1 EDI Providing end-to-end airmail visibility International mail is evolving rapidly, and is a growing business. By leveraging and expanding the electronic data interchange (EDI) standards and technology already in place you can help your company grow its market share and increase revenues, improve customer service, reduce costs, and promote efficiencies. Read on UPU UNIVERSAL POSTAL UNION
2 Mail and EDI a natural partnership Many posts and airlines understand that it is in the interest of both industries to integrate processes and systems to be more competitive and to grow revenue. The exchange of standard EDI messages is one of the key tools to achieve this. A relatively small cost to set up EDI yields a very fast return on investment. Growing postal volumes represent opportunities for both posts and airlines End-to-end visibility meets everyone s customer service and planning needs Postal traffic has changed dramatically, with B-to-C and B-to-B traffic comprising well over 85 percent of total volumes. Although much has been said about declining letter mail volumes, the growth of e-commerce and mobile phone and TV-shopping is driving growth of the postal package and parcel traffic. Total postal traffic worldwide is estimated to be around 550 million kg per year. Of that total, packages make up 15 percent and parcels 50 percent. Much of that international traffic is conveyed by commercial airlines. More importantly, package traffic shows double-digit growth figures, and parcel volumes are increasing steadily. Posts need to take advantage of these trends to expand their role as door-to-door fulfilment providers in every country around the world. Postal volume increases translate to expanded business opportunities for qualified airlines. Posts and airlines will need to change to meet growing customer requirements for day-certain delivery if they want to take part in this revenue growth potential. Posts must compete in the market to provide a low-cost, reliable service with tracking options that e-commerce customers demand. Airlines must provide real-time shipment status in a seamless transport network. The exchange of EDI is not only a condition to help meet customer requirements, providing near real time tracking of mail in transport, it is also an opportunity to improve business processes. Post-Airline EDI provides advance notification of expected volumes that allows for revenue management and capacity planning of mail by airlines. Posts and airlines alike need real-time information to manage operations and meet quality targets, improve efficiency and reduce costs, and determine payments to each other. Implementing EDI means both posts and airlines will not only help grow their business but also improve business processes, resulting in reduced costs and improved quality of service. When we receive EDI messages from the posts we receive confirmation of the final volumes for a specific flight and can ensure that we also receive the mail physically. We can proactively manage instances where a post is forwarding more mail than there is space for. We don t have these options for posts that do not forward EDI messages. Therefore posts sending EDI messages enable us to give them a better service. Planner Scandinavian Airlines With the nesting function implemented with the roll out of the latest CARDIT- RESDIT standard M39, we have reduced the number of physical handlings of receptacles, e.g. when reassigning mail to another transport. This saves time and consequently we have more time to meet deadlines. Flight planner Post Danmark A/S Any time we use electronic messaging to interface with government agencies, airlines, and customers, it is a good thing. Not having to work with paper documents reduces errors caused by manual data entry, saves resources required for paper-based handling and expedites processing which allows us to deliver a superior product. Manager American Airlines
3 Leverage existing technology to create paperfree business processes Stay competitive by joining a growing group of early adopters EDI provides tracking capabilities in a manner that is both transparent and seamless by jointly leveraging established technologies to electronically exchange data between posts and airlines. With Post-Customer EDI, Post-Post EDI, Post-Airline EDI, and Post-Customs EDI, electronic information can be shared regarding the location and condition of international mail shipments. Increased use of EDI technology supports the integration of the postal and airline industries. The aim is to provide increased visibility and automation to international mail throughout its lifecycle, and create paper-free business processes a substantial improvement producing efficiencies and cost-savings compared to historical international paper-based mail handling, transport, and accounting processes. Posts and airlines handling more than half of the international postal traffic are already exchanging the Post-Airline EDI messages, and more and more are using the latest standard M39. To gain the benefit of potential business growth it is vital to participate. An increasing number of posts are making EDI exchange a condition to carry mail. Join the community of leading posts and airlines who are using EDI to remain competitive. Before EDI messages were implemented, the status of airmail during transport was not readily available. Exchanging CARDIT- RESDIT made airmail transport transparent in almost real time. We now know where the mail is, when and where unforeseen events occur and when the mail actually arrives at destination. We are able to take corrective action together with the airline and inform our customers immediately. Transport Manager Belgian Post International When Deutsche Post started exchanging EDI messages with us, we were able to use them directly for accounting purposes. This considerably reduced the manual processes, based on paper delivery bills, with reduced numbers of errors and improved, speedier accounting processes. Accounting Manager Lufthansa Cargo
4 EXPORT End-to-end international mail visibility bar-code scanning and EDI Bar-code scanning and other computerized entries generate the different EDI messages at item, receptacle, and transport levels at key points in the end-to-end process. Close cooperation between the different stakeholders and compliance with agreed standards is essential to provide data capturing (bar-code scanning, other computerized entries, systems interfaces) and generate the necessary EDI messages. The following section on the different categories of international postal-related EDI explains how these activities work together to provide crucial endto-end visibility. POST OFFICE DOMESTIC SORTI CENTRE CUSTOMER SERVICE CUSITM ORIGIN CUSTOMS ORDER AIRLINE MAIL SYSTEM EMA ORIGIN POST ITMATT FIRST So just how is EDI used to provide end-to-end visibility for international mail? The illustration shows the different phases and handling points for international mail. Taking an international parcel as an example, the parcel is received from the customer and is inducted into the origin post s domestic network; it passes through several domestic points, including handling, sortation, and transport phases. At the origin ofﬁce of exchange, the parcel is assigned to a receptacle for international despatch and transport to the destination country. The receptacle is then usually assigned to a Unit Load Device (ULD) for international transport. At destination, the receptacle is unloaded from the ULD, then the receptacle is emptied and the individual parcel is retrieved. The parcel is then cleared through the postal customs clearance process, passes through the destination post s domestic network and is delivered to the addressee. AIRLINE CARGO SYSTEM HANDLER SYSTEM DESTINATION POST DESTINATION CUSTOMS Customer Post EDI To date there is no standard for Customer-Post EDI exchanges; however, many customers and posts exchange data electronically for purposes such as order entry, data capturing for customs declaration, and customer service. Post Post EDI Post-Post EDI exchange is standardized and widely used for all mail products. EMSEVT: EMS item EVenT; EMSEVT item tracking messages (originally developed in support of the EMS product but now used for all classes, e.g. parcels and registered mail) are exchanged between the origin and destination posts and provide tracking information about identiﬁed (bar-coded) mail items, from the point of acceptance through to ﬁnal delivery to the addressee. ITMATT: ITeM ATTribute pre-advice; ITMATT messages are exchanged between the origin and destination posts to provide information about an item including details of the sender, addressee, and item content, required for Customs and security screening of the item. PREDES: PRE-advice of DESpatch; the PREDES message provides information about a despatch, a shipment of mail receptacles (e.g. bags, trays) of the same mail category and class sent from one post to another. PREDES is created at the origin ofﬁce of exchange and sent to the destination ofﬁce of exchange. It is used to pre-advise the destination post and for interpost accounting settlement. It is the electronic equivalent of the copies of the paper Letter Bills CN31 and Parcel Bills CP87, as well as receptacle labels and lists of items. RESDES: RESponse to DESpatch pre-advice; the RESDES message conﬁrms arrival at the destination ofﬁce of exchange and provides information regarding the receptacles within a despatch which have been received by the destination post, thereby advising the origin post and conﬁrming when the mail is ready for processing. PRECON: PRE-advice of CONsignment; the PRECON message provides information about a consignment, a group of mail receptacles which have been prepared for handover to an airline for transport between the two posts concerned, and is used to pre-advise the destination post, thereby facilitating resource planning for the processing of the incoming mail. It is the elec-
5 a. s t d - s - e h n - e a h e,, e - PREDES CARDIT/PRECON RESDIT ULD BELLY CART RESCON: RESponse to CONsignment pre-advice; the RESCON message conﬁrms the mail was received from the airline at the destination airmail unit. It provides information regarding the receptacles within the consignment that have been scanned by the destination post at M39 and older CARDIT-RESDIT standards The enhanced and latest CARDIT-RESDIT standard M39 is expected to replace the older existing standards. In due course the older standards M18 (CARDIT V1.1) and M20 (CARDIT V2.0) will be replaced by M39b (CARDIT V1.2) and M39c (CARDIT V2.1). The RESDIT version M22 (RESDIT V1.0) will be replaced by M39d (RESDIT V1.1). Posts and airlines that want to start EDI should implement the M39 standard. The following are some of the key functionalities in the CARDIT and RESDIT M39 standard. or shortly after handover from the airline or ground handler. Post Airline EDI CARDIT: CARrier/Documents Transport advice International RESDIT 14 ARR FSU RESDIT 24 GOVCBR GOVCBR FWB FFA RESDIT 6 RESDIT 74 REC MLD RCS FSU FFR CARDIT PRECON ITMATT LAST EXC PREDES EMC EXA tronic equivalent of the copies (sent from the origin post to the destination post) of the paper Delivery Bills CN38 and CN41. PRECON UPDATE HANDLING FACILITY DEP FSU POSTAL AIRMAIL UNIT CUSRSP ORIGIN OFFICE OF EXCHANGE EMB ING TRANSPORT CARDIT and RESDIT messages are used together. CARDIT represents the post s expectation of the transport service for the consignment of mail receptacles assigned to the airline. RESDIT is the positive acknowledgement to the CARDIT reporting the actual status of the receptacles in transport. RESDIT: RESponse to Documents International Transport advice The origin post sends a CARDIT message on consignment closure before physical handover of M39 CARDIT message functions Original, Update and Final Where the post hands receptacles over to the airline before the consignment is closed or where the post wants to inform the airline of the volumes it expects to assign, an Original CARDIT should be sent prior to the ﬁrst handover, with Update CARDITs sent as receptacles are added to the consignment. When the post closes the consignment a Final CARDIT message is sent, listing all receptacles that make up the consignment. Cancellation When the post decides to cancel a consignment, e.g. following ﬂight cancellation of the airline, the airline will be informed by using a Cancellation CARDIT. Correction Where it is established by data capturing that receptacles are not physically handed over to the airline to which the consignment was assigned, the post shall send a Correction CARDIT, to remove receptacles from the consignment to correct obvious mistakes. M39 RESDIT functions and RESDIT events RESDIT is designed to respond on receptacles pre-advised by CARDIT. In case a CARDIT is not received a RESDIT without CARDIT message can be issued. The full list of RESDIT event codes that could be used are listed in the UPU consignment event code list 100. Examples of some recommended events are ASSIGNED (6) to conﬁrm receptacles are assigned to the scheduled ﬂight, and BOOKING CANCELLED (7) to notify the post that receptacles are not assigned (e.g. compliance issues).
6 RESDIT RESDIT/RESCON RESDES ULD ULD BELLY CART BELLY CART mail. The CARDIT message provides instructions by the post to the assigned airline for the conveyance of the mail and is also considered the ﬁnal booking of space on the transport speciﬁed in it. The CARDIT is the electronic equivalent of the copies (sent from the origin post to the airline) of the paper Delivery Bills CN 38 and CN 41. Trading partners (airlines and posts) determine bilaterally which RESDIT events are to be proin case of a transfer from one contracted airline to another contracted airline, the ﬁrst airline reports transfer of possession of receptacles to the next airline using HANDOVER DELIVERED (42) and the next airline conﬁrms having taken possession of receptacles from the previous airline using HANDOVER RECEIVED (43). M39 and nesting Nesting of receptacle IDs to a container ID allows airlines to scan mail at a consolidated level, i.e. the nest ID. If posts and airlines apply nesting it reduces the need for receptacle level scanning during the process of emptying receptacles out of a container and loading receptacles into containers. Posts nest receptacles when loading equipment for handover to airlines and create a container journey ID label that the airline can scan. CARDIT speciﬁes for each receptacle the container journey ID and container DESTIN OFFICE OF E DLV FSU RESDIT 21 POSTAL AIRMAIL UNIT vided by the airline to the post. To support paper-free transport and accounting based on Post-Airline EDI the mandatory events are those that help establish irrefutable Proof of Acceptance (POA) and Proof of Delivery (POD). The RESDIT events used for POA are RECEIVED (74) and RETURNED (82) to conﬁrm which receptacles were taken into receipt by the airline from the post and which receptacles were reid to which it is nested. Airlines nest when building containers and specify the container ID for each receptacle ID in RESDIT. M39 and the Postal Air Waybill The basic element airline cargo systems report on is the Master Air Waybill (MAWB) number. A MAWB number becomes a Postal Air Waybill (PAWB) number by use of the special handling code MAL for mail. Assigning a PAWB number to a mail consignment with the MAL code makes it possible for airlines to manage mail in the cargo system and to distinguish mail from cargo consignments. The PAWB number can be communicated in the M39 CARDIT and RESDIT messages to help link airline mail and cargo system functionalities. RESDES EMD CUSRSP CUSITM RESCON RCF FSU DLV MLD HND MLD RESDIT 14 ARR FSU RESDIT 24 DEP FSU GOVCBR PRECON UPDATE RESDIT 40 RCF FSU GOVCBR RESDIT 40 HANDLING FACILITY HANDLING FACILITY turned to the post and are not in custody of the airline. For a POD the airline reports the receptacles delivered to the destination post using the event DELIVERED (21). The RESDIT events used for transport status commonly required are UPLIFTED (24), conﬁrmation that the transport has departed; TRANSPORT COMPLETED (14), conﬁrmation that the transport has arrived at destination; and MAIL ARRIVED (40), conﬁrmation that the mail has arrived at the handling facility. Post Customs EDI CUSITM: CUStoms ITeM pre-advice to Customs; CUSITM messages are under development and intended to be sent from the post receiving an item to the local Customs authority, to provide Customs with pre-advice regarding the item including item sender, addressee, contents, postage paid and declared value. This information allows the Customs authority to decide whether the item must be held for security inspection or assessment of duties and taxes. CUSRSP: CUStoms ReSPonse message; CUSRSP messages are intended to be sent from a Customs authority to a post (usually in response to
7 INTERNATIONAL PARCEL TRACKING FOR ITEM CP XX IMPORT 28/9/09 10:43... DELIVERED 27/9/09 15:30... OUT OF CUSTOMS 27/9/09 11:44... IN CUSTOMS 27/9/09 07:33... ARRIVED DEST 26/9/09 18:20... DEPARTED ORIG 26/9/09 11:45... WITH TRANSPORT 26/9/09 09:20... ASSIGNED TO TRANSPORT 26/9/09 08:14... DESPATCHED 25/9/09 14:27... POSTED NATION EXCHANGE DOMESTIC SORTING CENTRE DELIVERY OFFICE Key IATA Standard cargo messages a CUSITM pre-advice message), to advise the post whether an item can be released for onwards processing or must be retained at the OE for security inspection or assessment of duties and taxes. Airline Customs EDI GOVCBR: GOVernment Cross Border Regulatory message; GOVCBR messages are used for export and import cargo declaration (by the airline) and response (by Customs), sometimes referred to as the Freight Declaration, providing the particulars required by Customs concerning the cargo (freight) carried by commercial means of transport. For mail this would be the number of receptacles and the weight of mail on the ﬂight manifest. (Note: the message GOVCBR replaces the existing WCOCAR and CUSRES messages). Airline Airline/Handler EDI There are many standard Cargo messages that could be used to create a link between the airline mail and cargo systems and to transfer information from handler to airline or airline to airline to support RESDIT event messaging. EMH/EMI EDG/EDH EMG EDE EDD EMF EDC EME EDB FWB Air Waybill Data (available to airlines prior to tender of ready for carriage consignments) FFR Booking request message FFA Booking conﬁrmation message MLD Mail Label Data (to transfer receptacle ID information in the airline environment enabling airlines to report a particular mail status event) FSU Status Update (unsolicited update providing the latest status attained for a consignment) MAIL ITEM mail item ID-based messages RECEPTACLE receptacle ID-based messages CARGO cargo messages providing mail consignment and transport status information COPY copy of messages sent to central systems for end-to-end track and trace to support customer service and performance monitoring EVENT DATA COLLECTION METHOD scanner computer This brochure illustrates the processes and EDI messaging supporting the acceptance, transport, and delivery of international mail. As these are constantly being reviewed and improved it can be expected there will be enhancements in the future. For example, not included are allotment planning, space allocation, and post-airline accounts settlement messages, for which it is foreseen that standards will be drafted in the near future. Also, the cargo messages as presented are provided only as examples and are not the only way information is exchanged between handler, cargo, and mail systems, and are shown here to illustrate how an existing cargo system could be leveraged to support messaging for mail. Mail Status Events (within MLD) DLV Delivered to ofﬁce of destination HND Received from a ﬂight or delivered to a ﬂight REC Received from post ofﬁce at origin Cargo Status Events (within FSU) RCS Consignment received from the shipper and accepted as ready for carriage by airline at origin DEP Consignment departed on a ﬂight ARR Flight Arrival at an airport RCF Consignment received from a ﬂight or ﬂying truck DLV Consignment delivered to the consignee or its Agent Key UPU Standard EMSEVT v3 message events used to track individual bar-coded mail items EMA EMB EXA EXC EMC EMD EDB EME EDC EMF EDD EDE EMG EDG EDH EMH EMI Posting/collection Arrival at outward [origin] ofﬁce of exchange Item presented to export Customs/Security Item returned from Customs/Security (export) Departure from outward [origin] ofﬁce of exchange Arrival at inward [destination] ofﬁce of exchange Item presented to import Customs Held by import Customs Item returned from Customs (import) Departure from inward [destination] ofﬁce of exchange Item into sorting centre Item out of sorting centre Arrival at delivery ofﬁce Item out for physical delivery Item arrival at collection point for pick-up (by recipient) Unsuccessful (physical) delivery Final delivery
8 I want to do it! Where do I go for help? As of the printing of this brochure 48 posts and 56 airlines were involved in exchanging CARDIT and RESDIT messages. However, this means there are an additional 140+ posts and 120+ airlines who do NOT yet participate! In many cases, posts are capable of sending CARDIT, but do not have the capability enabled and/or do not have arrangements concluded with their supplier airlines. Similarly, in many cases airlines are capable of responding with RESDIT messages at many locations due to agreements with posts in other countries, but the post at that particular location does not generate CARDIT messages. For posts interested in sending CARDIT messages Posts using the UPU Postal Technology Centre s International Postal System (IPS) for international mail despatch/receipt/edi messaging can already begin sending CARDIT messages. This involves a straightforward configuration implementation in the local IPS system, and coordination with the UPU to set up the electronic mailboxes, in order to begin sending the messages. For technology assistance, contact the UPU PTC at For posts with despatch systems developed in-house or by 3rd party vendors, the development needs should be investigated together with their local or vendor IT development staff. The process necessarily involves gaining familiarity with the pertinent UPU EDI messaging standards mentioned elsewhere in this brochure. These standards are available by subscription from the UPU. Contact the UPU at Posts interested in sending CARDIT messages to and receiving RESDIT messages from their supplier airlines should begin engaging the airlines in discussions to agree to exchange CARDIT/RESDIT messages, each organization committing to do the necessary work to become capable. The IPC website provides monthly updates on the status of CARDIT- RESDIT exchange between posts and airlines. A CARDIT-RESDIT matrix displays post-airline pairs that exchange CARDIT-RESDIT. It further specifies the RESDIT events reported by airline and by airport. Posts can check which airlines already send RESDIT messages to other posts and what status information the airline provides from a specific airport. Airlines can check which posts are already sending CARDIT messages to other airlines. For airlines interested in sending RESDIT messages For airlines interested in sending RESDIT messages in response to CARDIT messages from posts, one source of information is to contact the sponsoring vendors mentioned at the end of this brochure. As mentioned above, local IT staff should gain familiarity with the pertinent UPU standards. Airlines are advised to consult IATA to obtain the message specifications and also to seek advice from the IATA Airmail Panel, which consists of airline mail experts from IATA members. Contact IATA at In addition to changes in the airline IT environment, there will be changes needed to the physical handling and operational processes. Instituting physical process changes such as mail receptacle scanning can reasonably be balanced by improved processes, reduced costs, and added efficiencies in other business areas such as quality management and accounting. Of course, in today s environment more and more posts are expecting CARDIT/RESDIT exchanges with their supplier airlines, so jumping in now puts an airline ahead of the curve. Making the most of CARDIT/RESDIT For posts and airlines interested in realizing all the business advantages CARDIT- RESDIT message exchange can supply paving the way to paper-free transport and accounting, aligning post and airline processes and systems, providing industry-standard mail status information the IPC Future of Mail by Air (FoMbA) initiative is an action-driven project dedicated to improving the international mail transport process to ensure a reliable and sustainable network for carriage of mail. Participation is industry-wide, and includes representatives from posts, airlines, and third-party software providers. All posts and airlines are invited to join FoMbA; active participation is a requirement. If you are interested in receiving more information about FoMbA, please contact IPC at Thank you for your interest and participation! Copyright Printed on FSC certified paper. Design & production: PRODUCERS ABOUT THIS PUBLICATION This brochure is a joint publication of the Universal Postal Union, the International Air Transport Association, and the International Post Corporation, with sponsorship from several EDI solution providers. References are given below to assist parties interested in participating or increasing their participation in international postal-related EDI. UPU UNIVERSAL POSTAL UNION UN Specialized Agency for International Postal Services International Air Transport Association THE NATURAL PARTNER FOR THE POSTAL INDUSTRY SPONSORS AccuCode, Inc. IT at the Speed of Business Aviation Software Inc. The market s leading independent applications software supplier CDA IT Systems GmbH IT solutions for posts and carriers Global Logistics System (HK) Co. Ltd. Linking the World > Changing the World TRAXON Europe Getting ahead through innovation