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The group previously announced its intention to collaborate towards the vision of an end-to-end paperless transportation process for air cargo. The new GACAG e-freight road map outlines the approach, scope and overall plan GACAG members intend to promote to bring that vision to reality.
For the first time, the road map outlines a shared end-to-end industry approach, with clear leadership roles, around three core components, or pillars:
"¢ Pillar I: Engaging regulators and governments worldwide to create an "e-freight route network" with fully electronic customs procedures and where regulations support paperless shipments
"¢ Pillar II: Working collaboratively within the cargo supply chain to digitize the core industry transport documents, starting with the air waybill
"¢ Pillar III: Developing a plan to digitize the commercial and special cargo documents typically accompanying airfreight today, in or outside of the "cargo pouch"
Michael Steen, chairman of GACAG, said: "This new road map will form the basis to manage the e-freight initiative moving forward and fully integrates the work done previously in the context of the e-freight project. It also identifies a number of areas where further work needs to be done in collaboration between the different associations that are members of GACAG and that represent the entire air cargo supply chain. This work includes standards, business process and other areas."
Using the road map, GACAG members aim to create an environment, by the end of 2015, where the core transportation documents are paperless on at least 80 percent of the world's trade lanes, and where the traditional cargo pouch accompanying the shipments would be removed for a large set of shipments. As part of this, a key goal will be to achieve 100-percent e-AWB by the same time frame.
The move has been strongly welcomed by Des Vertannes, head of cargo for IATA, which began the e-cargo initiative. IATA is one of the four founding members of GACAG along with the International Federation of Freight Forwarders Associations, the Global Shippers' Forum, and The International Air Cargo Association. Vertannes said: "This is a strong signal of the commitment of GACAG members to collaborate for an even safer, more secure, efficient and sustainable air cargo industry. The GACAG members hope that they will be joined in this vision by all forces in the global supply chain and look forward to working together with all concerned parties in this regard."
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