Bolloré Logistics on e-AWB: “Soon the Integration of Digital Data Systems will be Essential for the Industry”
Bolloré Logistics on e-AWB: “Soon the Integration of Digital Data Systems will be Essential for the Industry”

Bolloré Logistics on e-AWB: “Soon the Integration of Digital Data Systems will be Essential for the Industry”

June 15th, 2016

Find below the transcript in English of the AEROLATIN NEWS (An IATA publication) article – in Spanish – about the implementation of the Electronic Airway Bill (e-AWB) along with the testimony of Bolloré Logistics - Arnaud Fryda.

Original article in Spanish:


A marked interest in the implementation of the Electronic Airway Bill (e-AWB) was the common denominator among the attendees of the first two conferences of the "e-AWB360 North America", a campaign held in May in Toronto and Montreal, Canada, developed by the International Air Transport Association (IATA), and which aims to facilitate the adoption of e-AWB by the actors of the supply chain. 

More than 100 people attended to the first session in Montreal and over 150 in Toronto to receive information about the e-AWB360 and e-AWB campaigns. Both sessions were followed by important personalities such as Lise-Marie Turpin, Vice President of Air Canada Cargo, who explained the reasons for which e-Cargo is a strategic asset for the whole profession; Ruth Swoden, Executive Director of the Canadian International Freight Forwarders Association (CIFFA); and Arnaud Fryda from Bolloré Logistics, who shared the vision of its Group with other agents.

The e-AWB360 involves 19 airlines and 4 GHAs (handling agents) around the world having chosen among 21 airports offering e-AWB as preferred method to ship the goods by air starting from a common date by all participants. To accompany the change, all airlines are committed to operate the ‘Single Process’, which allows agents to deliver their shipments without paper guide, regardless of the destination. If required, the airline or its GHA takes the responsibility to print a hard copy based on the FWB electronic message issued by the freight forwarder.

A clear feedback example in the use of the e-AWB is the case of the Bolloré Group, an industrial Group considered as one of the 500 first company in the world, with main feature diversification based on innovation and international development, and taking strong positions in its three major areas of activities: transport and logistics, communication and media; and electricity storage.

This is how a giant like Bolloré found in the development and implementation of the electronic documentation something essential for both competitiveness and growth.

Regarding the Head of Data Management project of Bolloré Logistics (e-freight, Cargo Iq, MB), Arnaud Fryda, expressed his experience with the e-AWB, putting forward the advantages and benefits of its implementation. “The e-AWB360 is an excellent initiative of IATA; cargo agents did not have the means to check the need for printing an AWB according to the destination beforehand. It is very complicated to work with different airlines that do not have the same procedures of acceptance of the goods. Having identified the 19 airlines in the eAWB360 and therefore working under the same standard known as 'Single Process', allows small and large companies to deliver their goods without a hard copy of the AWB, and even without envelopes for the documents. The e-AWB360 is ideal for our operational teams who can implement e-AWB to 100% with the airlines we work with,” said the undersigned, stressing that “we believe that data technology is the main challenge of tomorrow and it is necessary to invest heavily in this area.”

About his experience with the e-AWB, A. Fryda said that “It is difficult to quantify the benefits, bearing in mind that several airlines with which we interact still require paper documents; we have to continue maintaining our traditional systems as well. The first challenge is to enter the digital world and to be part of a more sustainable world by investing in new solutions and changing existing processes. Henceforth, the benefits will be more obvious, but despite this it is necessary to follow with the evolution of activities.”

On the other hand, A. Fryda specified the development target of the Group saying that “In the past, our goal was to align our e-Cargo objectives with those of IATA, but we now want to go further with even more ambitious internal targets.”

Benefits from the use of the e-AWB in Bolloré are the impact on the environment, of course, but especially the greater reliability in the process, the fluidity of air transport due to the gain of time, the harmonization of processes and the improvement of relationships with airlines.

“On the other hand and if the initiative is beneficial to the industry, next year we could extend it to Latin America,” explains Olivier Sécache, Director of IATA for the Americas. “In many countries we have made progress in recent months on e-Cargo and with IATA we will ensure that the region has access to this new standard of business, essential to the improvement of foreign trade,” he added.

It should be noted that the e-AWB is an initiative developed by IATA which seeks to eliminate the need to issue the AWB on paper, to be submitted by electronic transmission instead, thus abandoning the printing, handling, or the classification of the AWB, and simplifying the process of air freight within the supply chain.

This is how the e-AWB reduces processing costs, because it avoids paper handling or filing, thus avoiding errors or delays in the processing of the goods and by allowing real-time access to information for all airport staff at all times.

“We wish to systematize the use of the e-AWB/e-freight in order to encourage all companies to adopt the ‘Single Process’ which is the key to success. To ensure its optimal implementation, it is necessary to receive FMA messages from all airlines to confirm the receipt of messages FWB and FHL (Master AWB and House AWB). Undoubtedly, the development and integration of digital data systems will be an absolute necessity in the industry,” said A. Fryda.

Learn more about the e-AWB

Following this initiative, in all airports where e-AWB360 campaign ended, IATA makes available information on the e-AWB such as the process for its implementation on its web site  These documents are the result of working groups mainly composed of agents, airline companies, and associations.

It is thus, for example, that June 1, 2016; the airports of Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver (Canada) in addition to Hong Kong airport have become eAWB360. In this way, and from this date, in Canada: Air Canada, Air France, American Airlines, Cathay Pacific, Delta Air Lines, KLM, Korean Air, Lufthansa Cargo, Qatar Airways, Saudi Arabian Airlines and Swiss have made the e-AWB a standard, paper is only an alternative to electronic format *.

* Participation may vary depending on the airports.

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