Hamburg Airport has joined the growing roster of European airports that are adopting digitalization to facilitate and expedite air cargo handling.
After a six-month pilot program, Hamburg Airport Cargo Center has fully adopted the Fair@Link system to respond to a requirement for faster and more efficient airfreight handling processes, especially from express service providers.
The platform was developed by Hamburg-based Dakosy, which also operates the Port Community System for the Port of Hamburg and the Cargo Community System for Frankfurt Airport.
The Fair@Link system allows freight forwarders to book delivery time slots, resulting in shorter waiting and handling times, more transparency along the transport chain and improved documentation for handling agents that no longer need to reenter duplicate data, according to the airport authority. A particular advantage of digitalization is that the system can prepare export customs declarations and then automatically submit them to customs upon entry to the Hamburg Airport customs zone.
“Sharing information beyond the traditional paper-based channels through platforms like Fair@Link is a promising way forward. We expect that in the near future these platforms will be the new normal in our industry, providing tangible benefits to participants in the air cargo value chain,” Stefan Hartung, a spokesperson for ground-handling provider Swissport, told FreightWaves.
Swissport is one of the launch partners for the Hamburg Airport initiative.
Hamburg Airport is the fifth busiest of Germany’s commercial airports, measured by passenger numbers and aircraft movements. Air cargo continued to grow at Hamburg in 2018. About 80,000 tons of air cargo were transshipped at the airport in 2018, a 6% increase over 2017. Growth was particularly strong for trucks, which climbed by 21% to approximately 46,500 tonnes, while flown air cargo declined by 9% to about 33,500 tons.
In September, Leipzig/Halle Airport introduced Dakosky’s Zodiak customs software for automated tariff calculation and goods clearance. The system is being used at Germany’s second-largest airfreight hub by ground-handling service provider PortGround, primarily for e-commerce business.
The new software has an integrated interface with the airport’s in-house IT systems and can process relevant customs information to automatically trigger customs clearance processes. PortGround sends flight manifest data for all expected shipments via an electronic interface to Dakosy’s customs software, which automatically extracts customs-relevant information from the manifests and triggers upcoming customs processes.
E-commerce has taken center stage at Leipzig/Halle Airport. Some 70 freighter aircraft land at the airport daily, many stuffed with parcels ordered via the internet. In 2018, air cargo throughput at Leipzig/Halle Airport registered about 1.22 million tons.