Success Story of e-Freight Schiphol Cargo
Amsterdam Airport Schiphol is one of the leading airports in respect to facilitating e-freight. Speaking to Cargotalk Saskia van Pelt, Director, Business Development, Amsterdam Airport Schiphol and a founder member of ‘e-freight@NL’ and currently a member
The €1.2 million e-freight project at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol was launched in July 2010 and has successfully achieved a five-fold increase in e-freight shipments since its inception. In 2010, only 1,665 shipments were sent as paperless e-freight. By December 2012, the annual total had risen to 21,176.
With an objective of successful implementation of e-freight, Amsterdam Airport Schiphol created a joint platform (a consortium) called ‘e-freight@NL’ that consisted of all elements of the air cargo supply chain. It also included the necessary IT knowledge that helped the airport to successfully facilitate and pilot several projects throughout the supply chain.
Schiphol Cargo, the airport’s dedicated cargo development arm, played a neutral liaison and facilitation role between various parties in the supply chain throughout the project, establishing what would be required to improve the cargo process at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol.
The e-freight@NL included six “workpackages” that involved assessing the requirements of the industry; identifying gaps in IT systems; setting up an open platform for data exchange and transmission; testing and validation of data; reporting and making recommendations. Other achievements of e-freight@NL include the establishment of a help desk and the e-Freight@NL Online Academy, to give advice and provide online training to the industry and potential users.
“The simultaneous involvement of shippers, logistics service providers, handling companies and airlines created awareness of gaps that were present in digitising the paper-based air cargo supply chain,” underlined Saskia.
According to Saskia, several pilot projects were started between shippers and forwarders, using OCR (optical character recognition) equipment to transform paper documents into the required “e-freight ready” XML format. These projects resulted in substantial time saving, and several companies have now adapted their processes to continue working in this way.
“We have many ambassadors for the continuation of the process, who are determined to continue increasing the
Other achievements of e-freight@NL include the establishment of a help desk and the e-Freight@NL Online Academy”
Saskia van Pelt Director, Business Development, Amsterdam Airport Schiphol and a founder member of ‘e-freight@NL
number of e-freight shipments and set an example for other companies within the Schiphol Cargo community. Among these, there is now a sense of urgency to join in with paperless air freight,” she observed.
At present, Schiphol’s top ten e-freight routes are Singapore, Hong Kong, New York, Tokyo (Narita), Vancouver, London Heathrow, Kuala Lumpur, Seoul, Los Angeles and Atlanta. “e-Freight@NL project may be completed, but e-freight will not stand still now, and the process of digitising supply chains will certainly carry on at Schiphol. The airport considers paperless transport as one of the top priorities to improve efficiency in the supply chain,” stressed Saskia.