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LONDON, 23 April 2007 – CHAMP Cargosystems, the world’s only IT company solely dedicated to air cargo, has joined the IATA e-freight initiative.

The initiative, which could deliver projected savings of $1.2 billion annually, is designed to eliminate the need to produce and transport paper documents for air cargo shipments by moving to a simpler industry-wide paper-free environment.

Short term, the aim is to replace air carriage paper documents with electronic documents, using electronic data to eliminate the hundreds of millions of paper air waybills and house waybills produced each year. As the project develops, certified and verified digital documents will replace other shipping documents such as letters of instruction, packing lists, invoices, certificates. These can be printed when required for regulatory purposes by national authorities.

John Johnston, CHAMP Cargosystems’ CEO, said, “CHAMP Cargosystems is ideally positioned to support the IATA initiative with its prime focus on providing automation solutions to the industry. By establishing standards and developing automated solutions for the full supply chain, and driving process improvements within the customer base, CHAMP will help the industry prepare for countries’ adoption of ‘paperless’ cargo.

“We are the largest ASP service, supporting more than fifty airlines in the air cargo industry which collectively created 15 million air waybills in 2006, along with a proportionally large volume of house waybills. Much still needs to be done within the legal framework of nation states before all-electronic documents are accepted, but by improving the overall quality of current electronic data, and building electronic document alternatives to replace paper, the IATA e-freight project is big a step in the right direction.”

While the greatest gains rely on legislative change, the industry will benefit immediately from better, quicker exchanges of electronic data. IATA’s e-freight Message Improvement Programme will increase data quality, timeliness and consistency, reducing data duplication, redundant data capture, and error-prone manual re-keying. Even without the longer-term gains of automated customs reporting, this will improve carriers’ and forwarders’ business processes.

The vision for e-freight is the paperless delivery of goods from shipper to consignee. For this to succeed, the different national authorities involved will need to accept a digital representation of current paper certificates, documents and manifests. Several countries – including Canada, India and the USA – already require electronic reporting of cargo inventories pre-arrival, though each has a slightly different set of data or protocols to be included in the report.

In an attempt to simplify the reporting requirements, the e-freight initiative now includes the World Customs Organisation (WCO) as one of its participants. While this process continues, CHAMP Cargosystems has implemented a Global Customs Gateway, designed to remove the complexity of redesigning a solution for each national authority as new requirements for automated pre-reporting emerge.

As an IATA Strategic Partner in the e-freight initiative, CHAMP Cargosystems will continue to provide the full service solutions expected by its customers, both now and in the future.

For further information (not for publication) contact:

Lorna Thompson / Joanna Masson
Octopus Communications for SITA
Tel: 08453 700 655
Notes to Editors:

CHAMP Cargosystems S.A.
CHAMP Cargosystems S.A. is headquartered in Luxembourg, with offices in London and Atlanta and is the world’s largest IT company providing ASP Cargo solutions to the Air Cargo Industry. The company provides leading cargo systems and services, backed by an unrivalled number of industry experts and the financial capability to deliver the next generation of cargo IT solutions. With a customer base of over 200 including 58 airlines and a workforce of 200 staff with expertise in all areas of cargo automation, the new company enjoys a 36 percent market share of the top 150 cargo carrying airlines. CHAMP Cargosystems S.A. is a subsidiary company of SITA.

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