Freight News, Air

CCS-UK to speed cargo through Heathrow

[ August 3, 2017   //   ]

The CCS-UK airfreight community user group has launched a new module that it sways will speed cargo through at Heathrow Airport’s transit sheds.

CCS-UK Advanced Info will allow freight agents, and their transport providers, to send advance information and alerts to handling agents and to submit Electronic Consignment Security Declarations (eCSDs).

Information such as the vehicle, driver, cargo being delivered, handling agent and expected time of arrival  can be submitted through a web portal or, for larger and more frequent users, direct from the forwarder’s system.

Information will be accessible to all parties, although only data applicable to each handler will be seen by them.

Agents using the system get pre-allocated truck doors to help cut queuing while handling agents will receive cargo information direct into their systems, eliminating re-keying and speeding up vehicle processing. The system is also designed to prevent previously used information from having to be rekeyed.

CCS-UK Advanced Info will also eliminate some paper documents, as envisaged by the IATA e-Freight programme.

In future, import release notes, and ETSF (External Temporary Storage Facility, formerly ERTS) day sheets could be replaced with electronic messages and there are plans to advise forwarders and their transport companies of the status of their trucks. Further planned enhancement will be transmission of import messages from handler to agent.

CCS-UK Advanced Info will be available at Heathrow first and eventually rolled out to all UK airport communities. User group chairman Steve Parker said: “As the community trade body for virtually all the UK air cargo industry, we believe we are the natural source for community solutions that will speed up air cargo flows in the UK, so improving our air cargo industry’s efficiency and competitiveness.”

He described CCS-UK Advanced Info as “a major step towards eliminating inefficiency and cost in the UK air cargo industry. It provides tangible benefits for everyone and, as with our recently-launched CCS-UK Fallback system, it is being provided completely free to all our members.”

The system is currently under test by a handling agent, an airfreight haulier and three airfreight forwarders.

Parker added that there had even been talk of enforcing the adoption of Advanced Information by means of entry barriers at airport cargo terminals, “allowing access only to pre-registered vehicles on payment of a charge.” However, while this might come about in the future, the User Group says that restrictions should not be introduced before suitable off-airport holding parks can be made available to separate registered and unregistered trucks– otherwise there will be bottle-necks at the barriers.

Launch of CCS-UK Advanced follows the recent unveiling of CCS-UK Fallback, an electronic safety net in the event of a major outage of HM Revenue and Customers ‘Chief’ computer system.