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ANTWERP/BRUSSELS: September 14, 2017. Data platform NxtPort and Air Cargo Belgium's BRUcargo cloud-based community have signed an MoU to develop a digital roadmap for air and sea transport.

Antwerp Port HouseRecognizing their respective forwarder communities ship by air and ocean, the two organizations say they "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 is a single platform initiative by several logistics communities at the Port of Antwerp (right) to collect and share data for optimal commercial use.

"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," said 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."

Polmans said the collaboration would strengthen Flanders' position as a regional leader in innovation and logistics and encourage other participants including Belgian Customs.

"There are differences between ship and air transport, but increasingly there are more similarities," explained NxtPort CEO Daniel Lievens, "because both logistics and mobility require innovative multimodal solutions.

"Since the Flemish ports and Brussels Airport share the same cargo customers, companies are looking for efficiency and cost savings," he continued. "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." 

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