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Airlines will have a single agreement with IATA that enables them to accept e-AWBs from all participating freight forwarders, while freight forwarders will have a similar agreement that will allow them to tender e-AWB shipments to multiple airlines at numerous airports worldwide. Des Vertannes, IATA's global head of cargo, said, "The approval of the multilateral e-AWB agreement is the most important new cargo standard developed in the last two decades. It gives us critical momentum to achieving the e-freight vision of a paperless cargo system.
"[E-freight] is a top focus for the Global Air Cargo Advisory Group, which produced a road map to coordinate industry efforts. The IATA board of governors recognized the importance of the e-AWB to achieving e-freight and set ambitious targets. At the end of 2012, e-AWB penetration was 6.8 percent. By the end of 2013, the target is 20 percent. And the big challenge is to reach 100 percent by the end of 2015."
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