Saturday, June 25, 2011

The Russians Are Coming - To Learn About e-Freight

Delegation Visit Schiphol Airport
Shipping News Feature

THE NETHERLANDS / RUSSIA - Amsterdam Airport Schiphol’s Cargo Department recently hosted a two-day visit by a Russian delegation with the aim of exploring the implementation of e-Freight for air cargo between Amsterdam and Russia. Amongst the visitors were representatives of Russian airport authorities, Russian Customs and border control officials, and Aeroflot and AirBridge Cargo Airlines.

The 45 visitors were given presentations from Amsterdam Airport Schiphol itself, the E-freight@NL project team, Air Cargo Netherlands, Cargonaut, the Dutch Customs authority and Air France-KLM, as well as a tour of the facilities of KLM Cargo which handles all cargo for Air France-KLM at Schiphol, and is the airport’s largest cargo handling facility.

The delegation were shown how Schiphol Airport and its partners were implementing the E-freight@NL initiative under the SmartGate Cargo program, which is designed to turn Schiphol - Europe’s third largest freight airport with 1.5 million tonnes of cargo handled in 2010 - into a paperless cargo hub under IATA’s e-Freight scheme.

Currently, traditional paper-based air cargo involves some thirty documents for every shipment, and is estimated to create the equivalent of eighty Boeing 747 freighter-loads of paper every year. E-Freight aims to replace paper with digital documents throughout all elements of the air cargo supply chain – including shippers, forwarders and export customs, carriers, import customs, handling agents, forwarders and consignees – thus reducing cost, speeding processes and enhancing accuracy.

“This was an exceptionally productive meeting because of the diversity of the delegation, which included representatives from all authorities involved in the air cargo supply chain,” said Saskia van Pelt, Schiphol Cargo’s Director – Business Development.

“Russia is at the beginning of the road to E-freight, and has some preliminary work to do on document processing with all its authorities. But they are clearly focused on the future, and we are very pleased that they chose the Schiphol community as their primary source of intelligence on this subject.”