The Dutch horticultural umbrella Royal Flora Holland has set up a vis-ual dashboard allowing on-landing border clearance. It was developed within the framework of the EU-funded CORE project.
Better operational planning and forecasting
CORE stands for Consistently Optimised Resilient Secure Global Supply Chains. Its aim was in protecting and securing the supply chain and reducing its vulnerability to disruption through improved data collection.
The CORE project was coordinated by the European Shippers’ Council. “The need for a better grip on the supply chain was initiated by the finding that once goods have been put into the box and start flowing outside the selling company’s walls, the rest of the supply chain is shrouded in mystery,” ESC’s secretary-general Nik Delmeire said at the final CORE event in Brussels.
CORE, like other programmes before it such as Itaite and Cassandra, is all about the digitalisation of the supply chain. “Not as the goal in itself but needed to process data automatically and to add intelligence,” said Nicolette van der Jagt, director-general of the freight forwarders’ umbrella Clecat. “It allows us a better planning of operations in advance and better forecasting when the goods arrive.”
The companies and government offices participating in CORE had to come up with some actual results, the presentation of which was the aim of the event. The Royal Flora Holland solution was one of these.
The main objective of improved data gathering is security-related, said Carlos Mes-tre, Head of unit Security DG Move. “One of the challenges is that there must be a secured flow of goods.”
Mr Mestre was the first to bring in the air cargo element into the event, as his own field of expertise is in aviation. “A modus in which, due to its urgency, security levels are more advanced. Air cargo security is extremely complex,” he added.
“The solutions have to be efficient and transparent and call for joint aviation and customs & excise agreements. Above all, the security measures may not affect the flow.”
Cyber security and the regulated agent/known shipper ruling
Mr Mestre reminded listeners of the 2012 mutual recognition agreement with the U.S. and the so-called ACC3 regulation to deal with air cargo coming in from third countries. He admitted that over the years digitalisation is playing a more and more critical role and is becoming a key element in transport security.
“Originally security was focused on physical security, but you must understand where the vulnerabilities are. You have to ensure that you have the right infor-mation and also focus on cyber security. Irregularities in that field could cause not only economic loss but also loss of life. The problem is that cyber security is not al-ways integrated into other security processes.”
Those remarks prompted Ben Radstaak, director of Air Cargo Netherlands, to pose the question if cyber security would be taken into account in the review and upgrading of the ‘regulated agent’ known shipper’ regulation. To which Mr Mestre answered that ‘it would be looked into’.
Supply chain driven by data pipeline
A dedicated air cargo project was Royal Flora Holland’s supply chain redesign driv-en by a data pipeline. It was developed in collaboration with Intrasoft, Delft Tech-nical University and the Netherlands Organisation for Applied Scientific Research, TNO. Royal Flora Holland is a cooperative joining all the parties in the horticultural industry and managing their supply chains with the Netherlands as its hub.
“Our ambition to participate in the CORE project was to establish reliable, compliant and efficient supply chains to the hubs of Flora Holland,” said Roel Huiden, Senior Supply Chain Consultant. “We hoped to gain knowledge and to develop strong relationships with the border control agencies.”
The trade lane concerned was Kenya to The Netherlands, as RFH has some 120 members in Kenya. “Between the growers and the buyers there are freight forwarders, hauliers and handlers at both the import and the export side as well as the carrier and the de-consolidator. This calls for intensive information exchange in the supply chain between the respective horticultural parties, customs and logistic services providers.”
So, using a Descartes pipeline a ‘visual dashboard’ was set up, gathering data not only from the orders, but also the ‘expected time of arrival’ (ETA) data provided by the Schiphol control tower as well as customs inspection and release notifications. “Improving visibility allows for pro-active (re-)planning,” said Mr Huiden.
On the growers’ side, the shipment number order info as well as data phytosanitary data are provided. The air cargo parties have to come up with HAWB and MAWB numbers, as well as shipment status. In AMS this data flow is supported by the Cargonaut system.
Mr Huiden insisted that the concept of ‘authorised eyes only’ – one grower vs the other – is of the utmost importance. What the project has brought, is an alignment of import procedures, i.e. customs entry (security) phytosanitary and customs import (fiscal), both in the air and on land. “From a situation in which procedures take place after arrival of the aircraft, we moved to clearing procedures before arrival by sharing information with Dutch customs,” Mr Huiden said. “About 95% is cleared before landing.”
As a result, Royal Flora Holland has adopted the visual dashboard as a commercial platform. Customs and the Netherlands Food and Consumer Product Authority will continue the concept of clearance at landing.
Marcel Schoeters in Brussels