Kuehne+Nagel and Lufthansa Cargo pioneer paperless logistics

In an era driven by digital transformation and environmental consciousness, the importance of reducing paper usage and streamlining operations is increasingly evident. Kuehne+Nagel and Lufthansa Cargo have teamed up to introduce "paperless lanes" connecting Europe and Asia.

Paperless corridors between Europe and Asia 

This strategic move aims to eliminate the unnecessary burden of physical documentation while optimizing the entire air freight process, reaping benefits beyond just operational efficiency. The collaboration also promises to make substantial contributions to sustainability efforts within the air freight industry.

During the initial weeks of the pilot phase, we achieved a significant milestone by accomplishing 100% paperless shipments for general cargo on the Germany-Hong Kong lane. This goes beyond merely implementing electronic air waybills; it also targets accompanying documents and paper pouches. As we move forward, the plan is to expand paperless lanes to cover more routes, ultimately creating a comprehensive paperless corridor between Europe and Asia for general cargo, eliminating the need for paper transport documentation entirely.

Multiple future benefits

Both companies are enthused about the transformative potential of this pilot project. Through the full utilization of paperless cargo within the corridor, we are paving the way for a more sustainable and efficient future in logistics. Our joint initiative reflects a shared commitment to leveraging innovation and technology to drive positive change within the industry.

Kolja Mahler-Wingen, Vice President Air Logistics Operations Germany, Kuehne+Nagel highlights the future benefits of going purely digital : “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.

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.”

Join us

In a call to action, both Kuehne+Nagel and Lufthansa Cargo encourage other industry players to join us in eliminating unnecessary paper documents. Interested logistic companies can easily participate in the "paperless corridor" by engaging in the electronic Air Way Bill (eAWB) Single Process and selecting the eFreight Special Handling Code (EAW) for all general cargo shipments, ensuring seamless paperless delivery to the airline.

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About Kuehne+Nagel

With more than 79,000 employees at over 1,300 sites in over 100 countries, the Kuehne+Nagel Group is one of the world's leading logistics providers. It operates in sea logistics, air logistics, road logistics and contract logistics, with a clear focus on integrated logistics solutions.