Wednesday, July 7, 2010

IATA Electronic Freight System Popular With Air Freight Shippers

eFreight Spreads Across the Globe
Shipping News Feature

WORLDWIDE – Years ago we were told that the future would consist of paperless offices, since when printer sales have soared as more and more information flows across the earth. Now it seem the eFreight system for freeing us of at least part of the mountain of paperwork associated with the shipping industry may at last have a foothold in offices the world over.

eFreight is an industry wide initiative from the International Air Transport Association (IATA) designed to streamline the movement of air freight utilising electronically stored information in place of traditional airwaybills using clearly defined procedures which involve everyone in the supply chain on eFreight enabled airports from trucking companies through cargo handlers and forwarders, air carriers and Customs officials.

In March we wrote how the system had spread to 100 airports in twenty four countries, now three more countries have signed up and, led by companies such as Lufthansa and Emirates Sky Cargo the system looks set to become an industry standard. Emirates Sky Cargo operation reported this month they had moved over 16 million kilo’s of freight using the system since its inception some 20 months ago and they had just, for the first time, managed 1 million kilo’s shipped in one month using eFreight.

Vienna came on board last week as the first Austrian airport to embrace the system and Lufthansa have used Dubai’s status to open eFreight services to Frankfurt and Munich from Dubai Airport Free Zone’s FreightGate5. Look for more countries and hubs to open up to the system which is the latest evolution from the hand written cargo manifests and ships Bills of Lading which date back through the centuries. Only time will tell if the modern electronic storage systems, essential to speed the flow of commerce, will be as versatile and long lasting.