Korean, Dutch airports sign e-freight initiative
An e-freight agreement between Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam and Korea’s Incheon International commits the two hubs to jointly promote paperless air cargo transportation on one of the world’s major trade routes.
Both the Dutch and the Korean airfreight communities are enthusiastic supporters of e-freight. But Saskia van Pelt, Schiphol’s director business development, cargo, who is responsible for the airport’s e-freight activities, said: “Our efforts alone will not achieve critical mass, which is why we wanted this unification.”
Schiphol, which already has an MoU with Singapore’s Changi Airport, set up an e-freight consortium involving around 30 supply chain partners in Amsterdam last year. The project has attracted 50 percent funding, worth €1.2 million, from the Dutch government.
Korea, for its part, has been proactive at a national level and is by far the largest generator of e-freight, accounting for 68 percent of the world total, with Korean Air Lines and Asiana the leading two carriers.
Young-Geun Lee, executive VP for Incheon, said the aim of the initiative is to provide differentiation and further develop the airport as the gateway for northeast Asia. Hence the Korean government was behind the development of the AIRCIS (Air Cargo Information System) forwarding platform and the parallel Unipass electronic Customs documentation system.
Lee said Korea aimed to use electronic air waybills 70 percent of the time by the end of 2011; this number would rise to 100 percent in 2014, a year ahead of IATA’s own deadline for full implementation.