Air cargo remains in a tough trading environment as load factors fall and costs, especially fuel, stay high. At a recent major air cargo industry conference airline executives urged that the future of the industry is linked with the adoption of E-freight. The e-freight initiative, which is sponsored by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) is a program that aims to build a paperless, end-to-end transportation process for air cargo. It involves the entire air cargo supply chain.
Following a year-long development process culminating in three months of trials that involved 15 carriers and eight forwarders, the IATA/FIATA Consultative Council (IFCC) endorsed the multilateral e-AWB (electronic-Air Waybill) agreement in February.
"We see e-Freight as essential for the future competitiveness of air cargo, and the e-AWB is the cornerstone of e-Freight" Des Vertannes, IATA's global head of cargo commented.
E-freight offers the opportunity to improve shipment times by up to 24 hours, and remove 7 800 tonnes of paper documents annually. There are several other benefits for the industry in moving to e-freight:
Greater accuracy: Electronic document auto population– allowing one-time electronic data entry at point of origin – reduces delays to shipments due to inaccurate or inconsistent data entry. Electronic documents are less likely to be misplaced, so shipments will no longer be delayed because of missing documentation.
Faster supply chain transit times: The ability to send shipment documentation before the cargo itself can reduce the industry cycle time by an average of 24 hours.
Better tracking: Data entered electronically gives organizations the opportunity to track shipments en route – allowing for real-time status updates.
Better for the environment: IATA e-freight will eliminate more than 7,800 tonnes of paper documents, the equivalent of 80 Boeing 747 freighters.
As investments and trade, mainly with emerging economies, increases, so will the need for air cargo transport. Africa will see a significant portion of the global cargo movement either originating from it or ending here. Already a considerable volume of export products from Africa is perishables that are transported by air.
The growth in this industry for South African and Africa as a whole ensures new opportunities for all in this industry. Are you part of the exciting Freight and Supply Chain industry and looking for a new Freight or Supply Chain job opportunity? We can assist you with your career development. Visit our website and apply directly online.
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