Geneva - The International Air Transport Association (IATA) today announced that 11 new locations have been identified as ready for e-freight. These are USA, Dubai, Luxembourg, France, Spain, Australia, New Zealand, Switzerland, Iceland, Denmark and Norway.

Since 2007, e-freight has been operational in six locations: Canada, Sweden, UK, Hong Kong, Singapore and the Netherlands. A further three - Germany, Mauritius and South Korea have launched projects to go live within 2008. Five of the 11 new locations will be selected to launch e-freight in 2008 with the remaining targeted for launch in 2009.

“The momentum to rid air cargo of costly paper processes is building quickly,” said Giovanni Bisignani, Director General and CEO of IATA. “Already we are live in six locations today. We will be operating at 14 locations by year-end.”

IATA e-freight requires that business, technical and legal frameworks are in place to allow airlines, freight forwarders, customs administrations and governments to seamlessly exchange electronic information and e-documents instead of paper.

In the months ahead, teams of experts from participating airlines, freight forwarders, shippers and customs organisations in each location will create local implementation teams. Their efforts will be supported and guided by IATA standards, e-freight operating processes and one-time data entry.

“The industry is in crisis. Record fuel prices and sagging demand growth will drive an industry loss of US$2.3 billion during 2008,” said Bisignani. “We need to simplify and modernise our business. 100% e-ticketing was an important step forward. E-freight is another. It will deliver much-needed efficiency and US$1.2 billion in cost savings while responding to shippers’ demands for improved reliability and more speed.”

E-freight is one of six Simplifying the Business projects being led by IATA to improve service and cut costs. The industry has set a deadline of the end of 2010 for the implementation of e-freight where feasible.

Notes for Editors :

  • IATA (International Air Transport Association) represents some 230 airlines comprising 93% of international scheduled air traffic.
  • IATA e-freight is live in 6 locations - Canada, Sweden, U.K., Hong Kong, Singapore and the Netherlands.
  • E-freight projects have recently been launched in Germany, Mauritius and South Korea.
  • IATA plans to have 14 locations operating e-freight by year-end.
  • Over the past 6 months, IATA has assessed the readiness of over 200 locations worldwide. Forty-three countries were found to have the appropriate international treaties and high level customs framework in place to qualify for e-freight.
  • The 43 locations that passed the initial high level assessment include: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Bulgaria, People's Republic of China, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Dubai, Egypt, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Malta, New Zealand, Norway, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Switzerland, Turkey, United States
  • Together with the original 6 e-freight sites (Canada, Sweden, Hong Kong, Singapore, the U.K. and the Netherlands) these locations handle 63% of global air-freight volumes.
  • A second round of more detailed assessments narrowed that down to 14 sites that are ready, willing and able to launch e-freight by the end of 2009.
  • IATA’s Simplifying the Business programme was launched in June 2004 with five projects - 100% Electronic Ticketing, the use of bar coded boarding passes, common use self service check-in (CUSS), RFID for baggage management and e-freight.
  • Since its launch two projects have been completed (100% ET and RFID) and two new projects launched - Fast Travel and Baggage-management Improvement Programme.