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

Cargo Talk - - International Airport - RATAN KR PAUL

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.

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