Amsterdam Airport Schiphol mandates digital declarations to streamline the cargo chain

Full implementation of automated nomination saves time and minimizes human error at the airport, while eliminating all paper declarations for a more sustainable operation.

Automated Nomination, the digital station declaration of a forwarder’s involvement in the handling of a shipment, has become the standard for incoming shipments at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol, which will no longer accept paper declarations from 1 April 2022.

Prior to automated nomination, ground handlers at Schiphol Airport had to wait for cargo to arrive and review associated paperwork before a freight forwarder could be assigned to handle the shipment.

With Automated Nomination, this process has been fully digitized and now takes place at an earlier stage, before the flight lands at the airport.

Ground handlers at Schiphol are now informed of incoming shipments much earlier, reducing the time it takes to process cargo, while the elimination of manual handling has minimized the risk of human error and mishandling of shipments.

“Since October 2021, we have been testing Automated Nomination with growing success and we are proud to have now officially rolled out it as a mandatory process at Schiphol,” says David van der Meer, Cargo Partnerships Director for the Smart Cargo Mainport Program (SCMP) , Airport Schiphol.

“We aim to have every shipment nominated automatically, which benefits every stakeholder in the freight chain.

“Automated Nominating ensures a better connection between the air waybill (AWB) and the receiving forwarder.”

Developed by the SCMP team, Automated Nomination is an algorithm that predicts which carrier will pick up a shipment using only AWB, airline and shipper data, with an accuracy rate of 99 percent.

To meet the requirements for automated nomination, a statement from a digital station is required.

Handlers, forwarders and Schiphol Airport, in collaboration with Air Cargo Netherlands, have introduced a digital station statement, marking the end of the decades-old paper cargo station statement.

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The number of digital station reports at Schiphol has already seen a record increase, from 1,200 reports in October last year to 3,000 reports on 1 April this year.

The number of forwarders participating in Automated Nomination has now risen from 60 to 140 and the number is still growing.

In addition to greater efficiency of cargo operations at Schiphol, the reduction in paper consumption and the ability to combine shipments during the transhipment process will bring all parties closer to their sustainability goals.

Automated nomination will also optimize import planning and stimulate future developments at Schiphol, as better data will be available more quickly.

“Literally every part of the cargo chain will benefit from automated nomination,” says Luc Scheidel, SCMP Program Manager, Amsterdam Airport Schiphol.

“We expect that all our freight partners will be pleased that we have made it a mandatory process from April 1, 2022, and in particular with the operational efficiencies they will gain as a result.”

Automated Nomination is the latest in a series of digital initiatives under the SCMP that streamline cargo services at Schiphol, including the digital station statement, which has made handling more structured and safer since January 2022, and the Milkrun project, which has streamlined truck movements at the airport .

“With every digital service we activate from the SCMP, we move closer to our goal of having the most seamless freight process in Europe,” says van der Meer.

“This next step with Automated Nomination is a great example of collaboration between all stakeholders and the start of an important collaboration.”

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