18 Feb 2011



e-Freight aims to take the paper out of the air cargo supply chain and -processes and replace it with cheaper, more accurate and more reliable electronic messaging. Facilitated by IATA, the project is an industry-wide initiative involving carriers, freight forwarders, ground handlers, shippers and customs authorities.

According to IATA, each air cargo shipment carries with it as many as 30 paper documents – enough to fill 80 Boeing 747 freighters every year!  These air cargo shipment documents consist of the following categories:

  • Trade documents
    • Invoice
    • Packing-list
    • Certificate of Origin
  • Transport Documents
    • Flight Manifest
    • Air Waybill
    • House Manifest
    • House Waybill
  • Customs Documents
    • Import & Export Cargo Declaration & Release
    • Import & Export Goodss Declaration & Release

e-Awb keyboard (source: Air Cargo News)

    A good presentation on how the paperless e-freight process works, step by step with all the related EDI (Electronic Data Interchange) / FSU (Freight Status Update) message flows, can be found here on IATA's website, here in a powerpoint presentation of CCS Hungary or here on the site of CCS Hungary ( > downloads > AWB presentation)

    Find out more about e-freight and how to get started here on IATA's e-freight site,  IATA created a self-assessment tool and provides a capability matrix of air cargo IT providers, an e-freight savings calculator and  several matchmaker tools.

    Further information here on Air Cargo News or here on Air Cargo Netherlands site. 

     The official IATA e-freight logo

    Photo source: SDV

    I invite all of you in the industry to contact me for corrections or additions, 
    and who are new in the business to question me 
    in order to improve the information on this site! 

    [last updated apr 27th, 2016]



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    Hi Tarek, thanks for your reaction. Normally on a big hub the cargo will be transported to the aircraft position about 50-60 mins before departure. Time for loading will depend on the aircraft type, amount of ULD's / bulk cargo and resources available. Could you please specify your question a bit further?

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