Steven is Floating on Cloud Nine

In 2015, BRUcargo’s helmsman Steven Polmans initiated an open community platform to facilitate the seamless exchange of information among the cargo players doing business at or around Brussels Airport. Driver was his vision to share data via cloud computing to improve performances, reduce costs and synchronize cargo processes among all participants.  Meanwhile, Steven’s BRUcloud initiative has reaped the fruits of his efforts.

Cargo Chief Steven Polmans is the “father” of cloud computing at Brussels Airport  -  photo: hs
Cargo Chief Steven Polmans is the “father” of cloud computing at Brussels Airport - photo: hs

Thanks to “Nallian”, as the data sharing cloud platform is called, cross-company processes can by synchronized, allowing clusters of independent actors to achieve efficiency levels that are historically reserved for fully integrated players only, describes BRUcargo in a release. There is another emotional aspect to it that should not be underestimated: communicating via Nallian has led to a new business understanding of the actors involved, bolstering the community spirit and strengthening the feeling of togetherness.
New slot booking app to come
Since its implementation in 2015, the system has been extended with a dashboard visualising the quality of pharma shipments. This specific app makes the booking of pooled equipment possible. It was complemented by a statistical application which creates insight into the freight volumes handled at BRUcargo.
Now a new tool has been added to the system: a slot booking application. It will be operational in the coming months, announced BRUcargo today.
According to the Airport, the app will eliminate one of the most compelling problems, the waiting times and idle times at the facilities of the ground handlers. By coordinating the match between supply and demand of time slots, the slot booker streamlines the pick-up and delivery of freight at the ground handlers and leads to a better capacity utilization and elimination of peaks and idle-times, stresses the airport in a release. It reads: “the Slot Booking App makes it possible for the booker (for example a forwarder) to request a single or recurrent time slot at a specific facility, via the same central web-application for all ground handlers. Concurrently, the supplier (ground handler) can make time slots for different cargo types available via the web-application or a system-to-system link with its internal slot management system.”

Learning system
The BRUcloud is not the first cargo community system in the world. It is however, the first one that is truly open, in the sense that anyone can add applications on top of the pool of shared data, so it’s a learning and expanding system. Such open character allows the community to tap into a vibrant ecosystem of innovative solution providers, instead of being dependent of one monolithic system and provider for everything, stresses BRUcargo in a statement.
The Slot Booking Application is made available to the stakeholders at BRUcargo via the BRUcloud. It is not a local solution for Brussels only, but an application that can equally be implemented in other communities around the world! On top, this application is developed in a flexible way, so it can be used for other limited resources, stresses BRUcargo.
“This new app will open a lot of opportunities for future applications,” adds Sara Van Gelder, Cargo Development Manager and in charge of the digitalization projects at BRUcargo. Jean Verheyen, CEO of Nallian notes: “This application is our next step in the digital roadmap to make BRUcargo the most efficient, smart and attractive logistical platform in Europe.”

Heiner Siegmund



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