IATA to launch e-AWB tool for forwarders

17 / 11 / 2016

IATA will launch a new low cost online tool that is designed to allow small and medium sized freight forwarders to send and receive electronic shipment data, such as electronic air waybills (e-AWB).

The platform allows users to create, send and manage air waybills, house bill and electronic consignment security declarations.

It also allows forwarders to receive status updates from airlines electronically and track shipment status and receive shipment alerts. Documents can also be printed from the system.

“eAWBLink provides a window to over 120 carriers through our industry partners. Overall the e-AWBLink is a tool that will simplify day-to-day business,” IATA said in a promotional video.

“The goal of the eAWBLink is to allow forwarders to switch to the e-AWBs and join the e-cargo community.”

Partners included in the development of the tool are Mphasis, Descartes and Hewlett Packard Enterprises.

The launch of the new tool comes as the air cargo industry continues to struggle with the adoption of electronic technology.

Smaller forwarders and Customs agents in far flung areas of the world are often accused of holding up the development of electronic processes because they lack the systems that are deal with these.

The latest figures from IATA show that e-AWB adoption has continued to improve this year, although at a slower pace than had been hoped for.

At the start of the year e-AWBs accounted for 37.2% of the total number of air waybills that were processed.

By September this figure had edged up to 42%, but IATA’s target of 52% penetration by the end of the year now looks unlikely.