CCS-UK User Group – the body which manages, and commissions enhancements to, the CCS-UK community system – is working on a new module that will speed up deliveries to, and collections from, transit sheds at London Heathrow Airport. It follows the recent launch of CCS-UK Fallback, which provides an electronic safety net in the event of a major outage of the Customs computer.


The latest module – CCS-UK Advanced Info – will enable freight agents, and transport companies working on their behalf,  to pre-alert handling agents of loads being delivered, down to House AWB level, as well as submit Electronic Consignment Security Declarations (eCSD).


The advanced information – including vehicle, driver, cargo being delivered, handling agent and ETA – will be submitted either through a web portal (for smaller, occasional users), or (in the case of larger and more frequent users) messages sent direct from the forwarder’s own system. The information will then be accessible to all relevant parties in the supply chain. Deliveries to multiple shed operators will be automatically split by the system, and only data applicable to each handler will be seen by them.


Agents using the system will benefit from pre-allocated truck doors, cutting down or eradicating queuing. Handling agents meanwhile will receive cargo information direct into their systems, so eliminating re-keying, speeding up vehicle processing and enabling more efficient use of their resources.


In CCS-UK Advanced Info, the emphasis will be on simplicity and speed: integral data stores of all users, drivers, vehicles and transit sheds will be used to populate new shipment entries, avoiding the re-input of previously-used data. CCS-UK Advanced Info will additionally eliminate a number of paper documents, in line with the IATA e-Freight concept.


Future-proofing is also a feature of the CCS-UK Advanced Info concept: import release notes, and ETSF (External Temporary Storage Facility, formerly ERTS) day sheets will be among further documents that will eventually be replaced with electronic messages. It is also planned to advise forwarders and their transport companies of the status of the handling of their trucks. A further planned enhancement for imports will be the transmission of messages from the handler to the agent, requesting him to send a truck, to not send a truck, or to send a truck at a specified time.


CCS-UK Advanced Info is initially being launched for the London Heathrow community, but will eventually be rolled out to all airport communities in the UK. Says CCS-UK User Group Chairman Steve Parker: “As the community trade body for virtually all of the UK air cargo industry, we believe we are the natural source for community solutions that will speed up air cargo flows in the UK, so improving our air cargo industry’s efficiency and competitiveness.


“CCS-UK Advanced Info is a major step towards eliminating inefficiency and cost in the UK air cargo industry. It provides tangible benefits for everyone and, as with our recently-launched CCS-UK Fallback system, it is being provided completely free of charge to all our members.”


A handling agent, an airfreight haulier and three airfreight forwarders (including two majors) are already successfully using early functions of CCS-UK Advanced Info; this functionality is progressively being rolled out industry-wide.


Continues Parker: “There has been some talk of enforcing the adoption of Advanced Information by means of entry barriers at airport cargo terminals, allowing access only to pre-registered vehicles on payment of a charge. This may be beneficial and desirable at some point in the future, but CCS-UK User Group is firmly of the opinion that such restrictions should not be introduced before suitable off-airport holding parks can be made available, where registered and unregistered trucks can be segregated – otherwise bottle-necks will be created at the barriers.


“By contrast, CCS-UK Advanced Info relies on the industry to recognise its obvious benefits, and buy into the concept, rather than using enforced implementation. And, again, it’s free of charge.”


“CCS-UK User Group will continue to collaborate with Customs, our partners BT, the entire airfreight community and airport owners to explore and implement viable measures like CCS-UK Advanced Info and CCS-UK Fallback, that will strengthen and streamline the UK’s airfreight industry.”