Despite encouragement by IATA, the adoption of electronic airway bills (e-AWB) has not exactly taken the industry by storm this spring. After reaching a peak of 26.9 percent in February, the adoption rate dropped by 0.7 percentage points in March and a further 0.3 percent in April, according to IATA’s latest release..
The two-month cumulative drop of a full percentage point over the last two months could be a major setback for IATA’s goal of reaching 45 percent e-AWB adoption internationally by the end of the year. To reach that goal, the rate of e-AWB penetration would have to grow by approximately 2 percent each month.
Hong Kong led the way by country (and by airport), with 55.1 percent of shipments using e-AWB in April, but that was down 2.4 percent month-to-month. The United States was next highest with 25.5 percent, up one percentage point from the previous month. Changi Singapore and South Korea’s Incheon airports had the second- and third-highest adoption rates, respectively.
Cathay Pacific leads in carriers, with 60.6 percent e-AWB penetration, followed by Emirates and Air France-KLM Group. However, LAN, Delta and American Airlines showed the most growth from April to March, with 3.4 percent, 2.8 percent and 2.3 percent respectively.
Regarding forwarders, Panalpina increased its rate by 3 percent between February and March, bringing them up to 38.3 percent e-AWB penetration in March, but April was down by 0.9 percentage points at 37.4 percent. DHL Global Forwarding was up 0.1 percent in April over March, with 33.8 percent e-AWB penetration, followed by DB Schenker at 33.5 percent, up 1.4 percent from March to April.
The good news is, despite the two-month dip in global e-AWB penetration, the global e-AWB volumes are up by almost 60,000 tonnes, the highest e-AWB volume growth in the last 12 months.