Added Security and Efficiency in the Air Cargo Supply Chain

The Electronic Consignment Security Declaration (eCSD) is developing as an important component for the submission of air freight security documentation. eCSDs have already been adopted by countries such as Germany, Switzerland, and South Africa and the U.S. Transportation Security Administration (TSA) conducted a proof of concept detailing the need for the eCSD to better collect information.

The Consignment Security Declaration (CSD) provides regulators with an audit trail that details how cargo has been secured along the supply chain. The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) requires that all air shipments be accompanied with this type of documentation, whether on the Air Waybill (AWB) or separately.

The eCSD is simply an electronic version of the CSD, allowing airlines and air freight forwarders to archive and exchange security information electronically to ensure that only secure cargo is shipped. eCSDs can be audited by regulators at any point in the supply chain to view information on who secured each consignment as well as how and when it was secured. International Air Transport Association (IATA) has been the primary driver behind the initiative, working with carriers, regulators, freight forwarders, and Ground Handling Agents (GHAs) to develop the standards and processes for eCSD data capture.

Electronic Consignment Security Declaration (eCSD) Testing

Testing of the eCSD began in Germany followed by Switzerland and South Africa. These three countries now officially support the eCSD and tests have also since been conducted in the United Kingdom and the Netherlands. In the U.S., a proof of concept was completed with positive results from participating carriers, forwarders and GHAs.

The tests in Europe established that necessary security information for a master waybill consolidation security declaration could be transmitted by air freight forwarders and successfully received by GHAs. In addition, supporting security information for the house bills associated with the master air waybill was properly stored in freight forwarders' internal systems. IATA has also introduced Resolution 651 that details a standard for that provides consignment information.

eCSDs have shown to improve both security and efficiency. By establishing that cargo has been secured upstream of the airport and through transit points, bottlenecks and delays can be reduced. Standardization and digitization simplify validation checks to ease the operational work of stakeholders. Early adopters may have a competitive advantage over their peers by streamlining processes and reducing supply chain operational costs. Governments are realizing the advantages in efficiency that come with the electronic exchange of trade information. Market leading logistics software providers are also enabling systems that are eCSD capable.

Contact us to learn how Descartes can help you adopt the Electronic Consignment Security Declaration and other digital processes into the air cargo supply chain.