Kenya Airways is currently in the process of implementing the IATA electronic cargo platform E-Freight. This makes the national carrier the 2nd airline in Africa to achieve this. The move is to make KQ Cargo promises a more efficient and reliable air freight system.
KQ Cargo General Manager Sauda Rajab said that implementation of E-Freight was part of a wider transformation exercise, where the cargo business had invested in modern information and communication systems to improve the cargo operations process.
The Intergrated cargo System is expected to minimise if not completely wipe out the use of the paper based system in cargo handling by the National carrier. KQ Cargo business has seen great improvements and growth registering a 14 per cent increase in tonnage during the first quarter of this year.
Some of the challenges the airline is facing in regard to this are; customers wanting shorter transit times, lower prices and increased reliability, while customs authorities pushed electronic information in advance. The recent slow economic growth globally had put pressure on cargo revenue and therefore called on airlines to cut their service costs.
E-Freight is an IATA led initiative for the air cargo industry. It involves carriers, freight forwarders, ground handlers, shippers and customs authorities and essentially replaces paper documents with electronic messages thereby reducing costs, improving transit times, accuracy and the competitiveness of airfreight.
IATA had decided to take a multimodal approach to its electronic messaging standards, where electronic messages are now replacing hard copy documents – like the packing list, invoice and certificate of origin – used in all types of transport.
IATA estimates that with adoption of electronic messaging and documentation, the air freight industry could save up to $ 4.9 billion.