Air, Business, Feature, Freight News, Logistics

Could Calogi have the answer to the e-freight conundrum?

[ November 21, 2012   //   ]

Dubai-based web firm the Calogi team has produced an electronic airway bill aimed at small-to-medium airline and freight forwarders.

A paper air waybill comprises two parts: the front shows shipment details and the agent’s/shipper’s signature. The reverse contains the limitation of liability plus conditions of contract. To move to an e-AWB the shipment details need to be transmitted electronically by the forwarder to the airline, via a Freight Waybill (FWB) message. The document reverse has been replaced by an EDI agreement.

The greatest challenge with the current process is the number of EDI agreements that need to be signed. It is estimated that to move to a 100% e-air waybill environment in Dubai 100+ airlines would need to sign bilateral agreements with some 470 forwarders resulting in a colossal 47,000 EDI agreements.

Calogi however says that its new product solves this problem. The front of the air waybill can be replaced with the FWB and there is no change to this process. However, to reduce the need for the smaller forwarder to sign EDI agreements with multiple airlines, Calogi allows the forwarder to agree the limits of liability and conditions of contract on-line. Once agreed by the forwarder, a digitally signed copy of the reverse side of the air waybill (IATA Resolution 600B) is made available to both the airline and the forwarder.

“I believe this innovation is the first of its kind,” says head of Calogi, Patrick Murray,in presenting the new product at the recent AWB conference in Bahrain. “The simplest way to replace a double-sided document is to replicate it in digital format, which we have done. Our e-AWB solution is perfect for smaller airlines even if they do not have a system to receive and process regular FWBs.” He adds that the electronically signed limits of liability and conditions of contract are completely free of charge to Calogi’s portal subscribers.

A ready-made solution could be a huge step in the right direction for airlines daunted by the cost of investment in new technology to implement the e-air waybill added Gulf Air Cargo senior manager Khalid Mustafa Faqih.  “While I believe it will be very popular amongst smaller forwarders and airlines, even larger airlines may also find this enabling technology as a quick way to roll out the e-AWB.”

Calogi already processes over 85% of Dubai handling company dnata’s cargo terminal shipments electronically and this collectively conducted over 3.5 million transactions since Calogi’ s launch, making it the largest air cargo portal in the Middle East.

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