume trailing behind Chicago O’Hare that fills the number one spot. Chicago O’Hare has airlines moving to the eAWB on August 1st.

Carriers making the move to the eAWB at the above airports include Aeromexico, American Airlines, Air Canada, Air France, China Airlines, Cathay Pacific, Delta Air Lines, Finnair, KLM, Korean Airlines, Lan Cargo, Lufthansa Cargo, Qatar Airways, Saudia Cargo, Swiss and United.

In order to provide additional insight into the eAWB initiative in practice, IATA has coordinated a series of events as part of its eAWB360 program to help airlines, freight forwarders, GHAs and technology partners rollout the eAWB worldwide. The eAWB360 program itself has evolved as adoption has taken flight at a global level.  Previously, the event agenda focused on educational and outreach material. Now, the conference is packed with sessions geared toward how to implement the eAWB at a practical level.

The eAWB360 conferences are continuing their march across North America with additional stops in Miami on August 2nd; Atlanta at Delta Training Center on August 16th and the Los Angeles (LAX) Sheraton Gateway Hotel on September 15th.

Benefits from the eAWB include better communication, reduced data entry, improved customer service, added security, increased quality and reliability. Since air carriers are facing pressure from customs authorities to submit advance manifest information ahead of wheels-up, airlines can also benefit from enhanced regulatory compliance. On the forwarder side, some businesses, especially Small to Medium Enterprises (SMEs), have been hesitant to adopt the eAWB due to a perception that the initiative would require a large cost outlay to implement or would dramatically impact operations.

This view has slowly been countered by many SME forwarders who have rolled out the eAWB with little effort and minimal cost.  Small to medium forwarders have benefited from web-based portals that can quickly and easily transmit eAWB and electronic Consignment Security Declaration (eCSD) details to carriers.  With a simple, one-to-many interface, forwarders and GHAs can communicate digital airway bill details to multiple connected carriers.  This ends the need to jump to numerous carrier portals and switch context and focus.

With more and more major air cargo hubs adopting the eAWB as the standard practice, the need for forwarders to leverage a simple solution with minimal disruption to operations is essential.

Video: The Electronic Airway Bill (eAWB)

In order to provide additional background on the eAWB, and how the initiative is impacting carriers, forwarders and GHAs, we encourage you to view our eAWB video.

Watch this video about The Electronic Airway Bill on YouTube.

In addition to the above, Descartes has developed a series of resources on the topic which can be found below:

  • Descartes eAWB Resource Center – Review comprehensive resources for carriers, forwarders and GHAs in regard to the eAWB and more.
  • eBook: The eAWB for Freight Forwarders - Register to download an interactive guide developed specifically for air freight forwarders including critical analyses and a self-assessment worksheet.
  • eBook: The eAWB for Carriers – Register to download a detailed, informative piece that examines the challenges and benefits of adopting the eAWB, tips and techniques, industry trends and more.
  • eAWB Infographic – With costs shared across the entire air cargo supply chain, learn how forwarders are rolling out the eAWB to realize meaningful benefits.

Ask us more about Descartes webDocs™, Register to request an interactive demo on Descartes’ leading web-based eAWB solution.

Written by Jim Alemany

Director, Rate Management Solutions at Descartes