The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has recommended the entire air cargo value chain to implement its e-freight programme in order to increase efficiency and improve competitiveness.
IATA's director general and CEO Giovanni Bisignani said e-freight had the potential to eliminate $4.9bn in costs across the air cargo supply chain.
"We will convert a further four documents to electronic format and add 20 countries to the programme. This will give us the capability to remove 64% of the paper from the system and cover 80% of international shipments," Bisignani said.
Currently, e-freight is operating in 24 countries and at over 100 airports, while 16 of 20 planned air cargo documents have been already converted to an electronic format.
The next document to be converted by IATA will be the electronic airway bill (e-AWB), which is currently being trialled by three airlines and 11 freight forwarders.
During the trials it was found that e-AWB delivered faster air freight shipments with reduced delays.
IATA has also proposed a more effective and cost-efficient approach to security with its Secure Freight programme.
"Our Secure Freight strategy focuses on a data-driven, risk-based approach with shared responsibility throughout the supply chain," Bisignani said.
Secure Freight aims to secure the supply chain by defining, auditing and registering secure operators that act in compliance with a quality assurance system.