The Cargo 2000 initiative was established many years ago to promote greater operational efficiency within the airfreight industry. The main objective was to streamline air cargo processing, thus making airlines and freight forwarders more able to compete with the integrators. One key area that Cargo 2000 focused on was data exchange between airlines and shippers/agents. The facility allows shippers and agents to submit Air Waybills to airlines using the CargoIMP “FWB” EDI message, despatched via e-Mail. Some airlines have introduced fast and slow-lane processing, depending upon whether the Air Waybill has been submitted electronically or by paper.
FCL was the first UK software house to provide an integrated Airline EDI capability within its product. This fast response to a new industry requirement was made possible by FCL’s long involvement with e-Commerce – the software infrastructure required for the development was already in place.
The option to exchange data is switched on within ForwardOffice on an airline-by-airline basis. Where an airline requires data exchange, when a Master Air Waybill is printed or a specific “Milestone” reached, a message is automatically generated and despatched without operator intervention.
As a pay-back, airlines return Status Update messages to the agent. The Airline EDI module has been designed in such a way as to give our customers more or less complete control over what effect each type of status message will have on the shipment to which it relates. Whenever a status message is received, it can be used to optionally update the Job’s Diary, log a non-conformance code, send a notification message to a user, update a “Milestone”, or even perform a Post-Flight or POD update.
In recent years IATA has been driving forward its e-Freight initiative. The main thrust of this is currently focused on the e-AWB and e-CSD, the requirements of which are fully supported through FCL’s additional “IATA e-Freight” module.
The exciting thing about Airline EDI is that it fits in so well with FCL’s long-term strategy for the development of ForwardOffice. In particular, it complements FCL’s Consignment Tracking and Event Management module and e-Commerce offerings. Status update messages automatically update ‘Milestones’ against shipment records and optionally trigger user-defined Events, such as auto-notifications or EDI Status Updates, to customers. Furthermore, with WebTrack and ForwardVision, this information automatically becomes visible to any of the parties involved with a given shipment or order, anywhere in the world.
- Low cost transmission through various portal providers
- Or direct “host-to-host” data exchange with Airlines
- Activated selectively for participating airlines
- “FWB” Air Waybill messages generated automatically at time of MAWB print, without user intervention
- “FHL” Consolidation List messages optionally generated for AMS requirements
- Optional “IATA e-Freight” module fully supports e-AWB and e-CSD requirements
- Airlines return a variety of Status Update messages to you, but they bear the cost
- You configure the effect that each type of status message will have on the shipment to which it relates:
- Optionally update the consignment’s “Diary/Memo” with appropriate narrative
- Log a non-conformance code against the consignment, optionally integrating with the Quality Control module
- Update a consignment “Milestone” date
- Send a notification message to the relevant user (e.g. Post-Flight)
- Perform a full “Post-Flight” update
- Even perform a POD update
- Optional integration with Consignment Tracking and Event Management:
- When specific “Milestones” are completed, various “Events” can be optionally triggered for different parties
- Generates pre-defined or user-defined output via print, Fax or e-Mail
- Includes the output of EDI Consignment Booking or Status update messages
- In this scenario, ForwardOffice can act as a “message switch”
- Optional integration with WebTrack – information automatically becomes visible on the Web for any of the involved parties to view, anywhere in the world
- Optional integration with ForwardVision Order management module