The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has said that the electronic air waybill (e-AWB) will become the default contract of carriage for all air cargo shipments on enabled trade lanes from 1 January 2019.
The association said that the key industry milestone “ushers air cargo into a new era where digital processes will be the norm and paper processes will be the exception”.
IATA added that e-AWB brings numerous benefits such as elimination of paper based processes; improved efficiency and reliability of the overall cargo handling process; faster delivery times; a decrease in handling errors; and a positive impact on the environment with reduced paper usage.
IATA introduced e-AWB in 2010 with the objective to initiate the digitalization of the air cargo supply chain and said ever since, the e- AWB initiative has been a key enabler to the digitalization and transformation of the industry, as data availability and quality is critical to deliver innovative solutions and enhance customer experience.
The association said the growing number of stakeholders using e-AWB demonstrates that the industry is ready and committed to embrace the full digitalization of the air cargo industry.
IATA encourages all air cargo industry stakeholders to switch to e-AWB at the earliest unless a paper air waybill may still be required due to applicable international treaties, national law, or as bilaterally agreed between the parties.
The association added that information for implementing e-AWB is in the IATA e-AWB Implementation Playbook.