Lufthansa Cargo is pushing the electronic Air Waybill (eAWB). The cargo carrier signed an agreement with IATA this week enabling electronic Air Waybills to be used significantly easier and more efficiently in future.
Paperless airfreight is set to become more convenient especially for customers of Lufthansa Cargo. Following the new IATA multilateral electronic air waybill standard, forwarders need to sign only one agreement with IATA to gain acceptance from multiple carriers for their eAWB. All signatory airlines are then automatically included in the accord. The agreement spells out clear rules on the usage of the eAWB and renders complex bilateral eAWB agreements on legal aspects and interfaces between carriers and freight forwarders unnecessary.
Lufthansa Cargo has been a key influencer in pushing the initiative and has tested its practical viability in a trial run since last November. “This industry-wide agreement is a major milestone on the road towards a completely paperless air cargo transport,” emphasized Lufthansa Cargo CEO and Chairman Karl Ulrich Garnadt. “Both our customers and we as an airline will profit from easier utilisation of the eAWB as well as from more efficient and faster processes.” Lufthansa Cargo plans to switch entirely to the use of eAWB by 2015. In the course of this year the eAWB is to become standard for transports from all German stations to all destinations in the global network of Lufthansa Cargo.
Lufthansa Cargo has for years spearheaded migration to paperless airfreight in the industry. More than 60 of its customers, worldwide, have already signed up to using the eAWB.