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Seminars aim to tackle Heathrow truck congestion

CCS-UK User Group's solution for speeding up collection and delivery times for air cargo by trucks at London Heathrow's freight terminal will be presented at a series of seminars hosted by the not-for-profit organisation that represents users of the UK's air cargo community data system.

The Advance Information System (AIS) is a bolt-on module for CCS-UK that has been in full operational use for a year among a cross-section of air freight agents and hauliers, and a major cargo handler, reported London's Air Cargo News.

The system has 'dramatically reduced' the processing times for trucks delivering and picking up cargo. The body describes AIS as an "effective, no-cost solution for reducing truck queuing times" at Heathrow's congested "Horseshoe" air cargo area, where agents' vehicles can be held up for up to 12 hours during peak hours.

AIS enables freight agents to pre-alert handling agents of loads being delivered and collected, down to house air waybill level, as well as submit Electronic Consignment Security Declarations (e-CSD).

This advance information - including vehicle, driver, cargo being delivered, handling agent and estimated time of arrival (ETA) - can be submitted either through a web portal or messages sent direct from the forwarder's own system. The information is then accessible to all relevant parties in the supply chain.

By receiving this information electronically in advance, handlers can populate their systems with the shipment information, reducing paperwork and delays on arrival of the truck, and eradicating re-keying errors. By obtaining advance warning of cargo en route, handlers can also anticipate workloads, schedule resources and allocate handling slots for the trucks.

CCS-UK User Group chairman Steve Parker of DHL said: "AIS is already fully proven in daily use, and has demonstrated significant benefits for all parties. All handlers on Heathrow's ageing cargo terminal should now adopt this new system, so that freight agents and hauliers can use a single system to deliver to all transit sheds, and achieve the same benefits everywhere."

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