Digital Pre-notification at Schiphol Airport

The handling agents at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol have been working with digital pre-notification of local export cargo since the beginning of 2021. In September 2020 Worldwide Flight Services, dnata, Air France KLM Martinair Cargo, Menzies Aviation Netherlands B.V. and Swissport Cargo Services all signed a Best Effort declaration to this end.

The aim of this digitalisation is to make the processes around delivery, administrative processing and loading/unloading of export consignments at the airport more efficient, more sustainable, secure and reliable. Thanks to the electronic or digital pre-notification this can, for the most part, happen without physical contact and that, in the 1.5 metre society, is an absolute necessity. The system will become standard practice from 1 September 2021. After that date digitally pre-notified cargo will receive priority whilst cargo that has not been pre-notified digitally will face additional costs as well as still having to go through the, often, time-consuming administrative handling at the counter at the airport.

Vital link for the future
Digital pre-notification is an essential step in the move towards improved efficiency that the Schiphol community is taking collectively. It is one of the indispensable jigsaw pieces in the process of digital registration, authentication, identification and authorization of export cargo and for the haulier of the cargo who must deliver his consignments land-side. It is an automated channel of communication between, on the one hand, forwarders and/or transporters and, on the other hand, the handling agents at the airport. Forwarders or transporters notify their export consignment electronically before the driver departs for Schiphol with the consignment. The system means that the electronic Air Waybill (eAWB) is completed in full before a load reaches Schiphol. Once at the airport the chauffeur, with one swipe of his ACN pass over the card reader at the handling agent’s gate, hears if he meets all the conditions for delivery, including the security check and is told to which dock he can drive for the cargo to be unloaded. Maarten van As, Managing Director of ACN, sees considerable advantages: “Thanks to digital pre-notification hauliers and forwarders can help accelerate the processing of export cargo. The paperwork required for the consignment has been processed before arrival at the airport. In this way we put an end to the queues of waiting trucks and chauffeurs on the airport’s terrain. This has numerous advantages: less congestion, reduced CO2 emissions and there is no longer a need to be crammed together in a small office waiting while the paperwork is processed. Less personal contacts are, with an eye on Corona, so important now.” In addition, digital pre-notification can function as a track and trace system; all relevant parties know that the goods are at Schiphol and can prepare accordingly.


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