Freight News, Sea, Road

P&O Ferries offers Digital Wallet to speed freight journeys

[ February 8, 2022   //   ]

P&O Ferries is offering its freight customers a free digital ‘travel wallet’ to ease some of the border control issues caused by Brexit.

The Wallet, now available on the Dover/Calais route, helps identify which documents are required for each movement based on the route and the cargo being shipped. Customers can also use it to verify documents and then save the digital paperwork in the tool, generating a single barcode that can be used by drivers at check-in, removing any language barriers.

New border requirements introduced in January last year, led to confusion over what declarations were required for each journey and incorrect paperwork being presented at port check-ins, which led to increased waiting times.

P&O Ferries believes the new tool will reduce check-in times by up to 50%.

Chief executive Peter Hebblethwaite, said: “The new border regulations add complexity, time and cost to all areas of the process, but they are here to stay and will become business-as-usual over time. We believe it is up to everyone in the sector to do all they can to simplify the processes to make them as efficient as possible, and this is something P&O Ferries is committed to.”

“We have been speaking to our customers regularly over the last year about the difficulties they are facing, and we have been monitoring the impact at our ports in order to identify the common issues, so that we can design ways to improve these either at the pre-journey process stage, or on the day of travel.”

“One issue we have found at check-in is that drivers, who may not speak the local language at the port, are often not sure what paperwork they should have ready, which can lead to dozens of documents being passed to our employees to work through. We understand that this is difficult for the drivers, and we want to help in any way we can.”

“The Travel Wallet provides drivers with one umbrella barcode that we can scan in a matter of seconds, helping to reduce waiting times and queues for every vehicle that comes into our ports. It can also send customs status updates to users keeping them informed ahead of every step of the journey.”

The Travel Wallet was created in partnership with CNS, a UK based technology solutions firm within the CARGOES Community arm of P&O Ferries’ parent company, DP World.

Customers using the Travel Wallet can also access the other Brexit-easing products offered on CARGOES. The BEEMS Pre-lodgement product provides single-point access to the UK (GVMS), and French (Douane) systems where users can generate the essential records and get real-time status updates on an easy-to-read dashboard.

The Safety and Security Declarations product is an easy-to-use platform for creating and submitting these mandatory declarations and its Customs Declarations product is an HMRC compliant software platform designed to support both UK customs systems for processing declarations, CHIEF and CDS.

Managing director of CNS/CARGOES Community in the UK, Matthew Bradley, added: “Our BEEMS Border Management Products are aimed at minimising the disruption caused by the new paperwork requirements, to ensure the flow of cargo continues as smoothly and efficiently as possible. These products are now live, with some enhancements and new routes planned for later in the year. The final full suite of products will offer solutions for all areas of the supply chain involved in importing and exporting in and out of the UK.”

He pointed out that the Travel Wallet was a neutral solution that could be used by any ferry operator.