Frankfurt Airport: New import platform FRA-OS expedites both throughput and handling processes As initial results from the new import platform FRA-OS at Frankfurt Airport demonstrate, the new workflows and the high degree of transparency have measurably increased the speed of Consol's import handling operations. This has been consistently reported by multiple forwarders and handling agents. Customs is also satisfied with the digitalization of the process.Many major freight forwarders have already connected to the FRA-OS import platform. They are taking advantage of the new opportunities to perform their own presentations of consolidated import cargo to customs using their own gateways/warehouses on the airport premises. Fabian Heilmann from Kühne + Nagel in Frankfurt explains: "Since the introduction, we have become considerably more efficient. Now that the handling agent no longer has to make customs declarations on our behalf, the goods can be handed over to us almost immediately after unloading."One condition for customs to accept this solution was that customs officers have the ability to track goods electronically on the airport premises via status messages and thus have access to shipments at any time. Markus Tönsgerlemann, Director of the Head Customs Office in Frankfurt am Main, is very satisfied with the result: "The FRA-OS platform provides the necessary transparency, and the dashboard is easy to use. With just a few clicks, we can see which shipments are inbound and pinpoint their exact location. Check notifications for the Entry Summary Declaration have also been integrated into FRA-OS, which simplifies and speeds up communication." Furthermore, regular consultation sessions were held with customs in connection with 1:1 referencing and the continued development of FRA-OS Import.For forwarders, transparency in import handling is also a significant plus point. Heilmann adds, "We receive all relevant status information via the platform and can thus plan our workflow better to optimize procedures." This feature could also be made available to shippers/consignees, whose demand for such information is also on the rise.The trigger for the change was customs' stipulation of 1:1 referencing at the individual consignment level for customs clearance. Prior to the new regulations, consolidated import freight had been declared by handling agents on the basis of the Master Airway Bill (MAWB).Now, each individual shipment of consolidated cargo must be presented separately (at the House AirWay Bill level). For handling agents, the processing would have been almost impossible to manage while still complying with these new regulations. "Using the previous procedure, we could never have got it all referenced. What's new is the physical breakdown by individual HAWB, which we can't cope with at that scale. We simply don't have the capacity for that," confirms Patrik Tschirch, Managing Director of handling agent LUG. By shifting these processes to the freight forwarder and capitalizing on the newly created transparency, especially for ground handling services, LUG’s throughput will increase, he adds.By Tschirch's estimates, freight forwarders using FRA-OS will be able to deliver their shipments to customers up to one entire day faster in the future. For small and medium-sized forwarders, LUG can still provide the service of 1:1 referencing, according to Tschirch: "It's part of our business model and can be cheaper for SMEs to use us than trying to set up the processes themselves." On the other hand, due to the limited resources of the airport handlers, it is more economical and also more targeted for the larger airport forwarders with corresponding volumes to handle this service themselves. Accordingly, almost all major logistics operators at Frankfurt Airport have already connected to the FRA-OS platform and are performing their own presentations.The evaluation of the development partners is equally positive. DAKOSY authorized officer Dirk Gladiator and Max Philipp Conrady, Head of Cargo Development at Fraport, explain: "With FRA-OS/Import, we have successfully implemented an important milestone in the digitalization of cargo processes at Frankfurt Airport. We are pleased that the cargo community was able to grow closer together through the excellent cooperation and we will strive to continually improve the platform through future advancements."