Article from Air Cargo Week By James Muir
The Customs Export Application to serve BRUcargo forwarders has gone live to help improve data sharing and efficiency among the cargo community at Brussels Airport.
Forwarders who use the app, which went live on 1 July, can improve efficiency by avoiding having to wait in lines at the Customs offices to stamp AWBs, avoiding having to create Excel list reports and having to collect alternative evidence manually, eliminating paper based procedures and the resulting errors.
The Customs authorities give clearance priority to forwarders’ shipments handled via the Customs Export App, which is one of the many apps made possible by the BRUcloud, the open community platform based on Nallian’s data-sharing technology and initiated by the cargo department of Brussels Airport Company.
The app combines manifest data, which has been made available in the BRUcloud since 2016, with newly added data from the forwarders, and the app matches the collected data at AWB level and reports a complete set of information automatically to customs.
Brussels Airport Company head of cargo and logistics, Steven Polmans says: “It is the first result whereby information from different sources can be linked to one new solution, without much effort, but with great impact on the day-to-day operation of the companies participating. This is one of the several benefits we aimed for when developing our community platform.”
Six companies are already using the app on a daily basis, with another 25 confirming they will roll it out in the coming weeks, covering 90 per cent of the volumes handled at BRUcargo.
Federal Public Service of Finance, Customs and Excise Duties advisory general, Bart Vleugels says: “This collaboratively created app results in a lower administrative burden for all the parties. Digitisation within BRUcargo will further lower the chances of errors and will help to drastically decrease lead times.”
The BRUcargo slot application will be introduced later this year, reducing waiting times at the handlers’ premises, and Sara Van Gelder, who is leading the BRUcloud project says: “The application is undergoing final testing with the partners in our project group and the results are meeting our expectations. We are excited and look forward going live with additional partners in the last quarter of this year.”
Brussels Airport handles 650,000 tonnes of freight annually, with almost 500,000 tonnes flown.