Swiss WorldCargo has been selected by IATA to pioneer the introduction of a new ‘e-freight’ facility. With preparations in top gear from November on, “No paper, thanks!” will soon be the Swiss WorldCargo motto: from the beginning of next year, Switzerland’s quality cargo carrier will record and handle cargo consignments in electronic form. The new approach is not only good news for the environment; it will simplify processes, enhance transport quality and save money, too.
“We are honored to be chosen by IATA to trial e-freight in a practical working environment and help this new facility achieve its worldwide breakthrough as swiftly as possible,” says Markus Loeffler, Senior Manager e-freight at Swiss WorldCargo. “We see our selection as a ‘paperless pioneer’ by the airline sector’s umbrella organization as a clear confirmation that Swiss WorldCargo is one of our industry’s most innovative cargo service providers. But we also view it as an incentive and a commitment to further refine this forward-looking cargo handling approach.”
The new e-freight facility will initially be introduced at Zurich Airport - again on IATA’s initiative. In practical terms, this means that not only Swiss WorldCargo but all the parties involved in the local logistics chain will exchange their consignment details online. The corresponding portal will thus include links to Zurich’s forwarders, handling agents and distribution agencies, and to the Swiss customs authorities.
IATA’s overall aim is to ensure that air cargo consignments are handled electronically as extensively as possible by the end of 2010. This will save a vast amount of paper - an annual volume that would fill 39 Boeing 747-400 freighters, the association has calculated. It should also save the partners in the logistics chain worldwide a total of USD 1.2 billion a year - provided all these partners are electronically linked up and are prepared to make the switch to the paperless handling approach.
If they are, no fewer than 13 of the traditionally written import and export documents currently used in the airfreight business - from certificates of origin to waybills, packing lists and declarations - should become paperless. These 13 documents alone account for up to 60 per cent of the present paper mountain.
“E-freight represents a quantum leap in the air cargo sector,” says Oliver Evans, Chief Cargo Officer at Swiss International Air Lines. “And as one of its pioneering practitioners, Swiss WorldCargo will be playing a key role in ushering-in this new paperless era.”