The AIRPEX system has a complete, integrated EDI capability. We currently handle CargoIMP, ANSI X.12 and EDIFACT formats. At present, the system communicates with airlines using CargoIMP. The FSR, FSA and FSU status messages have been implemented as well as the FFR and FFA booking messages. We have also implemented the FWB Air Waybill message.

We have an operational bilateral EDI application involving ANSI X.12 300, 301, 303 and 810 message sets. We are using 300 Booking, 301 Booking Confirmation and 315 status messages with several steamship lines. We also have bilateral EDIFACT messages in operation (IFTMIN and IFTSTA).

The following is a description of the interactions between the AIRPEX system and an Exporter served by one of our customers. This is an example of how EDI can benefit both you and your customer.

When the Exporter receives an order from one of its overseas customers, the order is entered into its AS400 computer system. This automatically triggers a Booking Request message to the AIRPEX system which includes the U.S. plant location, foreign destination, number and type of containers and delivery date required.

The Forwarder personnel display the messages received each day, determine the proper routing, book the shipment by ocean or air and dispatch a booking confirmation message to the Exporter. This message includes the date by which the material must be dispatched from the factory in order to meet the customer's required delivery date.

The Booking Request may be sent several months before shipment. During the intervening time it may be necessary to change the booking. In this case, a new Booking Confirmation message is sent. The Exporter's computer system uses the information to automatically update the status data it maintains about each order.

In the event that the customer chooses to cancel the order, the Exporter can send a Booking Cancellation message which notifies the Forwarder that the file is to be closed.

The Exporter's system creates an invoice for each container load shipped. The customer, on the other hand, requires one commercial invoice for the entire shipment, regardless of the number of containers. The Exporter's AS400 sends an EDI 810 invoice message for each container shipped. The last invoice on a given order contains a special indicator. When this indicator is detected by the AIRPEX system, all of the invoice messages received for that order are consolidated and a packing list, bill of lading (or air waybill) and commercial invoice are prepared.

The final step of the process is the preparation of the Forwarder's invoice to the Exporter covering shipping and handling charges. This invoice is prepared just as any other invoice by Forwarder personnel, printed and posted. This process automatically causes the dispatch of an EDI invoice message to the Exporter where it is automatically entered into both the Accounts Payable (to the Forwarder) and Accounts Receivable (from the customer) systems.

This automated system replaced a manual system where the same functions were accomplished using FAX, phone and mail. The Exporter made a detailed analysis of the savings achieved and has stated that the effort required to do these tasks has been reduced by 370 man hours per month. Though an investment was required to automate the process, payback of this investment was achieved in less than three months.

The Forwarder has stated that the use of EDI with this one Exporter has eliminated the need to hire an additional employee and greatly streamlined the effort required to handle this account.