Meerbusch, Germany – The e-freight initiative of IATA (International Air Transport Association) aims to introduce paperless air freight transport on all relevant routes by 2015. A major challenge is the electronic transmission of accompanying data and documents between all institutions and service providers involved in the transport chain. “Scope”, the transport management system from Riege Software International, is ideally designed for this task. This has been confirmed with the introduction of e-freight between Düsseldorf-based forwarder Globaltrans and the airlines defined in the start phase.

At present, 44 countries, 384 airports, 33 airlines and 1,658 freight forwarders are taking part in the e-freight initiative, according to IATA. The objective of the project, which started in 2007, is to replace the substantial quantity of accompanying freight documents with electronic data exchange. Regardless of the shipment size, up to 20 documents are required per shipment, and with the multitude of necessary copies this can add up to several kgs of weight. According to IATA, the equivalent of 80 B747 freighters could be saved each year with electronic data exchange.

“The topic of e-freight has a very high priority for us,” says Kay Uwe Gretsch, director of Globaltrans GmbH, which is based in Düsseldorf. In September 2011 the company’s air freight division received a ‘green light’ from Lufthansa Cargo and Air Canada. The two airlines each check the data quality and processes of freight forwarders before accepting them into the paperless handling scheme. The performance of the transport management system had a substantial share in the smooth admission process, according to Frank Bramer, consolidation manager at Globaltrans. “Scope is a very innovative user-friendly system that relieves our staff of significant workload and supplies excellent data quality. All the requirements for e-freight are contained within the software and make handling very easy.”

Lufthansa Cargo, which has declared the IATA e-freight initiative as a strategic objective, was also very satisfied with the results of the test phase. “The data quality that Globaltrans delivered to us with Scope was excellent. That is why we were able to switch over quickly to real paperless shipping,” explains J. Florian Pfaff, Vice President Area Management Germany. Since 2010 Lufthansa Cargo has offered paperless air freight transport within Germany and also worldwide from all locations where e-freight is already available. The airline’s experts also carefully checked the transport management system that delivered this data. “My staff were very impressed by Scope. The Riege system is extremely user-friendly and offers smart functions,” Pfaff points out.

Globaltrans will now gain from numerous advantages created by paperless document handling. Alongside a lower environmental impact, the time and cost savings, improved shipment quality and reliability will be the key benefits. Johannes Riege, managing director of Riege Software International, is delighted at the positive feedback from forwarders and airlines. “We are very satisfied with the results at Globaltrans. Our joint know-how, built up over many years, has flown into the development of Scope. This has led to real innovations that support users in their daily work.”

After this good start Kay Uwe Gretsch would now like to move ahead even faster. “My aim was originally to handle half of our air freight shipments as paperless by the end of the year. But unfortunately most of the airlines are not yet ready,” the Globaltrans director emphasizes.

About Lufthansa Cargo

With a transport volume of about 1.8 million tonnes of freight and mail and 8.9 billion revenue tonne-kilometres in 2010, Lufthansa Cargo ranks among the world’s leading cargo carriers. The Company currently employs about 4,500 people, worldwide. Lufthansa Cargo focuses on the airport-to-airport business. The cargo carrier serves some 300 destinations in more than 100 countries in a dense network spanning the globe. Aside from operating its own freighter aircraft, it utilises the belly space on passenger aircraft operated by Lufthansa and Austrian Airlines as well as the capacities available in an extensive road feeder service network. The bulk of the cargo business is routed through Frankfurt Airport. Lufthansa Cargo is a 100% subsidiary of Deutsche Lufthansa AG.

About Globaltrans

Founded in Frankfurt/Main in 2004, the logistics provider Globaltrans GmbH established itself from the start with the wide range of high-quality services. Within a few years, Globaltrans became one of the leading mid-sized logistics service providers and is now represented across Germany with branches in Hamburg, Hannover, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt/Main, Stuttgart and Munich. In addition, Globaltrans uses Exclusive Partner Agencies at all important trading centres in Europe, Asia, Australia / New Zealand, Middle East, South Africa, North and South America.

About Riege Software International

Riege Software International is based in Meerbusch, Germany, and provides multi-functional and integrated software solutions for air and sea freight operations, ground handling as well as customs services. A family run business and trusted partner of forwarders, carriers and manufacturing companies, Riege employs approximately 80 qualified staff. With profound industry experience and IT know-how the company implements and supports customer-specific projects in all aspects of standard and value-added services, offering a wide range of service and support. Riege Software International supports more than 300 customers worldwide with offices in Europe, Asia, North America and Australia. The list of long-term customers who benefit from Riege software solutions includes Astracon, Dachser, DB Schenker, DSV, Jet-Speed, Kerry Logistics, Logwin, SDV Geis, UTi and Zufall.