IATA’s e-AWB penetration rate falls in February

Is there such a thing as a “silicon ceiling”? Much to IATA’s chagrin, the air cargo industry once again failed break through the 50 percent barrier in electronic airway bill (e-AWB) penetration. In fact, the rate just declined in the data most recently available.

February’s 48.2 percent penetration rate represents a 0.3 percent month-to-month decline, casting increasing doubt on whether the industry will meet its end-2017 goal of 62 percent.

The number of shipments using e-AWB also saw a slight decline in February, registering 639,419 following January’s 639,540.

Developed collaboratively with industry stakeholders, the e-AWB eliminates the requirement for the standard paper-based AWB. A single international airfreight shipment can require over 30 different paper documents, IATA said, presenting costly redundancies that IATA is trying to eliminate.

While digitizing airwaybills presents clear advantages, penetration seems to be slowing after rising quickly in early 2016. At the same time, other technologies such as blockchain could make e-AWB redundant, especially if it takes years to catch on. IATA representatives have admitted that adoption rates are less than they had hoped for.

Those interested in learning more about airfreight in 2017, should join us at Cargo Facts Asia in Shanghai, 25 – 26 April.  To register, or for more information, go to CargoFactsAsia.com

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