Amsterdam Schiphol Airport (AMS) is no longer accepting paper declarations for inbound shipments as of April 1, mandating a full deployment of Automated Nomination, a digitalized process of declaring a forwarder’s involvement in a shipment.
Automated Nomination, a program that has been piloted at AMS since October 2021, is an algorithm that uses the air waybill (AWB), airline and shipper data to predict which forwarder will collect the cargo shipment, according to today’s release. Automated Nomination has a 99% accuracy rate.
The new, digitalized process allows ground handlers at AMS to be informed about incoming shipments sooner, according to the release. Prior to the automated shift, ground handlers would wait for the airfreight to arrive, then review the paperwork before a forwarder was nominated to handle the shipment. Now, this process occurs before a flight lands at AMS. Currently at least 140 forwarders are participating in the use of Automated Nomination, with roughly 3,000 declarations already made so far, according to AMS.
“Automated Nomination creates a better connection between the air waybill and the receiving forwarder,” David van der Meer, cargo partnerships director for the Smart Cargo Mainport Program (SCMP) at AMS, said in the release.
By digitalizing this process, Automated Nomination reduces the potential for human error and mishandling shipments and speeds up the overall cargo processing time, according to the release. Automated Nomination will also reduce the use of paper at AMS.
AMS has been establishing various digital initiatives under the SCMP to improve operational efficiency and support sustainability goals. These include a digital station declaration to make the handling process more secure and the Milkrun project, which streamlines trucking operations at the airport, according to the release. A digital station declaration, which was created in collaboration with AMS, Air Cargo Netherlands, handlers and forwarders, is required for Automated Nomination.
The airfreight industry has been increasing efforts around process digitalization already in 2022. In March, Germany-based digital booking platform cargo.one introduced auto-assigned air waybill numbers in partnership with Lufthansa to optimize booking processes. Now, AWB numbers can be digitally assigned along with the booking confirmation. Lufthansa also started accepting only electronic AWBs in March for customers able to use digital documentation.
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