The exchange of electronic instead of paper documents between parties in air cargo supply chain may include a number of technological approaches depending on the individual stakeholders. The e-freight project considered the removal of documents across the supply chain that simplify the movement of freight and are supported by an agreed international electronic messaging standard. The documents generated in the transportation of air cargo are categorized into three main categories: customs documents, commercial documents and transport documents.
The e-freight benefits are based on the following criteria (IATA, 2013):
Airlines' investments are increasing in areas such as mobile self-service, unattended baggage delivery, boarding gates and baggage notifications. Nearly three quarters (74%) of airports are already investing in passenger biometric identity management solutions to increase safety and efficiency.
The airport industry is faced with the urgent need to reduce costs and optimize operational efficiency. Furthermore, sustainability is a constant concern for the industry, which increasingly recognizes that transformation must take place today to achieve tomorrow's emission reduction targets. Smart technology, automation and digitalization are the only ways in which our sector can find the right balance between profitability, safety and sustainability.
Digital innovation applied to the air transport sector allows for an improvement in aircraft sequencing, both in en-route airspace and in approaching airports, with consequent optimization and reduction of fuel consumption. The digital enhancement of the sector will therefore concern both the development of new digitalization tools for aeronautical information, and the implementation of platforms and services for unmanned aircraft.
The "secure sharing of information" will also allow the creation of a new generation communication backbone, able to connect the various operating sites of the flight assistance systems, guaranteeing the coverage of cybersecurity requirements.