Brussels Vies for Pole Position in Process Digitalisation

Brussels Airport wants to upgrade its E-AWB penetration from the ac-tual 15% to 68% by the end of the year. The ambition is part of a wider strategy to digitalise the entire export document pouch by 2020, says Geert Keirens, director of Air Cargo Belgium.

ACB Director Geert Keirens  -  photo:ms
ACB Director Geert Keirens - photo:ms

Vision 2025 is the keyword
The initiative is part of the Vision 2025 which has been approved by ACB’s Board, says Geert. “It is steered by two of our working groups, E-Freight and Digital Agenda. We will start with 12 airlines that have committed themselves to the project, which will be introduced to the community on 31 August. This information event will be attended by representatives from IATA. The 68% E-AWB penetration corresponds with the IATA target.”
Starting on 1 October the airlines will enter into contracts with their freight forwarders to send all their consignments with E-AWB only. “This would be a major step forward,” Geert admits. “By 2020 the entire pouch, also containing export and DG declarations, pharmaceutical and phytosanitary documentation etc., is to be digitalised. We will start from the export point of view, over which we have full control, but import is also in our scope.”

Customs Export App
ACB expects that the digitalisation initiative will not only speed the process up, but will also reduce mistakes and losses. The availability of useable data is another bo-nus.
Supported by its BRUcloud information platform, Brussels Airport has been rapidly streamlining its processes over the last few months. Only recently, a ‘Customs Export App’ (CargoForwarder Global reported) was launched. “It is used by some 20 companies representing about 80% of the export flow,” says Geert. “Clearance is guaranteed within a day”
In the pipeline and being tested is the slot booking app for truckers delivering consignments at the handlers’ premises. Ready for implementation are the Pharma Dashboard, providing information about the integrity of pharmaceutical consignments and the Equipment Booking App, for the use of the ‘home-made’ Pharma Dollies.
Having both BRUcloud and ACB as a vehicle has made Brussels Airport a forerun-ner in the global air cargo digitalization process, Geert thinks. “Our intention is to make the transition to digital processes and –through data mining- gather the infor-mation available.”

Marcel Schoeters in Brussels

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