Brussels launches blockchain freight management app

Brussels Airport has launched its first application using blockchain technology, which it describes as the next step in the landside management tool it is developing with stakeholders in the BRUcargo airfreight community.
Steven Polmans, head of cargo and logistics at Brussels Airport and chairman of the community organisation Air Cargo Belgium, explained: “The new Freight Management App 1.0 will replace the handover of cargo from handlers to forwarder from a paper-based process by a digital rights/release process.”
The app will work in conjunction with existing apps such as the Slot Booking App, as well as apps that are yet to be developed. It is part of Brussels Airport’s strategic objective of fully digitalising the logistics flow with the support of applications offered via the BRUcloud open data sharing platform, the focus now being to make the import process paperless, more efficient and transparent.
Polmans added: “The support of all our stakeholders, from gathering ideas to implementing new tools and applications, is crucial in the success of our BRUcloud platform.”
BRUcloud aims to facilitate data sharing in a cloud environment among the BRUcargo community. According to Brussels Airport cargo business development manager Sara Van Gelder, it enables the various stakeholders in the air cargo supply chain to work in a more integrated way, acting as a network.
She said: “Data will be stored only once, centrally. Once a company is connected to the cloud, it can start using the different existing applications and can start exchanging information very easily with other stakeholders instead of maintaining system-to-system connections with all different partners individually.”  
Ground handler Worldwide Flight Services regional vice president Marc Claesen said: “For WFS, [BRUcloud] is the way forward in a rapidly changing industry, whereby expectations from stakeholders will only be met in the future by those companies who believe in modernisation and industry data sharing.
“We are glad to be an early adaptor of this unique tool and platform and believe that this is only the start of a very promising development whereby the cargo industry as a whole will benefit, with Brussels taking a leading pioneer role.”
Chief executive DHL Global Forwarding Belgium and Luxemburg Luc Jacobs added: “We firmly believe that an increasing transparency and reliability will decrease the overall supply chain costs in the future.”
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