MAIN TITLE: IATA e-freight
A good example of CSR and Sustainability is International Air Transport Association’s (IATA) initiative to take the paper documents out of air cargo transport. The project is initiated industry-wide and involves carriers, freight forwarders, ground handlers, shippers and customs authorities.
A single air cargo shipment generates more than 30 documents that are used and/or handled by the various parties involved . These paper-based processes are not cost effective, nor do they serve the pressing needs for security and speed that are the key characteristics of air cargo.
Thus, in December 2004, the IATA Board mandated IATA to lead an industry-wide project whose aim is to take paper out of the air supply chain, and create the conditions to replace the existing processes with new processes where the industry, and governments, rely on the electronic exchange of information between the parties to facilitate the movement of freight.
The long-term vision for the industry should be to eliminate the need to produce and transport all paper for all stakeholders. This is Paperless e-freight.
IATA e-freight replaces 13 of these documents with electronic messages. That will increase to 16 in 2009, and 20 in 2010.
Key benefits for industry include:
* Lower costs: industry savings of up to US$4.9 billion annually
* Faster service: a reduced cycle time of an average of 24 hours
* Greater reliability and accuracy: one-time electronic data entry at point of origin
* Better visibility: electronic documentations allows for online track and trace functionality
Key benefit for Environment – IATA e-freight will eliminate more than 7,800 tonnes of paper documents, the equivalent of 80 Boeing 747 freighters every year.
As a result the average net industry operating benefit after five years based on documents in scope is US$ 1.3 billion. The total annual net benefit of the project once 100% e-freight is achieved for the documents in scope is US$ 4.9 billion.
Such initiatives by other government and semi-government organisations can bring a major change in the way business is done.
For more information on IATA e-freight project: http://www.iata.org/stb/efreight/