Brussels Airport’s Slot Booking App has gone live. Part of the BRUCloud platform, it is intended to substantially reduce waiting times for trucks. Seven parties act as launch
“The slot booking app is the base of the ‘landside management application’, as we call it,” says Brussels Airport Company’s Head of Cargo Steven Polmans. The latter will consist of several apps, all interconnected and exchanging data between themselves. Within this system, the slot booking app will be the central axe.”
Steven is sure that all of this will eventually lead to a complete ‘green lane’ for the delivery and collection of cargo. “This will increase efficiency for all parties, for speed as well as for cost. Additional benefits are a more efficient use of the gates, a reduction of unnecessary traffic etc. The hectic situation of the last few months has convinced everybody that a community system like this can have a lot of benefits.”
A step forward in efficiency
Today the bulk of the cargo is delivered at the same time, leading to jams and waiting times and a ‘first come, first serve’ system for trucks. Thanks to the app the cargo providers (the forwarders) can book a specific time with the handlers.
“Our calculations have revealed over a hundred possible combinations (of cargo delivery and collection, ms) of forwarders and handler. The need for a uniform system was pressing,” adds Sara Van Gelder, Cargo Development Manager BAC. The app will enable the truckers to adjust their driving times to the capacity available and the hours agreed. For the cargo handlers the app allows a better planning of both staff and warehouse capacity.”
The launch companies are handlers Aviapartner and WFS as well as freight forwarders DHL Global Forwarding, Kuehne+Nagel (the airport’s number 1 and 2 respectively), Panalpina, Nippon Express and Skyfast. Three additional entry moments on 1 April, 1 June and 1 November will allow others to step in.
David Bellon Airfreight Product Station Director at DHL Global Forwarding says that air cargo pick-up and delivery of cargo at airline handling agents has always been subject to specific bottlenecks and inefficiency. “This led to frustration within all stakeholders of the air cargo chain. Ultimately it could lead to disruption of the supply chain of our customers. That’s why a change was needed.” Having said this he emphasized that DHL-GF participated and supported from the very start the development of an improved process backed by a cloud application.
Mr. Bellon thinks that the Slot Booking App will ensure an improved planning of resources and a reduction of waiting times during peak periods in air cargo delivery and pick-up. “DHL-GF is proud of having been part of the design and setup of this Slot Booking App and is convinced this is a milestone providing transparency and hopefully improved handling process at cargo pick-up and delivery. This is only a first step towards a further digitization of our industry, more in particular at Brussels Airport,” the manager stated.
Marcel Schoeters in Brussels