Automated nomination, the digital declaration of a forwarder’s involvement in the handling of a shipment, has become the standard for inbound shipments at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol, which no longer accepts paper declarations as of 1 April.
Prior to the new mandate, ground handlers at Schiphol Airport would have to wait for the freight to arrive and review the corresponding paperwork before a forwarder could be nominated to handle the shipment.
With Automated Nomination, this process has been completely digitized and now takes place at an earlier stage, prior to the flight landing at the airport. This will inform ground handlers much sooner, reducing the time required to process cargo, whilst minimizing the possibility of human error and shipment mishandling.
David van der Meer, cargo partnerships director for the Smart Cargo Mainport Program (SCMP) at Schiphol said the airport aims to have every shipment nominated automatically, describing it as creating a better connection between the air waybill (AWB) and the receiving forwarder.
This algorithm predicts which forwarder will collect a shipment using only AWB, airline, and shipper data, with a 99 percent accuracy rate. So far the number of forwarders participating in Automated Nomination has already increased from 60 to 140, with numbers still growing, the airport noted.
Schipol explained that a digital station declaration is required to be compliant for Automated Nomination. Introduced by handlers, forwarders, and Schiphol Airport, together with Air Cargo Netherlands, the digital station declaration marked the end of paper freight station statements at the airport, which has seen a record increase from 1,200 declarations in October last year to 3,000 as of 1 April.
Itl said the reduction in paper and ability to combine shipments during the transfer process will bring all parties closer to their sustainability goals. It will also optimize import planning and boost future developments at Schiphol with better data available much sooner.
Automated Nomination is the latest in a series of digital initiatives under SCMP that are streamlining cargo services at Schiphol, including the digital station declaration, which has made handling more structured and secure since January 2022, and the Milkrun project, which has streamlined truck movements at the airport.
“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,” said van der Meer.