According to the Digital Container Shipping Association, the ocean freight industry spends up to $8bn a year on paper bills of lading. The Covid-19 pandemic has accelerated the need for electronic documentation – and cost cuts – in the struggling ocean freight business.
The DCSA has attempted unsuccessfully to introduce eAWBs, and has asked IATA for help. The DCSA thinks its industry could be saving $4bn a year a decade from now if it could make half its bills of lading electronic.
Across the logistics sector, suppliers will need to help customers find the most efficient way to move their goods, and the transport sector will need to work together to ensure smooth flows.
Cargo aviation and sea freight have a common purpose, with common customers, and cooperation could help both.