Error elimination speeds Schiphol supply chain

Schiphol Airport is offering an online air waybill compliance checker as part of its Smart Cargo Mainport Program. It aims to speed up cargo flows by finding mistakes before they can clog up the system.
Developed by Cargonaut and tested by KLM Cargo as part of the European Green Fast Lanes Project, the system automatically inspects the content and format of a shipment’s data. It has been successfully tested on trucking services from Frankfurt in Germany to Amsterdam, says Schiphol.
The system sends automatic alerts if it discovers incorrect information, preventing delays caused by sending non-compliant cargo to Customs. Shipments are not moved until all information has been correctly put into the system, and errors, such as inaccurate commodity descriptions or incorrect weight reporting, are rectified.
Airport head of cargo, Jonas van Stekelenburg, pointed out that while KLM was the first carrier to use the system, it is a generic tool, which benefits the whole supply chain, adding: ”Other parties have already shown an interest in the project and we are actively looking for more partners, including shippers and forwarders, to help us expand this project.”
The Compliance Checker looks at data at shipment and trucking levels, based on air waybill information and is in line with inbound European Union Customs rules as well as outbound (US and other countries) rules. It allows for easy modification so anyone in the air cargo supply chain can use it.
Cargonaut executive director, Nanne Onland pointed out: “The system recognises different descriptions of a similar product and flags this. The term ‘iron’, for example, would provoke an alert, as this term is not compliant with Customs rules, whereas ‘iron pipes’ would not because it is compliant.”
Schiphol says that first results are promising; the tool has shown that 80% of errors occur in only 20% of shipments.
“With this insight, together with our partners, we can better target improvement initiatives, allowing us to quickly improve quality of data, and hence the predictability and speed of the chain from, to, and via Schiphol,” said Onland.
The European Green Fast Lanes Project, launched last year, aims to improve KLM Cargo’s truck supply lanes and is part of the Smart Cargo Mainport Program, which aims to find innovative schemes to improve cargo flow through Amsterdam, underpinned by transparent data exchange.
To join the programme, contact Teunis Steenbeek at teunis.steenbeek(at)oxalis-co.com

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