e-AWB gains momentum, but may miss goal

Ethiopian Cargo 777-F Artwork K65450

Ethiopian Cargo 777 freighter artwork.

For the second-straight month, the usage of electronic air waybills (e-AWB) across the airfreight industry has grown by 2 percentage points, according to IATA. However, the added momentum appears to be insufficient for the industry to reach IATA’s goal of 45 percent penetration by the end of 2015.

At the end of September, IATA reported that e-AWB participation reached 34.1 percent, in increase of 2.4 percentage points compared with the August estimate. Should the penetration rate increase at the same rate thro

ugh the end of the year, the best the industry could do would be to reach 41.3 percent, or 3.7 percentage points off the pace to reach 45 percent.

Last month, Panalpina reached the No. 1 spot on the list of top forwarders using e-AWB by breaking the halfway mark at 50.2 percent penetration – a 1.9-percentage-point gain. Panalpina edged out SDV Group, close behind at 49.7 percent, and Hellmann Worldwide Logistics, which remained steady at 49.4 percent.

Meanwhile, Ethiopian Airlines showed the greatest carrier increase in adoption of the paperless e-AWB system, boasting an 8.5-percentage-point rise to 63.2 percent penetration. China Airlines – which this week also announced that it is “switching over to e-AWB (single process) as the preferred means for shipping cargo to all destinations,” beginning at Amsterdam on Jan. 1, 2016, and at Frankfurt, Feb. 1, 2016 – boosted its penetration rate by 7.2 percentage points in September to reach 45.3 percent.

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