Lufthansa Cargo and forwarding partner Kuehne+Nagel are piloting totally paperless shipments for general cargo between Germany and Hong Kong, with not only electronic air waybills but all other accompanying documents and paperwork.
Further trade lanes will be targeted in the next phase of the scheme, the partners add, and the plan os to create an entirely paperless corridor between Europe and Asia for general cargo.
Lufthansa cargo vice president global fulfilment management, Dr Jan-Wilhelm Breithaupt said: “We see great opportunities in this initiative as it supports all participants in pushing their handling efficiencies as well as increasing data availability and transparency throughout their network. The transition to a paperless environment will significantly reduce processing times plus complexity and offers just in time shipment status information.
“However, it will only be a first step towards a fully digitalized air freight future; especially accompanying documentation of special cargo will come into our focus soon enough.”
At Kuehne+Nagel, vice president air logistics operations Germany, Kolja Mahler-Wingen said: “In addition to the positive effect of paperless handling, which primarily saves time and gains efficiency, a purely digitally supported process also offers further potential for automation in order to reach the best possible transparency and data quality for our customers around the globe. We as Kuehne+Nagel are highly committed to further expanding our digital ambitions on the way to a fully digitized air freight process.”
The two partners say they are encouraging other industry players to join them in their efforts to eliminate unnecessary paper documents. All that is required is the participation in the electronic Air Way Bill (eAWB) Single Process and selecting the eFreight Special Handling Code (EAW) for all general cargo when preparing the shipment and paperless delivery to the airline.