At the 6th IATA World Cargo Symposium held in Istanbul this month, Amsterdam Airport Schiphol and Incheon International Airport signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on e-freight.
The MoU forms the basis for cooperation between these two major cargo gateways in promoting e-freight. The two airports commit to encourage agreements for the use of e-freight between local parties to their supply chain. The MoU also provides for the exchange of e-freight knowledge and expertise between the two hubs, and paves the way for research and development into projects that will further stimulate the use of e-freight between Schiphol and Incheon.
“E-freight is a vital initiative that will strengthen the air cargo industry, improve efficiency and profitability for all parties in the supply chain, and make a significant contribution to aviation’s sustainability efforts" says Saskia van Pelt, Schiphol’s Director Business Development for Cargo, and responsible for the airport’s e-freight activities. “Our growth strategy is to develop e-freight on a route-by-route basis, partnering with like-minded hubs in other continents. This agreement with Incheon Airport is a significant step forward in our goals to become a paperless hub for air cargo, and Europe’s cargo gateway of choice”.
Mr. Young-Geun Lee, Executive Vice President of Incheon International Airport added: “We want to differentiate our cargo service by providing “Fast & Easy” service to our customers. E-freight is the core project to achieve this goal, as it can save an average 24 hours’ lead time, and simplify the process through one-time keying of data. This also enhances data accuracy, and improves supply chain visibility. Korea achieved excellent e-freight performance in 2010, generating 68% of the world’s international and domestic e-Freight volumes. But as it is a two-way process, we cannot reach our goal to provide efficient service to our customer through our own effort alone. Thus we are very happy to have Schiphol as our partner, as another leading airport in this field and also the hub for Europe. By introducing the efficiency of e-Freight between these two major hubs, we are also expecting an increase in cargo volumes.”
E-freight meets the demand for information
Air freight logistics chain partners require up-to-date and easily accessible information about their shipments. In addition to eliminating the paper documents related to the air cargo process, meeting this demand is what e-freight is all about.
Logistics chain partners are well aware of the benefits of e-freight, including reduced costs, less paper, and higher efficiency. The challenge however is that the entire supply chain must change its operational processes in order to reap these benefits. To implement change on this scale, cooperation and coordination is essential.
This year, the air cargo industry is launching a new project in the Netherlands. Participants will join forces to build an open e-freight platform and introduce internationally accepted innovations.
Innovations offer freight forwarders and their logistics partners products to share shipment information, such as air waybills, house consolidation lists, and supporting documents—invoices, packing lists, and certificates of origin. These solutions will help implement e-freight and scale up the number of e-freight shipments.