Antwerp digitalises its container release processes

Port of Antwerp has introduced a new digital, secure and integrated solution for the release of containers, named “Certified Pick up” (CPu), which will commence from 1 January 2021 and will replace the current system of PIN codes.

The CPu platform receives and processes container information to generate an encrypted digital key, with which the eventual carrier can pick up the container. This digital key is only created when the final carrier is known.

The time between the creation of the digital key and the collection of the container is therefore minimal, highlighted the Belgian port in its announcement.

It will also be possible to trace which parties were involved in the collection of the container and this allows the competent authorities such as customs and police to access the data exchanged and generated in Certified Pick up within the boundaries of their legal powers.

In the longer term, CPu should allow the digital key to be completely eliminated, while an identity-based security process with fingerprints or eye scans might be developed.

“We have set up a port-wide consultation structure, which monitors the project and adjusts it if necessary,” stated the chief executive officer of the port, Jacques Vandermeiren.

This new system will replace the traditional method, which demands a unique PIN code to pick up a container at a terminal in the port. The time between providing the PIN code to the shipping company and the driver entering this code at the terminal is considerable, according to the Belgian port, while the PIN code is seen by various parties which increases the risk of abuse.

“With the digital code system, we are making it much more difficult for the drug mafia to gain access to the containers at the terminals,” emphasised port alderman, Annick De Ridder.

CPu simplifies administrative processes, allows employees to work more securely and reduces the turnaround time of import containers in the port, added an Antwerp statement.

The Port Authority and the port community have an open and constructive dialogue with all involved logistics parties in order to look into how to further shape CPu and implement it in phases.

Bernard Moyson, chairman of Alfaport-Voka commented, “We are pleased that this project focuses on a faster, safer and more efficient release of containers. A collective approach is the only way forward to meet the security challenges.”

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