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UNCTAD adopts Cargo XML standard developed by IATA



The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) has announced that it is taking up the Cargo XML standard . This e-messaging standard developed by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) is already used in over 90 countries worldwide to simplify communications between airlines, freight forwarders and customs authorities.

From now on, the Cargo XML schema will be integrated with  UNCTAD’s automated customs system, ASYCUDA World. This step towards digitization will cut down the information duplicated, optimize supply change management enhance security and modernize customs transactions. But beyond that, the use of this standardized e-messaging schema will also further the development of international trade.

Bear in mind that by using Cargo XML, based on EDI technology, shipping agents will be able to consult their cargo freight-related documents in real-time. This streamlines logistics operations and enables them to anticipate each task, saving time, something that was not possible with the previous standard, Cargo IMP.

Towards digitization of the air freight sector

IATA’s collaboration with UNCTAD in the spread of e-communications is just a small part of the modernization process the sector is going through in the global scope. The association’s goal is to completely eliminate the use of paper in air freight processing.

To achieve this aim, some years ago the IATA rolled out an e-freight initiative, to promote the uptake of Cargo XML in airlines, airports and customs worldwide. Estimates point to the implementation of a fully electronic system reducing the use of paper by roughly 7800 tons annually.  This would make the air freight sector more sustainable, but would also mean great economic savings arising from the simplified management of these documents and their physical storage.

For now, the statistics from the IATA confirm that global penetration of the electronic air waybill (e-AWB), the most important freight document, was 48.9% in December 2016. Although the figure was somewhat far from the 56% originally planned, the association expects to reach 62% by the end of this year.

Solution to join Cargo XML

EDICOM is part of the Strategic Partnership initiative, as a key IATA partner in the Cargo XML schema area. In this sense, the company has developed a platform that automatically generates the electronic messages defined by the IATA on the basis of this standard. In addition, the EDICOM Air solution translates the previous Cargo IMP standard and links up directly and securely with the customs authorities in each country, thanks to the Public Administration HUB.

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