Air, Freight News

CCS-UK group takes congestion-busting plan on the road

[ December 5, 2017   //   ]

The CCS-UK User Group – the non-profit body which manages, and commissions enhancements to, the CCS-UK freight community – is organising a series of road shows around the UK in early 2018 to highlight the issue of truck congestion at Heathrow and its own plans for an advanced information system to solve the problem.

It says that recent problems underscore the pressing need for a universal advance information system that will alert handling agents to arriving vehicles, and speed up their processing.

The group will also update delegates on progress with its own Advance Information project, a new function that will enable freight agents, and transport companies working on their behalf, to pre-alert handling agents of loads being delivered or collected as well as allowing submission of electronic Security Declarations (eCSDs).

Advance information – including vehicle, driver, cargo being delivered, handling agent and ETA – will be submitted either through a web portal (for smaller, occasional users), or (in the case of larger and more frequent users) messages sent direct from the forwarder’s own system. The information will then be accessible to all parties in the supply chain. Deliveries to multiple shed operators will be automatically split by the system, and only data applicable to each handler will be seen by them.

Agents using the system should benefit from pre-allocated truck doors and reduced queuing. Handling agents meanwhile will receive cargo information direct into their systems, eliminating re-keying, speeding up vehicle processing and enabling more efficient use of their resources.

CCS-UK user group chairman, Steve Parker explained: “The congestion problems to date have been at Heathrow, but this is a nationwide issue potentially affecting all UK airports. Air cargo volumes will continue to grow, and process complexities may also increase following Brexit. This makes it vital for both the UK air cargo industry and the UK economy, that existing infrastructure and resources are used as efficiently as possible, to avoid damaging delays and associated costs.”

CCS-UK User Group had proposed its solution to Heathrow Airport Limited after it made a request for proposals for a call forward system. HAL subsequently decided not to proceed with this, but CCS-UK User Group believes in the benefits and is continuing with its Advance Information project. It will be available at all UK airports and will be free of charge.

Parker continues: “The suggested physical barrier located at the entrance to the Heathrow cargo terminal, unless also accompanied by a by-pass lane and holding park for non-compliant vehicles, would only have worsened the situation. Nor should the industry have to operate differently at individual airports, or pay extra (as was proposed) for the privilege of delivering cargo to a carrier at Heathrow.

“What is needed is a single system that can be adopted by all industry players, that works at all locations, and that does not increase costs. CCS-UK User Group is working on that solution, and we want to engage with the industry through our roadshows to ensure that the end product is what everyone wants.”

Among the parties CCS-UK User Group is consulting is SEGRO, which owns the majority of the airside cargo terminals at Heathrow. “This is an issue of roads and infrastructure, as well as systems,” says Parker. “We will collaborate with anyone who can help us to make Heathrow and other UK airports more efficient and cargo-friendly.”

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