Is the Interest in e-AWB Implementation Dropping off?

It is not more than six months back that IATA was professing that e-AWB implementation by airlines worldwide would leap and bound upwards during 2015. This, according to the latest information from IATA seems not to be the case. On the contrary, decline and maybe a lack of interest seems to be what‘s happening.

Hong Kong’s Cathay Pacific reports a high e-AWB penetration  /  company courtesy
Hong Kong’s Cathay Pacific reports a high e-AWB penetration / company courtesy

IATA has indeed tried hard to encourage the world’s airlines to speed up the introduction and expansion of e-Airway bill usage.
This was a central point for them in many of the road shows and forums held last year.

The results shown up until the end of spring this year show an entirely different picture.
The year got off to a good enough start peaking at a 26.9 percent usage in February but dropping back by almost 1 percent in March and even further by the end of April this year.

IATA had set a goal with the airlines of internationally reaching a 45 percent usage by the end of this year.
This figure is now in danger and even more so if the decline in actual adoption and usage goes down even further.
It is said that if the 45 percent mark is to be accomplished, then a month-to-month increase of 2 percent would be the minimum acceptable figure in order to end the year as targeted.

Still some time to go before the end of the year.
Is it really a lack of interest on the part of the airlines, freight agents or geographical areas?
Or has it more to do with a lack of internal training on site and understanding of the implementation procedures?
A bit of both maybe!
Despite the present dip the global e-AWB volumes have increased by around 60,000 tonnes, which is claimed to be the highest e-AWB volume during the past twelve months.

On the airline side, Cathay Pacific leads with a good 60.6 percent e-AWB penetration closely followed by the Air France/KLM group and Emirates.

The forwarders are led by Panalpina who increased their implementation rate in February and March by 3 percent which brings them up to a 38.3 percent usage.
DHL Global Forwarding was only able to increase usage by 0.1 percent in April which gives them a total usage of almost 34 percent.

There is still much to be done if IATA is going to be able to confirm its 45 percent usage target by the end of this year.
Stricter discipline on the part of the users as well as enhanced training may be the key to speeding up the international e-AWB usage.

John Mc Donagh

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