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ABU DHABI: March 14, 2016. Members of the WCA forwarder network are to have free access to the Worldwide Information Network (WIN) e-Air Waybill (e-AWB) functionality for the rest of 2016.

The platform, which connects to over 90 airlines, will enable WCA members to submit IATA e-AWBs free of charge via the Web, as well as make e-bookings and receive tracking alerts.

According to IATA the adoption of the e-AWB stood at 36 percent at the end of last year.

FedEx loadingManaging director of WIN John DeBenedette commented: "We are at a tipping point with the level of e-AWB adoption in the industry approaching the halfway mark, so we are very pleased to be able to offer the WCA this opportunity to leap forward."

IATA's global head of Cargo Glyn Hughes said he applauded the move and noted: "Air cargo needs to upgrade its value proposition as shipper expectations become ever more demanding and paper-based solutions just can't deliver the quality, transparency and predictability that is required."

IATA is forecasting a 3.0 percent growth in cargo volumes this year after a 1.9 percent increase last year. However it said pressure from Integrators, competing modes of transport (land and sea), and increased cargo capacity in passenger fleets, will see yields drop for a fourth year running in 2016 by a further 5.5 percent.

Tony Tyler, IATA CEO and director general commented: "Compared to other modes of shipping, air cargo is a premium service. Yet shippers give the industry a satisfaction rating of only 7 out of 10 on average. That is not good enough. The industry must raise the service quality of air cargo and provide a more personalized customer service," he added.

Meanwhile for its third quarter ending February 29, FedEx – poised to acquire TNT Express - reported a net profit of US$692 million on revenue of US$12.7 billion. "Our strong financial performance was driven by increasing demand for our broad portfolio of FedEx business solutions which helped increase revenue and adjusted profit for the corporation," said Fred Smith - still founder, chairman, president and CEO.

"We now expect our fiscal 2016 adjusted earnings to be up 20 percent to 22 percent over last year, as we continue to benefit from our execution of the profit improvement program," added Alan Graf, FedEx executive vice president and CFO.

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