In 2016, more than 50% of the global air trade relied on paper-based processes. A shipment can generate up to 30 paper documents and many of the processes, such as track & trace, still depend on human intervention.
e-freight is an industry-wide program that aims to build an end-to-end paperless transportation process for air cargo made possible through the regulatory framework, modern electronic messages and high quality of data.
An industry-wide effort
Initiated in 2006 and now part of StB Cargo, the program is an industry-wide initiative involving carriers, freight forwarders, ground handlers, shippers, customs brokers and customs authorities.
The e-freight roadmap outlines a shared end-to-end industry approach to remove three types of documents:
- Customs documents: engaging regulators and governments worldwide to create an ‘e-freight route network’ with fully electronic customs procedures and where regulations support paperless shipments.
- Transport documents: working collaboratively within the cargo supply chain to digitize the core industry transport documents, starting with the Air Waybill (AWB).
- Commercial & special cargo documents: developing a plan to digitize the commercial and special cargo documents typically accompanying airfreight today, in or outside of the ‘Cargo pouch.’
The ultimate goal of the e-freight program is to bring benefits to the air cargo industry, including:
- Operational efficiency
- Cost effectiveness
- Data quality
- Regulatory compliance
For more information on the benefits of e-freight, check out the