31 October 2011
DUBAI, U.A.E., 31st October 2011: Emirates SkyCargo, a leading player in the industry move towards e-freight, has added further momentum to the drive by announcing that electronic air waybills (e-AWBs) are now being used for 100% of shipments from its Dubai hub.
The IATA e-AWB initiative aims to remove the requirement for paper air waybills (AWBs) - the contracts used for the transportation of air cargo. By eliminating the need to print, handle or archive the paper AWB, the simplified air freight process brings benefits to businesses throughout the supply chain.
The IATA e-AWB scheme is one part of the E-freight push - a collective industry goal, also facilitated by IATA, to remove paper AWBs, as well as every other document and certificate, by the end of 2014.
Emirates SkyCargo, the freight division of Emirates airline, was already on track to meet the deadline with 51 of the locations it serves e-freight compliant and this latest milestone is further testament to the progress being made.
“The transition to e-freight is a massive challenge for both the industry and Emirates SkyCargo. Change of this scale requires time and many steps have been made, but this really is a giant stride forward,” said Pradeep Kumar, Emirates’ Senior Vice President Cargo Revenue Optimisation & Systems. “Eliminating paper AWBs from our hub demonstrates our commitment to meeting IATA’s deadline and bringing enhanced operational efficiency to the supply chain.
“This was a collective effort and the support of agents and forwarders was integral to the success. The benefits for the entire industry are clear, simplifying business and reducing costs, and as more and more parties come on board, the benefits become greater,” added Kumar.
The e-AWB can be used in all cases where the country of origin and the country of destination have ratified the same treaty: the Montreal Convention or Montreal Protocol.
The use of e-AWBs means information is more accurate, there is a greater degree of confidentiality, while the increased efficiency of the supply chain not only improves the reliability and speed of service, but provides the opportunity to reduce costs on activities such as paper handling and archiving.
In addition, delays caused by loss of documents are avoided, while there is a reduction in the industry impact on the environment.
Emirates SkyCargo is at the forefront in implementing e-AWBs throughout its network - in coordination with freight forwarders - and has made significant progress in the past 12 months.
In addition to the recent e-AWB milestone in Dubai, other notable highlights include the first paperless flight – between Mauritius and Dubai – in December and its inaugural paperless freighter – between Nairobi and Amsterdam – in April.