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e-freight, a sustainable component of Cargo



The e-Cargo Conference that took place at the IATA premises in Geneva on 26-27 June  provided the opportunity to review the progress made by the Global Air Cargo Advisory Group (GACAG). This group formed by IATA, FIATA, TIACA and the Global Shipper’s Forum (GSF) aims to align the industry around common goals and tactical approaches on e-freight.

Steve Smith, Vice President e-Applications and Technology Airfreight for DHL Global Forwarding, and Chairman of the GACAG e-Commerce Task Force (ECTF), presented the overall vision, key principles, and three pillar structure endorsed by GACAG to drive the adoption of e-freight as a sustainable component for the Cargo Industry.  Mr Smith stated “our goal is to ensure this is fully driven as an industry-wide program, taking into consideration the interests of all parties. As an example we have the common view provided by a multilateral EDI agreement, necessary to achieve a successful electronic Air Waybill (e-AWB). This agreement is now being developed jointly by IATA and FIATA and we expect it to facilitate e-AWB adoption’.

The GACAG panel highlighted the importance of taking an end-to-end supply chain approach. Sue Presti, Senior Director of Government Affairs for the International Air Cargo Association (TIACA) stated that “shippers need to take a key leadership role in e-freight” and added: “through GACAG, GSF is now fully engaged in the initiative and this gives us the opportunity to involve shippers’”.

The importance of data quality was also highlighted by GACAG. “The information is out there: what we need is the formats and technology to get it right” said Markus Witte, Head of Technology and Innovation at Lufthansa Cargo. “We need to accelerate data exchange and we also need to ensure that technology solutions exist for all parties, including SMEs’.

Des Vertannes, Global Head of Cargo at IATA closed the conference by encouraging participants to continue the collaboration initiated at GACAG level and mirror it through local initiatives: “Through national e-freight industry support groups we can work collaboratively as an industry. Through authorities and regulators we can truly transform our industry and build the foundation for a sustainable, profitable future. I am excited to see enthusiasm and interest and I am looking forward to seeing the results of our collective work in the following months”.

Pictures of e-Cargo Conference

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