SAUDIA Cargo has operated the country’s first e-AWB export shipment, flown on behalf of local agent Express Forwarding Services (EFS).
The ground-breaking 0.5-tonne consignment was successfully transported on a Saudia flight from Jeddah to Cairo.
A number of major challenges were overcome, including the refinement and enabling of the airline’s systems and operational processes for e-AWB shipments and a sustained educational outreach campaign to promote e-AWB engagement with Saudi-based logistics companies.
Peter Scholten, vice-president, commercial, of Saudia Cargo expresses delight that the independent freight forwarding sector is helping the airline to pioneer e-AWB transformation in Saudi Arabia.
“EFS got involved after attending an e-AWB launch meeting hosted by Saudia Cargo,” he adds.
Nadir Kalappadan, business development manager at EFS, states: “We agreed to participate in the e-AWB programme because our commitment to deliver excellent service to our customers means we must stay at the forefront of technology.
Des Vertannes, global head of IATA Cargo, says this go-live is a major breakthrough in many ways. “Saudi Arabia is an important air cargo market which is now adopting e-AWB under the strong leadership of its national airline Saudia Cargo.
“EFS’s involvement demonstrates that the e-AWB is easily accomplished by small- and medium-sized freight forwarders. I expect the Middle East to reinforce its position as the most advanced region of the world in terms of e-AWB adoption in the coming months,” he adds.