Antwerp’s New Break-Bulk Venture


Antwerp’s port community system (APCS) is to introduce a new breakbulk application that will make today’s copying and re-copying of data a thing of the past. The result is more transparent, claiming faster communication concerning cargoes, thus enabling them to be handled more efficiently.

PTI previously reported that the Port of Antwerp has recently implemented a green shipping initiative that intends to offer shippers a discount for lowering their carbon footprint while at the port.

In Cubix, the break-bulk application, the forwarder who initiates the transport makes a single declaration concerning the consignment in the break-bulk application. The application issues a unique reference for the consignment which is then used by all subsequent parties. All further instructions are given via the application. The forwarder is the able to see the status of the consignment in the system at all times, in full transparency.

John Kerkhof, Manager of APCS, said: “The application affords great administrative simplification that benefits all users of the port.

“We work on the basis of 10 euro-cents [10 US cents] per tonne, shared between the forwarder, the ship’s agent and the terminal operator. The intention is not to get rich from it: the proceeds must be returned to the community.”

At the moment a pilot project is running with ArcelorMittal Logistics, FEDNAV and NHS. This will be followed by a more general roll-out in the near future.

Frank De Fyn, Vice-President of Operations at ArcelorMittal, is already enthusiastic about Cubix: “Using the application affords greater transparency for the customer. You can see immediately where your consignment is located in the chain. Another advantage is that you can provide your own customers with evidence of Customs clearance.”

Kerkhof concludes: “We want to further develop the Antwerp community platform so as to achieve far-reaching digitisation of the port processes, giving port users maximum transparency regarding their freight flows. The focus will be on integrating Customs applications and hinterland connections.”

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