Trade Compliance

GHY discusses changes to international trade regulations and explores cutting-edge compliance strategies.

Speeding Transit and Improving Cargo Compliance with e-Air Waybill

Posted July 18, 2014

The air waybill (AWB) is the single most important transportation document in air cargo. By adopting its electronic counterpart, the e-AWB, the airfreight industry is taking a significant step towards eliminating the numerous paper documents involved in today’s air cargo processes – and helping to improve compliance by eliminating various and costly sources of error along the way.

The e-AWB offers a wide range of benefits for all stakeholders – airlines, freight forwarders, ground handlers and Customs authorities by:

  • enabling lean and smooth processes that significantly improve efficiency
  • eliminating the transport, handling and archiving of paper AWBs, with associated cost savings
  • permitting greater data accuracy and stricter confidentiality
  • lowering the transit times of airfreight shipments by reducing the delays caused by missing or illegible paper AWBs
  • providing global real-time access to AWB information for all suitably-equipped stakeholders.

With the e-AWB, there is no longer a need to print, handle or archive paper AWBs. e-AWB brings accuracy, confidentiality and efficiency. It helps reducing operational costs and speeding-up the delivery of air freight shipments — for example, there will no longer be delays due to the paper AWB being misplaced or lost.

Already in use by a number of major carriers around the world, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) estimates that 22% of global air cargo will be utilizing e-AWB by the end of 2014 and 80% by the end of 2016.

“There is tremendous potential in the e-cargo agenda to help shorten average shipping times by 48 hours from the current average of 6.5 days. Airlines have a pivotal role through expanding the use of e-Air Waybills. But success will need a united approach across the value chain,” says Tony Tyler, IATA director-general.

Click here to find out more about the e-AWB process.