Panalpina goes paperless

PANALPINA is claiming to be the first air cargo company in the world to achieve completely paperless flights for general airfreight.
Using a B747-8 freighter, the global freight forwarder now operates several paperless port-to-port services to Europe, Hong Kong and the USA. 
Following its inaugural paper-free general cargo flight from Alabama’s Huntsville airport to Luxembourg, Panalpina now also runs regular paper-free services from Luxembourg to Hong Kong and from Guadalajara (Mexico) to Huntsville.
 “By 2015, the company aims to eradicate 80 per cent of [paper] pouches for all general air cargo, be it on its own network or on commercial flights, ” says a statement.
The average airfreight shipment generates 30 documents, IATA research shows.
“Panalpina is showing great leadership in adopting e-freight and assisting our efforts in transforming the future of the airfreight industry,” enthuses Des Vertannes, head of cargo at IATA.
“As a global industry initiative, e-freight can only be achieved with the full cooperation of business partners, so we encourage others to follow this example.”
Lucas Kuehner, global head of airfreight at Panalpina, observes: “The benefits of going digital are clear: more efficiency, less cost, reduced environmental impact and increased data quality – but it isn’t easy.
“Airfreight is complex, fragmented and lacks standardisation – but we are overcoming these challenges together with our partners. Our e-freight ambassadors are out there building connections and we train our staff to help make e-freight a reality,” he adds.
Meanwhile, Jeannette Goeldi, responsible for air cargo global standards and governance at Panalpina, stresses: “E-freight doesn’t happen overnight and it requires a lot of groundwork before it can truly take off.
“But our successes so far are an encouraging sign. We’ve established a solid foundation for the future, and we will continue to expand and improve our work to remain at the forefront of e-freight.”

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