The International Air Transport Association will makes the electronic air waybill the default contract of carriage for all air cargo shipments on enabled trade lanes effective January 1, 2019.
According to IATA, 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.
The e-AWB brings benefits such as improved efficiency and reliability, shorter delivery times, fewer handling errors and a positive impact on the environment with reduced paper usage.
IATA introduced the e-AWB initiative in 2010, with the objective of promoting the digitalization of the air cargo supply chain. The initiative is a key part of the digitalization and transformation of the air freight industry, as data availability and quality is critical to delivering innovative solutions and enhancing customer experience.
At the end of September 2018, e-AWB had a global penetration rate of 55.9%. IATA’s target for 2018 is 68.0%.
All air cargo industry stakeholders are encouraged 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 parties, according to IATA.