IATA’s e-freight services are dedicated at changing the piling paperwork system into electronic data and messages. But the course for IATA is not going smooth. Only recently the news of air cargo industry trailing behind in technology use and data sharing was revealed based on the IATA figures. The global penetration of e-AWBs is consistently falling rather than picking up speed. IATA was expected to hit about 45% penetration by the end of the year. But it seems that IATA is on the path to miss on its 45% global penetration target. The progress of e-freight has been slow and in June it moved up at a slow pace to 0.8% to 28.8%. At this rate, the company needs about 2.7% boost each month for the next six months to reach their target. But based on the current development, the movement towards the target seems to decline rather than increase.
Missing the e-AWB target might turn out to be disappointing for IATA and the company is hoping to quicken the implementation process in a hope to accelerate the growth rate as much as possible. One of the road blocks for the IT sector is the increasing level of competitiveness that they are facing in the industry. Many enterprises and companies are offering effective and potential solutions, especially to the small market players. US handler Consolidated Aviation Services is planning to launch a portal for ePic which is an e-AWB tool in a hope to gain more footing among SME forwarders. While on one side IATA is trying to revolutionize the –freight system, there are some who are speculating that e-AWBs are only a short term solution for the air cargo industry.
Industry people like Oliver Evans, outgoing chief of Swiss World Cargo believe that there is a flaw in the way we are moving in an attempt to find a solution. She said that although it is impressive and innovative that we are focused on transforming the paper process, we should be more focused on the how part. The plan to transform the paper process is ambitious but she feels that it’s a huge missed opportunity with current technology.
Evans further added that instead of just dabbling around with sensors, we should be focused on changing the industry altogether. You can attach a device to a cargo that will attain information like who owns the cargo, what happened to it and almost every detail.
e-Cargo Buzz feed is IATA’s monthly feed that covers the process of penetration of the e-AWB is struggling to provide positive news nowadays. Mr. Evans believes that the fault lies in the conservative approach of the cargo IT industry in this matter and that they need to spruce things up. He believes that the focus should not be on sticking to the brief for the IT industry but rather on bringing forth unanticipated innovations.