Brussels Airport sees official launch of Air Cargo Belgium

Air Cargo Belgium (ACB), the new air cargo community organisation at Brussels airport, had its official launch this week.
The new organisation, whose formation was announced in December last year, groups all companies at BRUcargo, the airport’s airfreight cluster, as well as related stakeholders or official organisations.
Said BRUCargo: “Traditionally, there have been several organisations active at Brussels Airport, grouping a certain part of the logistical chain such as airlines or forwarders.
“These continue to exist but also participate in this new organisation, as they are complementary and serving different needs for the cargo community.”
Brussels Airport saw 2015 full year freight volumes grow 7.8% to just over 489,000 tonnes, helped by the arrival of four new cargo carriers in the full freighter segment and the development of express services at the Belgian hub.
Chairman of ACB will be Steven Polmans, head of cargo at Brussels Airport, who will be helped by two vice chairmen: Alain De Heldt — current chairman of BAFI, the forwarders organisation — and Bas van Goch, who is the current chairman of the Air Cargo Managers Association Belgium (ACMAB), the cargo airlines’ organisation. 
Said Polmans: “Brussels Airport has participated actively in improving cargo at the airport. Although we facilitate where possible and try to take the lead in several topics, it is the cargo community and the different companies at BRUcargo that make the difference.
“Without them, nothing happens. With this new organisation, we can work even closer together in improving our cargo area to the benefit of all.
“With the enormous support we have received from the industry in recent months when setting up this new organisation, I feel very comfortable we will succeed together.”
De Heldt, chairman of Belgian Airfreight Institute, stated: “It is a great to see that, with ACB, we are strengthening our forces in all aspects, respecting the full air cargo community, sharing the same agenda and bringing added value to the market.
“I feel confident that we are just at the beginning of a great development where quality and expertise are key. If we strive for ‘best in class’, cargo-volumes will come automatically.”
Van Goch said: “ACMAB believes in a strong bond between airport, forwarders, handlers and airlines. Together we can tackle the challenges that we have, for example the electronic air waybill (e-AWB) and ready for carriage delivery.
“Geographically, we are in the middle of ‘airfreight Europe’, with several airports very close to us. If we all come together, with a joint target, we can make sure to keep Belgium as a centre for airfreight, both for on-line and off-line airlines.”
The ACB mission statement expresses its ambition to “represent the entire air cargo community and make BRUcargo the most attractive, efficient, innovate and successful logistical platform”.
Several companies have already joined the new organisation and more are expected to come on board “very soon”. 
ACB will create working groups on topics such as digitisation, operational efficiency and pharmaceuticals.

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