Shared data improves speed and transparency:

Amsterdam Airport Schiphol, together with its logistic partners, aims to improve quality and transparency in the air freight supply chain by becoming the Smartest Cargo airport in Europe.

One of our many initiatives to get us there is called ‘Automated Nomination’, and the project is part of the Smart Cargo Mainport Program (SCMP), led by Program Manager Teunis Steenbeek.

Here, Teunis explains more about Automated Nomination and the challenges and advantages ahead.

Why Automated Nomination? What issues does it solve?

Within the air freight supply chain there are many hand-over moments and this makes the chain quite complex.

It is essential to have the right information on the Air Waybill (AWB) about any shipment, from start to end destination, to make sure all actions go as smoothly as possible.

In some cases within this import process, AWBs state the name of the shipper (instead of the forwarder), and the ground handler (GHA) has to double check who the collector of the shipment will be. This is manual work and costs unnecessary delays. This extra action can be eliminated by implementing Automated Nomination and thus results in speeding up the process.

How does it work?

The SCMP team was keen to prove it was possible to develop an algorithm to predict which forwarder would come for the shipment using only AWB, airline, and shipper data. Rising to the challenge, they used this historical data to develop an algorithm proven at 90 per cent accuracy within a couple of weeks.

It is all about sharing data and making intelligent use of the available digital information, states Teunis. The smart thing here is also that if the tooling can’t predict a collector, it will simply state ‘I don’t know’. This gives the GHA the opportunity to find the accurate information and ensures the quality of our data is not reduced with incorrect conclusions.

What are the advantages of Automated Nomination?

Mainly as stated before, this reduces manual work for GHAs, which speeds up their process. Another advantage is that by combining Automated Nomination (at an early stage of the supply chain) with status information of the shipment, planning is improved for forwarders and hauliers.

So everyone is working smarter, but who’s involved?

The algorithm is developed by specialists Incentro in collaboration with Cargonaut. All GHA’s are involved, their individual agent lists have been combined into a central database. “The willingness with which our community is sharing their information is great; the more we share, the more intelligent the algorithm becomes, and we all work so much smarter.”

Where are we now, and what’s next for Automated Nomination?

The algorithm is ready, the status information of the shipment is also in place and this all goes via Cargonaut API Track and Trace.

Now, initial integration into their own system is all it takes to have this up and running for our Cargo Community partners. All ground handlers are enhancing their own system to ensure they have the right interface, and all five GHA members of our Cargo Community will have this ready in the coming quarter.

Teunis, what is the one thing you want people to know and take away about this new tool?
“We need to always think about how much value can be gained when we are willing to share data for common goals. Our GHA partners see this, and all GHAs at Schiphol have indicated they are interested in participating in the project.

It was a pleasure to see how different partners embraced the idea behind the collaboration.”