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Indiaexportnews.com

Moving towards removing paper documentation

  12.04.2011    

Dubai's air cargo sector is gradually moving towards removing paper documentation not only to save money, but to reduce transit times, reports the Gulf News.
UK-based Mercator, the airline IT supplier for Dubai's Emirates Group, is working with more than 100 airlines using its software to reduce the paper burden, which still accompanies much of the world's air freight.
Mercator vice president Duncan Alexander said the air cargo industry is moving away from a paper-driven process that can require 30 documents to move cargo on a single journey.
"The paper isn't going with the box anymore," he said of the new e-freight system. "All of the forms are electronic."
Mr Alexander said some warehouses are now fully electronic with handheld scanners. The big problem blocking full conversion is getting smaller players to be plugged into international standards, he said.
When the paperless ticket trend happened, compliance was effected when "big airlines said if you want to do business with us, you have to do this."
But air cargo is much more complicated because it involves not only airlines, but cargo agents and other smaller businesses involved in the supply chain as well as governments and customs agencies the world over.
To date, Mr Alexander said some airlines have completely converted their electronic systems to move cargo so that no or relatively little paper is involved.
With time, as more of the world cargo is processed and handled through an increasingly globalised e-freight system, where much of the paperwork is automated, airlines will experience "a better level of efficiency", he said.


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