SCMP in the Evolving Airfreight Industry: With Ivo Aris and Jan Kamp

SCMP in the Evolving Airfreight Industry

With Ivo Aris, Chairman ACN, and Jan Kamp, Director Customs Schiphol Cargo

The Smart Cargo Mainport Program (SCMP) is being heralded as the solution that will help airfreight stakeholders navigate complicated frameworks and new technological advancements, such as the wave of digitisation.

The data-sharing portal is part of Amsterdam Airport Schiphol’s ambitious plan to become the smartest cargo hub in Europe. And SCMP comes at a pivotal time for an industry that is in the midst of a period of change.

Reducing the complexity

Jan Kamp, Director Customs Schiphol Cargo, says SCMP can help airports like Schiphol to find solutions within complicated systems, describing the programme as “ambitious, involved, and digital”.

“All sorts of plans must fit within legislative frameworks that are often set in Brussels and should be applied across the EU in the same way,” he explains. “That does not always match the need for a main port such as Schiphol. Looking for creative solutions within these frameworks and taking the interests of all partners in the chain into account could be a challenge.”

Making SCMP a reality

SCMP comprises three project pillars: 1) Centralised information, 2) Optimal landslide logistics, and 3) Smart innovations. Progress is being made in all three pillars. One recent development was the introduction of a new communication working group to generate awareness of SCMP through various channels.

Kamp believes all three pillars are important, but he is particularly interested in the redesign of DGVS through new RTO legislation. Which is a project that is part of the centralised information pillar.

“This is a redesign of an administrative monitoring system, from which we have benefited greatly in the past - both from the airfreight community at Schiphol and Customs,” he says.

Accelerating data flows

Meanwhile, Ivo Aris, Chairman, Air Cargo Netherlands (ACN), describes SCMP as “professional, pragmatic, and neutral”, and is paying special attention to Data Sharing and developments in digitisation.

“Enormous progress is possible in the flow of information associated with the distribution of goods,” he says.

“Almost all developments associated with ACN have been related to chain optimisation. Mostly by improving the information flow. Digitisation and the smart and secure sharing of information form the basis for almost every improvement process.”

Digitising the (realistic) future

Kamp also highlights digitisation as the airfreight industry continues to adapt to technological change. “After completing another successful programme - Schiphol SmartGate Cargo - we found several new challenges and have brought them together under the name of SCMP,” he explains.

“This is expected to make a big impact in the further digitisation of air freight and will assist in the cooperation between government and industry.

“SCMP makes it possible for a frontrunner to mean something for the entire airfreight chain. We try to work with achievable goals and not with heaven-storming vistas of what it could look like in 2030.”

Making ACN fly

For Aris, SCMP offers an opportunity to introduce improvements to ACN processes that would otherwise not be possible.

“Firstly, ACN itself has limited resources to give leadership to improvement processes. But via SCMP, more resources are available, and we can improve efficiency,” he explained.

“Secondly, by reducing the number of participants in the improvement processes, we can improve efficiency even more.

“And finally, participation in the Steering Committee of Customs, Airport and ACN guarantees that a broad group of users will be developed. This is in line with ACN’s mission.”

Sharing the success

SCMP is being used to find solutions to challenges within the airfreight industry, and there are hopes that it will be applied to further sectors of the community.

“Developing better processes is faster and more professional, but adoption at grassroots level remains as complicated as before the emergence of SCMP,” adds Kamp.

In addition to the DGVS redesign, both the Landside Pick-up and Delivery project (part of optimal landside logistics) and the Compliance Checker, a Smart innovations project, are contributing to an increase in quality in the airfreight process, enabling Schiphol to offer needed benefits to the whole cargo community.