Forwarders need to see e-freight's value
A survey of 450 freight forwarders found that "realizable and significant value" needs to be seen in the airport-to-airport section of the supply chain before e-freight will truly be embraced industry wide.
Of those surveyed, more than half said they were aware of The International Air Transport Association's e-freight program, but less than 20 percent of them were involved in the initiative. Many of these forwarders have already made the move toward electronic documentation in the land and marine transport industries.
“The initial findings clearly show a positive shift in forwarders’ attitudes to e-commerce, with forwarders willing to invest only if airlines do likewise," Bill Gottlieb, FIATA's immediate past president, said in a statement. "They see themselves evolving and becoming more recognized as the carrier’s customer in the air cargo supply chain and pursuing modernization of the documentary process to entice them towards technology led industry initiatives.”
Gottlieb called for all the organizations to work together in order to inform forwarders and other parties about e-freight and to bring air cargo up to speed with the other logistics industries.
"Air cargo remains woefully behind other modes of transport in terms of e-commerce," Gottleib said. "We know that for every industry, it takes time and investment to build momentum, but right now there clearly isn’t enough value added to entice many airlines and the wider international forwarding community to come to the table.''
The International Federation of Freight Forwarders Associations (FIATA) and The International Air Cargo Association (TIACA) conducted the survey.