Brussels Airport unveils blockchain technology
Recently during the Air China Cargo exhibition in Shanghai, Brussels Airport and their cargo community won the award for ‘IT solution of the year’ with BRUcloud. BRUcloud is an open data-sharing platform based on Nallian’s data technology on which different applications can be build. Today, Brussels Airport announces the launch of its first application using blockchain technology, strengthening their frontrunner position in digital innovation in the air cargo industry.
BRUcloud is the open data sharing platform for the BRUcargo community launched in 2016. Compared to other cargo community systems, the BRUcloud’s main priority is not digitizing the existing messages and communication between the different actors, but making data sharing in a cloud environment possible. “It enables the different stakeholders of the air cargo supply chain to work more “integrated” and act as a network. Data will be stored only once, centrally. Once a company is connected to the cloud, it can start using the different existing applications and can start exchanging information very easily with other stakeholders instead of maintaining system-to-system connections with all different partners individually”, explains Sara Van Gelder, Cargo Business Development Manager at Brussels Airport.
This new application using blockchain technology is a next step in the ‘Landsite Management tool’ Brussels Airport is developing together with its stakeholders at BRUcargo. The app will closely cooperate with already existing apps such as the Slot Booking App, or future to be developed apps. Focus of this next phase is on making the import process paperless, more efficient and transparent. It fully contributes to the Brussels Airport strategic objective to have a digitalized logistical flow in place supported by a combination of applications offered via the BRUcloud platform.
“The new Freight Management App 1.0 will replace the handover of cargo from handlers to forwarder from a paper-based process by a digital rights / release process,” says Steven Polmans, Head of Cargo & Logistics at Brussels Airport and Chairman of the community organization Air Cargo Belgium. “The support of all our stakeholders, from gathering ideas to implementing new tools and applications, is crucial in the success of our BRUcloud platform.” And Steven continues: “Therefore we were extremely pleased that several of our stakeholders where there together with us when we won the award in Shanghai, since this award really is a recognition for each and every individual and company that joined us on this adventure we started some years ago.”
One of the companies supporting the development of the BRUcloud at Brussels Airport from the beginning is DHL Global Forwarding. They are very active in the different working groups of Air Cargo Belgium but also as a company very much involved. “DHL Global Forwarding is pro-actively seeking supply chain visibility and transparency tools and improvement areas, in order to facilitate the supply chain of our customers. We firmly believe that an increasing transparency and reliability will decrease the overall supply chain costs in the future. We support initiatives as the community platform BRUcloud, to support the industry in creating innovative tools to improve the logistic chain” stated Luc Jacobs CEO DHL Global Forwarding Belgium and Luxemburg.
David Bellon, Air Freight Director of DHL Global Forwarding and Vice Chairman of Air Cargo Belgium adds to that, “The air cargo industry needs to increase its efforts on further digitizing its processes, this to create transparency and real time visibility meanwhile improving the quality of the output. With Air Cargo Belgium and the community platform BRUcloud at Brussels Airport, DHL Global Forwarding has found the right collaborative environment to enhance the air cargo processes through technology and data exchange. We are proud to have been the frontrunner in such initiative.”
Another strong supporter is ground handler WFS. Regional Vice President Marc Claesen comments, “WFS Belgium is a proud early participant of the BRUcloud project at Brussels, initiated by Brussels Airport. For WFS, this is the way forward in a rapidly changing industry, whereby expectations from stakeholders will only be met in the future by those companies who believe in modernization and industry data sharing. We are glad to be an early adaptor of this unique tool and platform and believe that this is only the start of a very promising development whereby the cargo industry as a whole will benefit, with Brussels taking a leading pioneer role”.