Brussels Airport launches app using blockchain technology on data sharing platform

Brussels Airport has launched its first application using blockchain technology on their BRUcloud open data sharing platform.

BRUcloud is for the BRUcargo community and was launched in 2016. The main aim is not digitising the existing messages and communication between different entities, but making data sharing in a cloud environment possible.

Brussels Airport cargo business development manager, Sara Van Gelder (pictured below) said: “It enables the different stakeholders of the air cargo supply chain to work more ‘integrated’ and act as a network. Data will be stored only once, centrally.

“Once a company is connected to the cloud, it can start using the different existing applications and can start exchanging information very easily with other stakeholders instead of maintaining system-to-system connections with all different partners individually.”

This new application using blockchain technology is a next step in the ‘Landsite Management tool’ Brussels Airport is developing together with its stakeholders at BRUcargo.

The airport said the app will closely cooperate with already existing apps such as the slot booking app, or future to be developed apps. Focus of this next phase is on making the import process paperless, more efficient and transparent.

The move contributes to the Brussels Airport strategic objective to have a digitalised logistical flow in place supported by a combination of applications offered via the BRUcloud platform.

Brussels Airport head of cargo and logistics and chairman of Air Cargo Belgium, Steven Polmans (pictured left) said: “The new Freight Management App 1.0 will replace the handover of cargo from handlers to forwarder from a paper-based process by a digital rights/release process.”

He added the support of all stakeholders, from gathering ideas to implementing new tools and applications, is “crucial” in the success of the BRUcloud platform.

DHL Global Forwarding has been active in supporting development of the BRUcloud at Brussels Airport and CEO for Belgium and Luxembourg, Luc Jacobs said the forwarder is “pro-actively” seeking supply chain visibility and transparency tools and improvement areas, in order to facilitate the supply chain of customers.

He added: “We firmly believe that an increasing transparency and reliability will decrease the overall supply chain costs in the future. We support initiatives as the community platform BRUcloud, to support the industry in creating innovative tools to improve the logistic chain.”

DHL Global Forwarding air freight director and vice chairman of Air Cargo Belgium, David Bellon said the air cargo industry needs to “increase its efforts” on further digitising its processes to “create transparency and real-time visibility” while improving the quality of the output.

WFS regional vice president, Marc Claesen said for the cargo handler, this is the “way forward” in a rapidly changing industry, “whereby expectations from stakeholders will only be met in the future by those companies who believe in modernization and industry data sharing”.