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Release of containers at Port of Antwerp will be digitalised

Port of Antwerp is taking the next step in the development of a digitally secured port. “Certified Pick up” a digital, secure and integrated solution for the release of containers, will start from January 1st 2021 and will replace the current system of PIN codes. This new way of working will guarantee a secure, transparent and optimised release process for incoming containers, which will then leave the port by rail, barge or truck.

More secure process 

To pick up a container at a terminal in the port, a unique PIN code is needed nowadays.  The time between providing the PIN code to the shipping company and the driver entering this code at the terminal is considerable. Moreover, the PIN code is seen by various parties which increases the risk of abuse.

To make this process more secure and efficient, a new process for the release of containers, referred to as “Certified Pick up” (CPu), comes into force on January 1st 2021.  CPu is a neutral, central data platform which connects all stakeholders involved in the container import process.

Digital key

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.

It will also be possible to trace which parties were involved in the collection of the container.  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. An identity-based security process with fingerprints or eye scans might be developed.

More secure, but also more efficient 

CPu has operational benefits for all logistics partners in the port chain. It simplifies administrative processes, allows employees to work more securely and reduces the turnaround time of import containers in the port.  Customs and the police will also be able to operate more efficiently and effectively thanks to CPu.

Port Alderman Annick De Ridder: “As a port, we take our social responsibility with this initiative. I welcome the fact that the port community is helping to further secure the logistics chain. 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. I really want to thank all involved partners for making this possible.”

In conjunction with logistics parties 

The Port Authority and the port community have an open and constructive dialogue with all involved logistics parties, such as shipping companies, shipping agents, terminals, shippers, freight forwarders, logistics operators, truck companies and inland navigation and rail operators. Together, they will look into how to further shape CPu and implement it in phases.

Bernard Moyson, Chairman of Alfaport-Voka: “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. The fact that we have reached a constructive compromise on this initiative proves once again the strength and resilience of the port community in Antwerp. ”

Port of Antwerp CEO Jacques Vandermeiren: “This is a story of co-creation with the aim of marketing the port of Antwerp even better as a high-performance digital port.  We set up a port-wide consultation structure, which monitors the project and adjusts it if necessary.”