Transmitting live “Electronic Consignment Security Declarations” is the latest tool to achieve a more reliable and paper free supply chain. The project, now introduced in Switzerland, could mark a significant step forward for the entire industry if not just limited to the Alpine region but implemented on a broader scale.
Less paper, enhanced security, fewer errors in documentation, and a faster flow of shipments from their origin to the cargo compartment of an aircraft – these are the main achievements e-CSD
offers to all parties involved.
The new electronic declaration highlights “who” has secured each consignment as well as “how” and “when” it was secured. With its standardization of both the process and the documentation of such evidence, e-CSD will replace redundant security declarations in various formats, and will simplify validity checks to ease the operational work, reads a statement given by Swiss WorldCargo.
IATA officials applaud: “The e-CSD is a key facilitator for securing the whole supply chain,” enthuses Des Vertannes, the organization’s Global Head of Cargo. “By establishing that cargo and mail consignments have been correctly secured upstream of the airport and through transit points, bottlenecks and delays will be reduced,” he reasons.
This comment is supported by Christoph Kuhn, Project Engineer at Swiss WorldCargo by saying: “The adoption of e-CSD in Switzerland is a big commitment of the regulator in the electronic age and another important milestone on the road to full implementation of e-AWB.”
Hopefully, that will be the case in the near future.
A lot of persuasion is needed
At present, shippers, forwarding agents, customs authorities, and other parties involved in the supply chain first have to be convinced of the benefits e-CSD is offering them. In Switzerland, an IG Air Cargo named group of volunteering firms commenced a year ago testing the workability of e-CSD in day-to-day operations. The trio is made up by representatives of logistics giant Kuehne + Nagel, members of handling agent Cargologic, and the entire team of Swiss WorldCargo. “The results have been extremely encouraging,” summarizes the airlines’ Head of Transportation Processes Christine Barden on the achievements made so far. This is confirmed by the country’s regulator Federal Office of Civil Aviation (FOCA) that recently has approved the e-CSD standards.
A series of charm offensives
Next, as many shippers and forwarding agents have to be convinced to scrap paper work and transmit their security data electronically to customs authorities, handling agents and also the carriers of their choice. A task for the IG members that meanwhile have initiated road shows in Zurich, Geneva and Basel for presenting the benefits of the new e-CSD standards to the main air cargo stakeholders in Switzerland.
There, Peter Somaglia, President of IG Air Cargo urged the participants to give up old habits and be open for new solutions. The manager said: “the introduction of e-CSD has two practical effects: it eliminates one paper copy and secondly it replaces the individual statements requested by various government authorities in the past by one single standard message.”