Data platform NxtPort and Air Cargo Belgium (via its data sharing platform BRUcloud) will work together on multimodal solutions. Companies who transport freight by sea, frequently use airfreight as well, and much of the logistics – such as customs formalities – are the same whether transport is done by ship or plane. “We want to investigate how we can make cargo transport at the harbor and airport more efficient and innovative while at the same time less expensive.”

NxtPort and Air Cargo Belgium each have ambitious missions. NxtPort brings the entire harbor community together around a unique data platform that stimulates logistics and technology innovation to make Flemish ports the most innovative and best performing harbors in the world. Air Cargo Belgium sees BRUcargo pioneering an equally trailblazing path with the digital platform, BRUcloud.

“There are differences between ship and air transport, but increasingly there are more similarities,” says NxtPort CEO Daniel Lievens. “Both logistics and mobility require innovative multimodal solutions. Since the Flemish ports and the national airport, Brussels Airport, share the same cargo customers, companies are looking for efficiency and cost savings. Many of the logistics processes are largely the same, such as customs procedures for goods that must travel the airport and harbors for import and export. If we find ways to make the process more efficient and less time-intensive, everyone wins.”

“Both the cargo community at BRUcargo and at the Port of Antwerp chose to find a digital answer to improve communication and facilitate processes in the short term,” adds Air Cargo Belgium Chairman, Steven Polmans. “If we share our knowledge and expertise through an innovative platform, we create a bridge between the sea and air transport industries. Our collaboration will strengthen Flanders’ position as a regional leader in innovation and logistics. We want to work towards offering more support and a larger market for digital solutions, and involve other links to the logistics chain. Both NxtPort and Air Cargo Belgium have each held constructive talks with the customs authorities, and I can imagine that the authorities themselves will want to find ways to simplify their own procedures in cooperation with the industry.”

NxtPort and Air Cargo Belgium signed a Memorandum of Understanding linking to one another’s ecosystems. They will continue to develop a digital roadmap, keep the other apprised on processes and procedures, and share use cases. They will hold regular work sessions together to keep the information exchange going.

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