E-FREIGHT shipments at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol have jumped from only 1,665 to 21,176 in just two years following the launch of a state-backed drive to encourage paperless transactions.
Launched in 2010, the €1.2m (US$1.6m) programme called e-Freight@NL involved assessing the needs of the air cargo industry, including examining the capability of IT systems, setting up an open platform for data exchange, as well as, testing and validating information.
“Pilot projects between shippers and forwarders resulted in substantial time-saving and several companies have adapted their processes to continue to work in this way,” an airport spokesperson reveals.
Schiphol’s major e-freight routes are now Singapore, Hong Kong (China), New York, Los Angeles and Atlanta (USA), Tokyo (Japan), Vancouver (Canada), London (UK), Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia) and Seoul (South Korea).
An online academy providing advice and training to potential users was also established over the 24-month-period.
Unsurprisingly, some of the initiative’s main findings echo concerns raised by supply chain members, such as the realisation that digitisation “requires a longer timeframe than originally thought”.
Schiphol cargo development director Saskia van Pelt (pictured), a founder member of e-Freight@NL and its steering committee, emphasises: "The e-Freight@NL project may be completed, but e-freight will not stand still now and the process of digitising supply chains will certainly carry on at Schiphol.
“We consider paperless transport as one of the top priorities to improve efficiency in the supply chain.
She continues: "We will continue to drive the use of e-freight at Schiphol because it reduces costs, improves efficiency and speed, is environmentally-friendly and will help to differentiate air cargo from other transport modes.”
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