E-freight (fully paperless)

Become an actor in the e-freight programme! The ultimate digital cargo journey: freight shipments without any paper attachments. The goal of e-freight is to digitise paper documentation throughout the cargo supply chain, providing you with a faster, more cost efficient, accurate and reliable shipping process.

Click here to register as e-AWB customer!

E-freight is an IATA initiative aimed at building an end-to-end paperless process for air cargo transportation. The initiative involves all actors in the cargo supply chain including carriers, freight forwarders, ground handlers, shippers, and customs brokers and authorities. E-freight is the dematerialisation and digitalisation of all transport documentation: this includes customs, air and road transport, commercial and special cargo documents.

Benefits of e-freight

Today, paper still plays an important role in the air cargo industry. However, handling paper takes valuable time, paper documents can get lost and paper leaves an ecological footprint. E-freight shipments represent the ultimate digital cargo journey as they travel from origin to destination without any accompanying paper documentation.

Fully paperless shipments offer multiple benefits for all stakeholders in the supply chain:
  • Faster supply chain: the ability to send electronic documents before the cargo itself can reduce the industry cycle times.
  • Cost savings: the total air cargo industry can save up US $ 4.9 billion annually.
  • Greater accuracy: allowing electronic data entry at point of origin until RCS reduces shipment delays due to inaccurate or inconsistent manual data entry.
  • Increased security: electronic documents are only made available to parties who require them for the completion of a shipment.
  • Regulatory compliance: e-freight meets all international and local regulations relating to the provision of electronic documents and data required by customs, civil aviation and other regulatory authorities.
  • Environment friendly: e-freight helps to reduce the environmental impact of the air cargo industry. According to IATA, the e-freight programme has the potential to eliminate almost 8 tonnes of paper documentation every year.

Types of documents to be digitised

To achieve the full potential of these benefits, e-freight aims to remove all paper documentation from the cargo journey.

Air Waybill
One of the key documents in air cargo transportation is the Air Waybill (AWB): the document that serves as the contract of carriage between the shipper and the carrier. This document can now legally be replaced by its electronic variant: the e-AWB. Switching from paper to e-AWB is an important step in e-freight: read here to see how to activate your account and remove this paper document from your supply chain!

Security declaration
The Consignment Security Declaration (CSD) provides insight into the complete security audit trail of a shipment according to a standard IATA format. It is already possible to send your shipments without a paper CSD if all required information is mentioned in the electronic AWB: read here how to remove this paper document from your supply chain!

Special Cargo documents
In order to transport special products, accompanying special cargo documents are often required, either attached to the cargo or in the document pouch. This includes a Dangerous Goods Declaration or certificates for live animals and perishables, for example.

Other transportation documents
For many air cargo shipments, the first and last part of the journey is covered by road transportation, which uses paper documents as the contract of carriage (e.g. the CMR Waybill). To be able to achieve a fully paperless journey, these documents should also be digitised.

Digital check-in

Go digital with digital check-in at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol

At Amsterdam Airport Schiphol, it is possible to digitally check-in (export) freight shipments before export delivery at KLM Cargo. The digital check-in can be made in eLink, a Cargonaut IT system. Thanks to the cargo digital check-in, security and customs checks are made beforehand which enables a considerably faster process at ground handling.

Shipments which are not digitally checked-in always require a stop at the documentation office for manual checks of the documents by Documentation staff.

The main benefit of the digital check-in of freight shipments is speed and a more efficient operational process. Shipments which are digitally checked-in and fully paperless (EAW) can proceed directly to the warehouse, while shipments which are digitally checked and have accompanying documents such as a pouch (EAP), can use the quick drop-off Priority desk at KLM Cargo Documentation.

How to join digital check-in?

  1. Join the IATA Multilateral e-AWB Agreement (click here to join).
  2. Fill in the form and request for the AFKL eAWB activation notice.
  3. Receive the activation notice from AFKL (when the FWB meets our standard, the activation notice is send)
  4. Register at Cargonaut for eLink.

Click here for more information on KLM´s acceptance conditions.

FAQ Digital Check–in (AMS only)

Why digital check-in at KLM?

Air France KLM aims to make the operational cargo handling more efficient by making the process more efficient. An important part of this efficiency is the digital check-in. This ensures a faster operational process for all supply chain partners. The digital check-in via eLink (a Cargonaut system) enables a faster cargo handling process. In the air cargo industry still a lot of paper is being used. With the digital check-in, an important part of this paperwork is digitized.

What is the main advantage of digital check-in via eLink for customers?

Speed and a more efficient operational process. Thanks to the digital check-in, time-saving will be realized for all supply chain parties.

What does the cargo digital check-in mean?

The digital check-in means that all steps have been fully prepared by the forwarder & trucking company prior to export delivery at ground handler KLM Cargo;

- Export Control System (ECS): this indicator shows a “green status” when the customs declaration for export cargo has been successfully done and Customs has accepted the ECS message that the shipment will leave the European Union.
- Customs inspection (Customs): this indicator shows a “green status” when Customs has not announced any further customs inspections. This indicator shows a “red status” when Customs has announced an inspection (physical control / FYCO) for the cargo shipment.
- Paperless Goods Tracking System (PGTS): this indicator shows a “green status” when all the PGTS information has been successfully received: i.e. e-AWB, the number of packages and the location. This enables Customs to see the shipment details and location. Thanks to this, a compliant and paperless transfer between the first and second line warehouse is enabled with a considerably faster time is for transport companies during export delivery at the airport (i.e. replacing T1 documents procedures at the ground handler).
- Aviation Security (AvSec): this indicator shows a “green status” when the security status of the shipment has been accepted.
The parties involved need to be a registered agent (RA), the trucking company needs to be known in the EU database and the shipment needs to have the cargo secure status (SPX).
- Paperless indicator: this indicator shows the extent to which an e-AWB shipment is paperless: is it an e-AWB shipment with accompanying documents or not. This indicator shows a “green status” when the required code “EAW” or “EAP” has been filled in by the forwarder in the FWB and this information has been successfully received. This indicator shows a “red status” when this information is missing. EAP means an e-AWB shipment with accompanying documents such as a pouch. EAW means an e-AWB shipment without any accompanying documents. EAP deliveries need a stop at KLM Cargo Documentation using the eLink Priority desk for quick drop-off of the documents, while EAW deliveries are representing the ultimate digital cargo journey and can proceed directly to the warehouse for unloading and export delivery.

What is the scope of the digital check-in at KLM?

The scope of the digital check-in is all export cargo by handler KLM from Amsterdam Airport Schiphol. Also shipments with an onward connection with KLM partner flights (i.e. Air France or Delta Air Lines) can be checked-in digitally. This service is not yet available at other stations than Amsterdam.

All cargo products can be digitally checked-in.

In case I do not use the digital check-in, can I still deliver export cargo to KLM?

In case a forwarder or trucking company does not use the digital check-in, the export delivery can still be done at KLM. In that case there is considerably more time needed at cargo acceptance, such as for the documentation process.

What should I do to ensure a successful eLink trip when delivering export cargo at KLM?

To ensure a seamless delivery process with eLink at KLM, you need to:

- Make an eLink visit to prepare the preannouncement (in eLink).
- Send your FWB´s (digitally) prior to arrival to KLM and Cargonaut and receive a FMA confirmation from KLM.
- In eLink you can check whether all eLink indicators show the green status. For KLM also the code EAP or EAW needs to be filled in, in order to experience the benefits of time saving. For shipments without pouch (=EAW), the truck driver can go straight to the KLM warehouse, after swipe at the security lodge, after which the driver enjoys maximum time saving without any stop at Documentation.
- All shipments of a delivery (the whole truck) need to be digitally checked-in.
- Make an eLink trip: fill in the truck driver name and truck plate number and preannounce the trip.

Who at KLM can I contact in case I have questions about KLM Digital check-in/ eLink?

For questions on KLM eLink, you can contact our customer service department, or contact your KLM Account Manager.

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