In the run up to Brexit, the Port of Zeebrugge has developed two digital tools, aiming to allow a fluent flow of cargo to and from the UK, despite extra customs administrations which may be implemented after the Brexit deadline.
The development of the RX/SeaPort data sharing platform is an initiative by the Zeebrugge port authority and the Association of Port of Zeebrugge Interests (APZI) which offers a digital connection between all links in the logistical chain.
Wim Fossaert, commercial director RX/SeaPort, said: “After March 29, the platform ensures a minimisation of the Brexit impact, by improving the operational efficiency and creating more transparency in the logistical chain.”
Joachim Coens, CEO of the Port of Zeebrugge, stated: “Ferry and shortsea traffic will experience new customs regulations after Brexit. If these are handled digitally and efficiently, we will avoid problems.”
One tool named Wizard focuses on the transportation of goods to (Export) and from (Import) the UK through a Belgian port.
Each phase of the import and export flow is illustrated: booking & pre-announcement, customs declaration, guidelines and procedures for departure and arrival at the terminal.
The other tool E-Desk Ferry is a digital system, via which export users (consigners and freight forwarders) can notify the terminal operator of the arrival of their cargo.
This notification contains the type of document, customs office, MRN number, unit number, terminal and booking reference.
This data is continuously available for the terminal operator, which creates digital transparency and prevents waiting periods at the terminals.
In the case of import, users will notify the terminal operator about the cargo’s customs status with corresponding customs document numbers (MRN). Based on this information, the cargo can be released for transport.
Shortsea traffic can make use of the existing systems E-Desk Container and E-Desk Roro.
Every week more than 70 regular shipping services connect Zeebrugge to UK regions.