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

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.

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.”


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