The International Air Transport Association (IATA) launched eAWBLink as an easy-to-use solution to accelerate global electronic air waybill (eAWB) adoption. IATA is partnering with Descartes to use the Descartes Global Logistics Network™ (Descartes GLN™) as the tool to connect eAWBLink with over 100 carriers, and to help small- to medium-sized freight forwarders electronically communicate and receive air waybill (eAWB) data and status messages.

The eAWB is the digital form of a paper air waybill (AWB) and serves as the foundation for electronic communication between air carriers, forwarders and ground handling agents (GHAs). Per IATA, there has been a significant increase in eAWB adoption among larger forwarders. However, small- to medium-size forwarders, who generate approximately 25% of AWBs issued, have been slower to adopt the eAWB. With eAWBLink ( supported by Descartes’ GLN connectivity solution, this partnership will make it easier for forwarders to adopt the eAWB and benefit from the overall efficiency gains it can produce.

Why Descartes for eAWB Communications?

Descartes is a leading provider of value-added network services for electronic logistics communications and a strong supporter of air cargo industry digitalization. Air carriers, forwarders and ground handling agents (GHA) all face increasing pressure to operate efficiently and move goods as quickly as possible at the lowest possible rate. Taking the paper out of the air cargo industry is one of the most significant ways to achieve these goals. By collaborating with IATA to help standardize and digitize air cargo processes, such as eAWB communications, Descartes is helping all participants in the air cargo community improve productivity and operating efficiencies.

Network Connectivity Modernizes Air Cargo Industry Communications

In an industry characterized by tight margins, streamlining air cargo processes is a priority for all participants. Descartes is committed to working closely with IATA to help modernize air cargo industry communications, especially through the adoption of the eAWB. In addition to the eAWB, Descartes has a long history of supporting IATA’s strategic partner initiatives such as e-Freight, Cargo iQ and others.

To learn more about IATA, visit

 For more information on the eAWB, watch this short video (1min 35sec) or visit the Descartes eAWB Resource Center.

Written by Scott Sangster

Vice President, Global Logistics Network at Descartes