A Paperless Future in Air Cargo

May 17, 2018Air Exports, News

In a time when most industries are working to move into the digital space, the air cargo industry is beginning to have visions of a paperless future. Although the air cargo industry still largely relies on paper, the International Air Transportation Association (IATA) is making strides to eliminate paper documents. The IATA’s goal is to have an efficient air cargo industry that relies on a fully paperless process and smart data sharing, which enables innovative and value-added services for customers.

The IATA is pushing for air cargo to go digital for several reasons, including the fact that going paperless would allow those in the air cargo industry to stay connected and up-to-date throughout all processes, no matter where they are. The idea is that if one person uses electronic updates, everyone will be able to see what step in the supply chain process that package is in, which means there would be no surprises when it comes to shipping time. Not surprisingly, most companies and customers place a lot of value on being able to constantly track their packages and knowing exactly when a shipment is expected to arrive.

With the IATA working to eliminate paper documents, here is what we know about how the air cargo industry’s potential paperless future could impact supply chains overall and individual customers:



For supply chain providers, paperwork can be time consuming, expensive, and a hassle, especially when dealing with time-sensitive shipments. By reducing the amount of physical paperwork, and replacing it with digital processes, shippers will save precious time otherwise wasted on what may seem like busy work. The IATA’s ONE Record vision is to “have an end-to-end digital logistics and transport supply chain where data is easily and transparently exchanged in a digital ecosystem or air cargo stakeholders, communities and data platforms.” With ONE Record, logistics and transport partners will be able to combine their shipment data into a “single shipment record,” that will significantly improve shipment data quality and availability.

Additionally, a paperless future in air cargo means having full access to electronic customs procedures and regulations at your fingertips. For supply chain management companies, this will provide employees access to answers regardless of where they are in the world.

Maintaining paperless supply chain management processes may also make companies seem more desirable when compared to out-of-date competitors, simply because they may offer a digital tool for partnerships.



A paperless future would deliver customers a more cost effective, efficient and environmentally-friendly way of shipping cargo. With the growth of e-commerce, customers want to be able to know exactly where their shipments are at any time. The Interactive Cargo project, another initiative under the IATA, aims at developing responsive air cargo services based on intelligent systems that are able to self-monitor, send real-time alerts, responds to deviation to meet customers’ expectations, and record on the cargo journey to allow data-driven improvements.

For customers, this move to a paperless future would allow for more ease when booking online, making payments or tracking freight electronically.

TOC Logistics’ air export team works tirelessly to ensure full transparency with client shipments, and our technologically advanced team is constantly looking at new ways to make sure we are being as efficient as possible. As the future of air cargo transitions into a paperless future, TOC will continue to be at the forefront of the industry to provide the best possible solutions for supply chain management.


Our capable and experienced team is standing by to assist organizations and supply chains across the globe. Click the button to get in touch with our team.

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