Korean Air announced its upcoming transition to a fully digital documentation system for air cargo: the electronic airway bill (e-AWB). This digital transition will initially cover documents for general cargo departing from Korea headed for major markets, including North America, Europe, and Japan.
What is e-AWB?
e-AWB offers a digital alternative to traditional paper airway bills. The long-standing paper airway bill system requires in-person visits, paper documentation, and printing. With e-AWB, Korean Air will eliminate these steps, greatly streamlining reservations through to final delivery. This digital shift doesn’t just promise speed; it assures better data accuracy, transparency, and enhanced information-sharing capabilities.
Moreover, adopting a paperless system reflects Korean Air‘s dedication to its Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) initiatives, highlighting its commitment to a sustainable future. It’s a move that’s expected to drastically reduce costs, remove inefficiencies, and innovate the entire AWB system.
Seamless Transition Ensured
Korean Air has prioritized a smooth transition to the e-AWB system. With foresight, they held extensive consultations, undertook trial operations, and collaborated closely with stakeholders, cargo clients, and forwarders. As part of the phased roll-out, the airline has set a mandate: starting January 2024, all Korea-outbound cargo will exclusively use e-AWB. Subsequently, the digital transition will encompass all Korean Air Cargo from global stations.
Speaking about this transformative decision, a Korean Air official remarked, “Taking this digital step forward will bring an innovative paradigm to logistics. We support IATA’s effort to phase in e-AWB for air cargo’s digital transformation.” They added, “We believe Korean Air’s commitment to international industry initiatives will help raise Korea’s air cargo industry competitiveness.”
Korean Air’s transition to e-AWB is more than a procedural change. It reflects the airline’s forward-thinking approach, dedication to sustainability, and commitment to the global air cargo industry.