Photography: Raoul Paul
Foto vlnr: Dennis Smit, Henk-Jan van Keulen, Giovanni Douven, Raoul Paul, Erwin Roeleveld.
In the previous edition of Cargo Magazine (Summer 2019) we wrote about the basic principles of the ‘Trucking CDM platform’ whereby truck movements become transparent and (more) predictable for parties in the chain. Cargohub BV has been working hard these last few months further developing the platform. We would like to follow up the previous article with the practical experiences of Wallenborn , Menzies and Airbridge Cargo during the initial tests of the platform. In addition educational opportunities in the area of transport management are outlined.
The Trucking CDM’s objective is to provide transparency and predictability in the transport chain for air cargo industry stakeholders. The main reason to develop the Trucking CDM platform was the absence of good coordination of information between hauliers and handling agents. As a direct result loading or unloading availability from handlers does not always match the truck planning resulting in undesired waiting hours or congestion at the handling agent’s entry point.
The solution is clear:
In order to be able to minimize lost time, cargo handling agents need reliable information from the hauliers regarding truck movement(s) and their estimated arrival times. In the CDM platform all truck movements are visible to the handling agents and expected arrival times are continually updated. It is important for the hauliers to know on a timely basis if deviations of planned loading/unloading times are to be expected. Handling agents can use the expected arrival time information to confirm timeslots and, via the platform, handling agents are advised if delays have arisen. Should this be the case, hauliers can decide if drivers should first pick up other loads in order to utilise their permitted driving time as efficiently as possible and also avoid waiting. This also benefits the airport’s infrastructure by reducing congestion on the roads around the handling agents’ warehouses.
Intra-European solution for chain partners
Predictability and transparency of truck movements is necessary for all parties involved at the various airports in order to facilitate road transport of air cargo to its loading and unloading destinations as efficient as possible. When hauliers share trucking movement data it is automatically made available to handling agents at every airport. In this way from the moment of loading to unloading, the transport of air cargo goods between parties at different international airports can be entirely predictable.
Although the Trucking CDM provides an integrated call forwarding solution for handling agents, an interface is also being made available to make it possible to exchange data with participating parties’ own systems. The kiosk at a handling agent Swissport we wrote about in Cargo Magazine summer edition 2019, can also be linked, so there will be no need to carry out separate procedures in two systems.
MENZIES; “Our initial experiences with the Trucking CDM platform have been positive”, says Erwin Roeleveld, Project Leader Cargo Operations, Menzies World Cargo, Schiphol. “It appears to be a good planning tool providing insight into the departure and arrival times of trucks. It will probably allow us to optimise our door management system. A plus point of the platform is its comprehensiveness for the whole chain, from source to destination, not only for the trucker but also the airline and handling agent. The fact that our own warehouse management system can be connected with the platform via an interface is particularly pleasing. We do not have to acquire a new system. Menzies embraces technological innovations beneficial to both our customers and ourselves. We already work with several CargoHub modules such as the cargo and ULD damage registration system. CargoHub is an experienced partner with whom we are pleased to work. Menzies has committed to the Schiphol Cargo Mainport Program (SCMP) which is also examining truck movements and their predictability. It would be great if the platform could be aligned with the SCMP for vital synergy.”
Added value for airlines
The added value of the Trucking platform for an airline is the transparency of cargo being trucked by road. At present this insight is not automatic so an airline often has to have telephone contact with the trucking company. The platform offers a solution by allowing the airline to access real-time information.
AIRBRIDGE CARGO; “We are very enthusiastic about the platform” says Henk-Jan van Keulen, Country Manager The Netherlands, Airbridge Cargo. “That both our internal and external customers can follow their consignments themselves at any time via an app is a huge advantage. It results in far less email traffic. Even foreign stations, often in other time zones, can at any moment of the day see where a truck is located. I feel the value of the Trucking CDM platform will be even further enhanced when the forwarders also get involved in the system. Perhaps this is an idea for the near future.”
WALLENBORN; The article on the Trucking CDM platform which appeared in the previous edition of Cargo Magazine caught the attention of Dennis Smit, Manager of the Wallenborn transport company at Schiphol. “I read about the solutions the platform offers for problems that we as a transport company experience. I refer to the lack of transparency in the chain and the limited data exchange between the handling agent, airline and ourselves. We enter load instructions and cargo lists into the platform manually at present but this will be automated at a later stage. The idea is that airlines will, at a glance, be able to see where our truck is. This will improve our efficiency as we will not be spending time answering telephone calls and emails at shipment level. Currently we manually input details of a shipment such as for example airwaybill number, number of packages and weight but we are already testing the exchange of data between our transport management system and the Trucking CDM platform. All data will soon be processed in a fully automated manner.” In response to the question of what would be the ideal situation for Wallenborn, Dennis advised: “Transparency by means of automatic information exchange between airlines, handling agents and transport companies will, amongst other things, reduce administrative procedures, reduce waiting times at the handling agents, allow more efficient use of vehicles and automatically provide the status of consignments to our customers. Furthermore, in this way we can also play our part in reducing traffic congestion at the entry point.”
The Trucking platform is an innovative solution for which further research should certainly be undertaken. The subject is therefore interesting for students of logistics to study and escalate to a higher level; a great opportunity for students to complete their studies with this as a thesis subject.
INHOLLAND; “The Trucking CDM platform is a very suitable graduation and research subject” says Giovanni Douven, Project Manager and Research Fellow, InHolland. “Five graduate students will commence work on this in the middle of January: four students will be researching the platform’s logistical opportunities. They will do this in-house at a handling agent, a trucking company, a forwarder and an airline. The fifth student will look at the marketing aspect, researching the platform’s revenue model and its viability. InHolland is keen to contribute to initiatives for the air cargo sector to work together efficiently and effectively and there is also an important sustainability angle. Indeed, data sharing whereby truck movements become transparent, will ultimately result in a reduction in CO2 emissions and particulates and therefore improve quality of life.”
Truck RU 7007 24/10/2019 completely transparent
Wallborn truck RU7007 on the route Amsterdam (Menzies World Cargo) to Liege (Aviapartners) on 24 October 2019 was the very first truck fully supplied with arrival, loading and unloading times. Wallenborn and Menzies World Cargo, as participating pilot partners, independently provided the trucking platform with data.
Moving forward to 100% transparency and predictability
“These last few months our pilot partners have provided a lot of input” Raoul Paul of CargoHub BV advises. “Not only is data being shared with chain partners but their needs to support the complete truck management process must be facilitated within the platform in order to reach an optimal process design. This is all being further developed.
The support of Wallenborn, Menzies and Airbridge Cargo has enabled us to test the initial basis of the platform. We have reached a next phase in which we will start sharing 100% truck planning information from Wallenborn to handling agents and airlines. Support from the community is crucial and therefore we are delighted to welcome Swissport, Jan de Rijk, dnata, Malaysia Airlines, Fast Forward Freight and Connex air cargo network (subsidiary of Georgi Transport) as well to our project. Last but not least we are honored to welcome the Air Cargo Netherlands.”
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