E-Freight is an industry-wide program that aims to build an end-to-end paperless transportation process for air cargo made possible with a new regulatory framework, modern electronic messages and high quality of data. Initiated by IATA in 2006, the e-freight program became an industry-wide initiative involving carriers, freight forwarders, ground handlers, shippers, customs brokers and customs authorities.
The e-freight roadmap outlines a shared end-to-end industry approach with clear leadership roles, around three core components, or "pillars":
- Engaging regulators and governments worldwide to create an ‘e-freight route network’ with fully electronic customs procedures and, where regulations support, paperless shipments
- Working collaboratively within the cargo supply chain to digitize the core industry transport documents, starting with the Air Waybill (AWB)
- Developing a plan to digitize the commercial and special cargo documents typically accompanying airfreight today, in or outside of the ‘Cargo pouch’
- Operational Efficiency: e-Freight brings operational efficiency through the reduction of the end-to-end processing time (up to 24h)Cost effectiveness: e-Freight brings cost effectiveness through the reduction of document processing and archiving costs
- Data Quality: e-Freight improves data quality and accuracy (e.g. auto-checks, mandatory fields,)
- Innovation: Standardization and digitization are key enablers for the development of new innovative services and solutions, thus increasing the value of the air freight to shippers (e.g. real time status update)
- Sustainability: e-Freight will eliminate more than 7,800 tons of paper documents annually, the equivalent of 80 Boeing 747 freighters filled with paper
- Regulatory compliance: e-Freight implementation facilitates compliance to international and local regulations (e.g. facilitate Advance Electronic Information (AEI) requirements for security purpose) May 2018 e-AWB industry target for 2018 In September 2017, the Cargo Committee endorsed an e-AWB industry target of 68% for 2018. The mission of IATA for the next two years is to lead and support the industry towards a global e-AWB penetration rate of 80%, a significant threshold where industry will be mature enough to pursue the penetration of e-AWB by itself.
STATUS AS OF MARCH 2018
The e-AWB network covers 66% of worldwide trade (the e-AWB network corresponds to locations where the legal framework has been created to allow an electronic contract of carriage)
The global e-AWB penetration reached 53.1% on the legally feasible trade lanes Key achievement in 2017 In order to address the e-AWB adoption challenges and to sustain the growth in the penetration rate, the following supporting initiatives have been achieved in 2017.
e-AWB implementation playbook: In December 2016, IATA published the e-AWB implementation playbook. This guidance material has been developed by IATA to support the adoption of e-AWB by airlines and forwarders, presenting the different steps to go through for a successful e-AWB implementation.
eAWBLink: Following successful completion of Pilot testing, IATA launched the new eAWBLink industry tool in November 2016. Designed specifically for small and medium sized forwarders, it is a simple, easy to use tool that will enable SME forwarders to do e-AWB and join the e-Cargo Community. 100+ customers from 25 countries already adopted the solution. More info on www.iata.org/eawblink
eAWB360: To help the industry accelerate e-AWB adoption, IATA launched eAWB360, an industry callto-action initiative, consisting of a series of coordinated industry communication and engagement activities aimed at encouraging airlines, freight forwarders and ground handlers to adopt e-AWB as well as building stakeholder readiness at selected airports. As of end of 2017 e-AWB360 is live at 37 high volume cargo airports supported by 31 leading e-AWB airlines.
e-AWB Global Standard Operating Procedures (SOP): At the end of 2017, a major revised version of the e-AWB Global SOP will be published which aims to describes the operational steps that stakeholders of the air cargo supply chain should follow when using e-AWB. This document should help to simplify the implementation of e-AWB and will progressively replace the existing SOP at airport level.
e-AWB adoption monitoring: IATA published a new report last year to monitor the e-AWB adoption at the airport level in particular (but not limited to) eAWB360 airports. The report, which comprises the 100 major e-AWB airports, is available here:
Source: IATA /July 2018
Barcelona Air Route Development Committee
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