A Brief Case for e-freight, the eAWB and a Self-Assessment to Determine Your Readiness to Rollout Air Freight Software

For an industry that is rooted in speed, electronic documentation and messaging seems like a logical choice for air cargo. The global e-freight initiative essentially seeks to "take the paper out of air cargo" and replace it with electronic messaging.

It has been estimated that the paperless delivery of goods has the potential to save the air freight industry up to USD1.2 billion worldwide (Source: International Air Transport Association (IATA)). Since each air consignment may require up to 30 different paper documents (Source: Lufthansa), the need for process improvements is clear. Currently there are 20 documents that are slated to be addressed or replaced by the e-freight initiative including the electronic Airway Bill (eAWB).

With such a dramatic reduction in paper, data duplication and added labor, the initiative has been shown to help increase efficiency, maximize cost-savings and improve data accuracy while minimizing the impact of paper waste on the environment. In addition to its clear benefits, e-freight has also gained global support including that of many carriers, freight forwarders, Ground Handling Agents (GHAs), shippers and customs brokers worldwide. 

After extensive industry research and development, the joint IATA and International Federation of Freight Forwarders Associations (French: Fédération Internationale des Associations de Transitaires et Assimilés) and FIATA Consultative Council (IFCC) effectively endorsed the multilateral eAWB agreement in February 2013.  This was a also major tenet at the 2013 Cargo Services Conference in Doha, Qatar. Still, even with significant process, work still remains both in industry adoption as well as in internal rollout. 

Self-Assessment Questionnaire

With the case for e-freight made clear in this brief analysis, we encourage you to take the following quick assessment your company’s readiness to adopt the initiative. Questions include:

  • To what degree does your company adopt technology?
  • Where do you see redundancy in your freight data in regard to air shipment management?
  • Can you identify potential technical hurdles? If so which one(s)?
  • Is your air cargo and party-related data accurate and up-to-date? If not, do you have thoughts on how can this may be improved? 
  • How would you rate the data integrity of your air freight-related business partners? 
  • How do you currently transfer data to your business partners?  Is the process automated?
  • Are your air freight-related processes well-documented?  Are there Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) that are adhered to throughout your organization?
  • Have you approached an industry-leading vendor who has in-the-field experience with e-freight rollouts?

Please click here to ask us more or to schedule a demo that could help your better assess your needs.