Time for Action: The SCMP is Swiftly Accelerating

As part of the new Airport Operations and Aviation Partnerships department, the Schiphol Cargo team has renewed its commitment to creating the smartest and most seamless cargo processes possible. We spoke to David van der Meer and Luc Scheidel to find out more about the Smart Cargo Mainport Program (SCMP), which is transforming cargo processes at Schiphol. Their message? The sooner you embrace the SCMP’s processes and digital services, the sooner we can achieve enormous benefits for partners and the Cargo community. And don’t forget Mother Earth.

The strategy in practice

The SCMP is an integral part of Schiphol’s overall aim to become the best-connected airport with a strong long-haul network. And the SCMP focuses on enabling that objective in several key ways. ‘The SCMP will enable seamless cargo processes and a predictable cargo flow,’ David explains. ‘But it also contributes to our sustainability ambitions. Because only sustainable processes will withstand the test of time.’

Luc adds: ‘state-of-the art digitisation and IT are a prerequisite to these goals, because improving speed and efficiency is only effective when we also ensure the safest, most secure operations to protect valuable cargo. It is the combination of technology and knowledge that will empower both Schiphol’s ambitions and the Air Cargo chains objectives.’

Organised for efficiency

In addition to making Cargonaut a full-fledged part of the Schiphol family, the recent changes within the Cargo division brought everyone closer together. ‘We brought marketing, operations and digital teams together into one Cargo team,’ David explains. ‘This will enable us to play a better and stronger role for all our stakeholders. And now, there are even former Cargonaut employees in different departments, like Forecasting Analysis and Capacity Management, so we can fully utilise Cargonaut’s expertise and knowhow within Schiphol.’

The new setup delivers refreshed enthusiasm and commitment to the principles of the SCMP. ‘The Cargo strategy now identifies the specific ways we could create a competitive, sustainable Cargo hub,’ says Luc. ‘We pinpointed specific goals and projects, we allocated resources and prepared teams for great advancements in the coming years. Of course, our collaboration with the entire Cargo community is essential here.’

Meeting the demand

SCMP improvements aim to address the ever-increasing demand for high quality air cargo and the increasing volumes that go with it. Supply chains and airlines need faster, more efficient, first-time-right cargo processing to stay competitive. In addition, both the Air Cargo industry and leading retailers are demanding more sustainable cargo processes, including the reduction of paper, fewer idling lorries and mistakes. The digital services that fall under the SCMP will address all of these.

Luc manages the SCMP, and says that transitioning from his role at Cargonaut to being an official member of the Schiphol team has helped streamline and accelerate development. ‘We’ll continue to leverage Cargonaut’s name and 30-year legacy in our national and international communications, but now that we’re operating as one team, we can realise the strategy more effectively,’ he says. ‘We are mapping out the plans for achieving our ambitions, allocating budget for our high priority developments, and working with government agencies, border and harbour officials and the whole Cargo community to bring the strategy to life.’

David van der Meer (left) and Luc Scheidel (right)

Automated Nomination becomes the norm

As partnership director for SCMP, David encourages stakeholders to get more involved and take full advantage of all the opportunities it offers. ‘As of 1 April, Automated Nomination will become the norm for inbound shipments at Schiphol. We aim to have every shipment nominated automatically. This offers benefits for every stakeholder in the Cargo chain,’ he explains.

Automated Nomination creates a better connection between the Airway Bill (AWB) and the Receiving Forwarder. The forwarders will be informed about incoming shipments prior to arrival of the flight. This will optimise their process and will enable them to deliver more value to their customers. It meets stakeholders’ sustainability goals by reducing paper and combining shipments during the transfer process. For Schiphol, Automated Nomination will optimise import planning and fuel future developments, as better data will be available sooner. ‘Literally every part of the Cargo chain will benefit from Automated Nomination,’ Luc says. ‘So, we expect all of our Cargo partners to be pleased that we’re making it a mandatory process as of 1 April.’

Building on previous successes

Automated Nomination is just the latest in a variety of digital services that are streamlining Cargo services at Schiphol. The very successful Digital Prenotification project has made handling more secure, more structured and more sustainable, and has been the standard at Schiphol since January 2022. And the Milkrun project has streamlined lorry movements and created a more sustainable and controllable system. ‘With every digital service we activate from within the SCMP, we get closer to our goal of having the most seamless Cargo process in Europe,’ David says.

Get in touch, get involved

If you haven’t already begun utilising the optimised processes and digital services at Schiphol, then David and Luc encourage you to start as soon as possible. ‘And if you’re already using them, please spread the word among your partners. The more links in the chain we can connect digitally, the better the process will be for everyone.’

David agrees: ‘the success of the SCMP depends entirely on the Cargo community. We need full acceptance and adoption of the digital services already in place, and input and testing of the solutions to come. We aim to make handlers so thrilled with the speedy, efficient, first-time-right processes, that they’ll be happy to get rid of all paper-based parts of the process. That, in turn, will give us the data and insights we need to make the Air Cargo chain at Schiphol even more effective, efficient and error-free.’

Ready to make your cargo’s journey as seamless and efficient as possible? Contact Luc and David to find out what you can do. Even if you’re already using some of the digital services, there’s always more ways we can help move your cargo safely, swiftly and sustainably through Amsterdam Airport Schiphol.