Air industry embraces digital, road must follow

News

Air industry embraces digital, road must follow

16 Nov 2018 Geneva

The electronic Air Waybill (e-AWB) will become the default contract of carriage for all air cargo shipments on trade lanes from 1 January 2019. 

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) reports, “This key industry milestone ushers air cargo into a new era where digital processes will be the norm and paper processes will be the exception.”

IRU welcomes the news, highlighting the road transport industry’s equivalent – e-CMR – as the pathway to digitising road transport operations in tandem. 

IRU’s Global Innovation lead, Zeljko Jeftic says, “For the benefits to be truly felt, all industry modes need to go hand in hand when it comes to digitalisation in order to enable more efficient intermodal operations. e-AWB is indeed not new, but what is new is that airfreight aims at swift progression towards 100% uptake.”

A large part of air freight in Europe and beyond is carried by truck through Road Feeder Services. These trucks are even included in flight schedules. However, as soon as the highly digital air freight industry hits the road, it faces delays as a result of requirements for paper documents, such as consignment notes. The widespread adoption of e-CMR is therefore a priority for the industry.