Priceless value for cargo shipments
Commenting on Emirates' e-freight initiative with DHL and Schenker, cargo head Ram Menen said his company believes paperless processing of documents will become the industry standard in less than three years. He added that while IATA is leading the drive, "in some locations, the transition may take more time for Customs and government entities in various parts of the world due to local practices and needs."
Responding to whether the delay in implementing a paperless environment is due to cost, technology, security or lack of cooperation between entities, he said: "It is more a case of changing mind sets, as the benefits and the business case clearly indicates the value proposition to the industry. ... There is a myth floating around that it will add to the overall costs of transaction. In fact, the opposite is true. In reality, e-freight reduces costs by improving transactional/operational efficiencies as well as improving productivity."
Menen noted that the UAE, Singapore, Hong Kong, Mauritius, Seychelles, Spain and the UK are the top e-freight performers from an Emirates' cargo perspective. He suggested "those who accept this concept and drive it through their organization first" will reap the financial benefits of early adoption.
Asked to put a value on e-freight to participants, he added: "Priceless. Emirates SkyCargo truly believes there are significant cost savings and efficiency gains to be made. Not only through tangible means, but there are many hidden and non-apparent gains to be achieved if this initiative is wholly adopted."
As part of IATA's e-freight initiative, Cathay Pacific and subsidiary Dragonair have now switched to e-AWB for Hong Kong-based flights from January 1st.