Port of Rotterdam switches to paperless declarations
The port of Rotterdam has introduced electronic systems to replace paper-based ship declarations and cargo declarations.
Launched Wednesday, the “Notification ship” and “Notification cargo EDI” modules of Rotterdam’s port community system will eventually mark the end of paper-based communication between shipping and cargo handling agents using the Dutch port and government bodies such as Customs.
The Notification ship service allows shipping companies and cargo handling agents to submit their compulsory notifications regarding visiting seagoing vessels to the harbor master and Customs via the Internet. The Notification cargo EDI module facilitates the electronic submission of cargo declarations to Customs.
The first group of shipping companies and cargo handling agents to link up this year will represent some 2.1 million TEUs of import containers and almost as many documents, according to the port of Rotterdam. Next year, all containers moving through Rotterdam will be processed electronically through the port community system.
The port of Rotterdam said the system will start with the container sector and will eventually apply to the entire port.
The port estimates if the previous paper documents supporting declarations for 2.1 million TEUs were stacked in a single pile, it would be 750-meter (2,500-foot) high.
The port of Rotterdam said procedures surrounding cargo documentation will from now on be cheaper and faster. Such systems are already widely used in ports of other countries.
The port community system of Rotterdam is developed by its IT arm Port Infolink.