Schiphol to link flower shipment data with air waybill numbers

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Amsterdam Airport Schiphol is increasing transparency in the supply chain by linking flower shipment data to air waybill numbers at source.

The Smart Cargo Mainport Program (SCMP) aims to make Schiphol the smartest airport in Europe through increased use of data sharing and includes initiatives such as the Holland Flower Alliance Data Sharing Working Group, which piloted the scheme.

Shipment data including the number of boxes, flower type, and number of flowers and stems in each box is linked to air waybill numbers by the portal, which then generates a unique GLN code that gives users access to the data in one place.

Pilots were carried out on journeys from Nairobi, Kenya to the Aalsmeer flower auction with shipments remaining traceable in real time and on shipment level throughout the journey.

The GLN code comprises of a shipment reference and an order code, creating a universally recognised format that cannot be duplicated and providing end-to-end visibility that each supply chain partner can access through their own internal systems.

Amsterdam Airport Schiphol head of cargo, Jonas van Stekelenburg says: “Through close collaboration between the floriculture and air cargo sectors, we are now able to link two critical sets of data and increase trust between parties by making that data available to everyone at all times.

“The new portal uses a unique ‘global standard 1’ code (GLN) combined with an order number. This way the system excludes duplications of either order numbers or air waybill numbers.”

The Holland Flower Alliance is partnering with Kuehne + Nagel and Panalpina to work towards user friendly ways of presenting the data to the end customer.

Air France KLM executive vice president and Martainair managing director, Marcel de Nooijer says: “This unique collaboration by means of SCMP and the Holland Flower Alliance is of great value for the precious supply chain of floriculture cargo.

“By joining hands, we are really working hard to increase efficiency and quality and to lower costs throughout the whole supply chain. The development and launch of this data sharing platform is a real example that we are doing ‘new stuff’ benefiting all stakeholders in the floriculture chain.”

The portal was developed after consultation with the Cargo Community identifying priorities for the perishable cool chain, with the ability to track and trace on box level from farm to auction appearing as a unanimous priority for all parties.

Information Sharing Working Group project manager, Koos van der Meij says: “The portal also ensures that only authorised parties have access to sensitive data, increasing trust and cooperation, and encouraging further collaboration towards common goals.”

The SCMP aims to increase efficiencies at Schiphol through increased use of data sharing, and projects include Pharma Gateway Amsterdam and EU Green Fast Lanes.