CCS-UK to speed up Heathrow cargo

03 / 08 / 2017

The user group for the CCS-UK airfreight community system is working on a new module to speed up deliveries and collections at London Heathrow Airport transit sheds.

CCS-UK Advanced Info will enable freight agents, and transport companies working on their behalf, to alert handling agents of deliveries, down to House AWB level, as well as submit Electronic Consignment Security Declarations (eCSDs).

The advanced information – including vehicle, driver, cargo being delivered, handling agent and expected time of arrival - will be submitted either through a web portal (for smaller, occasional users), while larger and more frequent users can send messages direct from the forwarder’s own system. The information will then be accessible to all parties. Deliveries to multiple shed operators will be automatically split by the system, and only data applicable to each handler will be seen by them.

Agents using the system will benefit from pre-allocated truck doors to help cut queuing. Handling agents meanwhile will receive cargo information direct into their systems, eliminating re-keying, speeding up vehicle processing and enabling more efficient use of their resources.

Integral data stores of all users, drivers, vehicles and transit sheds will be used to populate new shipment entries, avoiding re-input of existing data. CCS-UK Advanced Info will also eliminate a number of paper documents, in line with the IATA e-Freight concept.

Looking to the future, import release notes, and ETSF (External Temporary Storage Facility, formerly ERTS) day sheets will eventually be replaced with electronic messages and there are plans to advise forwarders and their transport companies of the status of their trucks. Further planned enhancement for imports will be transmission of messages from handler to agent, requesting him to send – or not send - a truck, or to send one at a specified time.

CCS-UK Advanced Info will be launched at Heathrow first but will eventually be rolled out to all airport communities in the UK. User group chairman Steve Parker said: “As the community trade body for virtually all the UK air cargo industry, we believe we are the natural source for community solutions that will speed up air cargo flows in the UK, so improving our air cargo industry’s efficiency and competitiveness.

“CCS-UK Advanced Info is a major step towards eliminating inefficiency and cost in the UK air cargo industry. It provides tangible benefits for everyone and, as with our recently-launched CCS-UK Fallback system, it is being provided completely free to all our members.”

Unveiling of CCS-UK Advanced follows the recent launch of CCS-UK Fallback, which provides an electronic safety net in the event of a major outage of HM Revenue and Customers ‘Chief’ computer system.

A handling agent, an airfreight haulier and three airfreight forwarders (including two majors) are already successfully using early functions of CCS-UK Advanced Info and the system is progressively being rolled out industry-wide.

Parker adds: “There has been some talk of enforcing the adoption of Advanced Information by means of entry barriers at airport cargo terminals, allowing access only to pre-registered vehicles on payment of a charge.” However, while this might be beneficial at some point in the future, the User Group firmly believes that restrictions should not be introduced before suitable off-airport holding parks can be made available, where registered and unregistered trucks can be segregated – otherwise there will be bottle-necks at the barriers.