Lufthansa Cargo and Kuehne+Nagel pioneer paperless freight transportation with an all-digital shipment flow

  • Moving jointly forward in the field of digitalization and sustainability in air freight: Introduction of “paperless corridors” between Europe and Asia
  • The first “paperless lane” between Germany and Hong Kong has successfully been established and piloted with 100 per cent paperless general cargo shipments

In an era driven by digital transformation and environmental consciousness, the need to reduce paper usage and streamline operations has become increasingly paramount. By introducing “paperless lanes” between Europe and Asia, Lufthansa Cargo and one of its most digital partners Kuehne+Nagel seek to eliminate the unnecessary burden of physical documentation while optimizing the entire air freight process. The benefits of paperless lanes extend beyond operational efficiency. This collaboration will also make substantial contributions to sustainability efforts within the air freight industry.

Already in the first weeks of the pilot phase, Lufthansa Cargo and Kuehne+Nagel achieved 100 per cent paperless shipments for general cargo on the lane between Germany and Hong Kong. This means not only the electronic air waybill, but additionally also targets accompanying documents and paper pouches. In the next phase more lanes will be targeted. By increasing the number of paperless lanes, a whole paperless corridor between Europe and Asia will be built for general cargo where the transport of paper could be eliminated.

Both companies are excited about the transformative potential of this pilot project. By using paperless cargo to full capacity within the paperless corridor, Lufthansa Cargo and Kuehne+Nagel are paving the way for a more sustainable and an efficient future in logistics. This initiative reflects their commitment to harnessing innovation and technology to drive positive change within the industry.

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Dr. Jan-Wilhelm Breithaupt, Vice President Global Fulfillment Management, Lufthansa Cargo, highlights: “We see great opportunities in this initiative as it supports all participants in pushing their handling efficiencies as well as increasing data availability and transparency throughout their network. The transition to a paperless environment will significantly reduce processing times plus complexity and offers just in time shipment status information. However, it will only be a first step towards a fully digitalized air freight future; especially accompanying documentation of special cargo will come into our focus soon enough.”

Furthermore, Lufthansa Cargo’s long-standing customer Kuehne+Nagel is very pleased by the achievement of 100 per cent paperless freight and has set a clear goal to further expand the paperless footprint according to Kolja Mahler-Wingen, Vice President Air Logistics Operations Germany, Kuehne+Nagel: “In addition to the positive effect of paperless handling, which primarily saves time and gains efficiency, a purely digitally supported process also offers further potential for automation in order to reach the best possible transparency and data quality for our customers around the globe. We as Kuehne+Nagel are highly committed to further expanding our digital ambitions on the way to a fully digitized air freight process.”

Both Lufthansa Cargo and Kuehne+Nagel encourage industry players to join them in their efforts to eliminate unnecessary paper documents. Participating in the “paperless corridor” is easy for interested logistic companies: All that is required is the participation in the electronic Air Way Bill (eAWB) Single Process and the selection of the eFreight Special Handling Code (EAW) for all general cargo when preparing the shipment and paperless delivery to the airline.

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Devender was born in the year when the Beatles Group was formed. He holds two master’s degrees in English Literature and Public Administration. He also has an Honors degree in English Literature and a post-graduate diploma in Corporate Communications and Public Relations. He was closely associated with the Indian State Transport Undertakings and Ministry of Transport in his role as Corporate Communications and PR specialist for over two decades handling domestic and international organizations. He ventured into business forming his own Media House, Profiles Media Network Private Limited which is now a twenty years old company. Excelling as an editor, Marketing, PR, Anchor, and Advertising specialist, he is now expertly navigating the world of social media. A widely traveled professional internationally, Devender has a deep understanding of the Air Cargo, Cargo Business, Cargo Airports, Freighters and Cargo Industry at large.