Paperless Air Cargo and Logistics Solutions to Boost Productivity Across Supply Chain
25 June 2013
Inter-agency efforts to encourage and ease the adoption of solutions
Fourteen air cargo and logistics companies adopt new innovative e-freight@Singapore solutions to enhance productivity and accuracy in airfreight documentation processes across the supply chain. These solutions were developed by three consortia - Innosys Pte Ltd, Kewill Pte Ltd and vCargo Cloud Pte Ltd – which were selected by the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) and the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA) in February last year through an industry call-for-collaboration.
Speaking at the launch event of these e-freight@Singapore solutions today, Mrs Josephine Teo, Minister of State, Ministry of Finance and Ministry of Transport, highlighted that e-freight@Singapore provided a new model for achieving sectoral-level productivity transformation and cost savings that would benefit all stakeholders - shippers, freight forwarders, ground handling agents and airlines.
Government supports industry adoption of solutions
CAAS, as the champion of e-freight@Singapore, together with partner agency IDA, has been advancing the e-freight@Singapore solutions to enhance Singapore's competitiveness as a leading global air cargo and logistics hub. CAAS and IDA provided funding to the three consortias for the development of their solutions, as well as incentives to support new companies coming on board to adopt these solutions. These companies can expect funding support for the costs incurred for manpower, purchase of hardware/software and e-freight transactions carried out.
A key priority in the implementation of the e-freight@Singapore solutions has been to ensure a smooth transition from paper to electronic documentation for companies. Necessary training and deployment support were provided to companies to ensure seamless transfer of processes to e-freight, with minimal disruption to business operations.
In addition, the three consortia leads have established an interoperability agreement to ensure that electronic messages can be transmitted seamlessly between users regardless of which solutions they are using.
Strong support for e-freight@Singapore from the industry
The Singapore Air Cargo Agents’ Association (SAAA) and the Singapore Logistics Associations (SLA) are industry partners supporting the e-freight@Singapore programme.
Mr Steven Lee, Chairman of SAAA, said, "The Singapore Aircargo Agents Association is fully committed to this initiative and has been a strong supporter of the e-freight@Singapore programme since its inception. This initiative will further enhance the supply chain as data transmitted electronically can be re-used in downstream activities.In order to remain competitive, the air cargo industry must continue to create value and increase efficiency across the supply chain."
Mr Gerry Tan, Honorary Secretary and Chairman of Air Cargo at SLA, added, "Amidst the current landscape of on an ever-shrinking air cargo traffic volume, it is imperative that service failures such as longer dwell times, erroneous handling and damages be kept at a minimal. Today, air travel can connect any passenger anywhere in the world within 24 hours but strangely the same cannot be said for air cargo. Traditional local enterprises must be prepared to embrace more advanced yet inexpensive IT solutions such as e-freight. It helps improve lead times, enhance shipment visibility and reduce administrative burdens. Perhaps we should take a leaf out of our "passenger e-travel" industry's book."
A typical airfreight flow includes the shipment of goods and the management of information and business processes between multiple parties locally and overseas. Each international airfreight shipment requires the processing of more than 30 different paper documents, increasing the cost of airfreight and lengthening transport times.
Diagram: Flow of a shipment and stakeholders involved in the airfreight export process.
The e-freight@Singapore programme, which is built on the International Air Transport Association (IATA)'s e-freight programme, aims to take the paper out of the air cargo documentation process and replace it with the exchange of electronic data and messages. E-freight electronically captures data entered "at source" at the shipment's point of origin (ie. by the shippers), and transmits the data electronically through the inter-connected supply chain for "re-use" by other stakeholders downstream, thus reducing the reliance on paper documents in the airfreight export process.
About the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS)
The mission of CAAS is to grow a safe, vibrant air hub and civil aviation system, making a key contribution to Singapore's success. CAAS' roles are to oversee and promote safety in the aviation industry, develop the air hub and aviation industry, provide air navigation services, provide aviation training for human resource development, and contribute to the development of international civil aviation.
For more information, visit www.caas.gov.sg
About the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA)
IDA is committed to growing Singapore into a dynamic global infocomm hub.IDA uses an integrated approach to developing infocommunications in Singapore.This involves nurturing a competitive telecoms market as well as a conducive business environment with programmes and schemes for both local and international companies.
For more information, visit www.ida.gov.sg