Port of Antwerp Community Improves Efficiency with Descartes

SaaS provider’s cloud-based messaging services now integrated with APCS e-Desk application

Lier, BelgiumMarch 18, 2013—The Antwerp Port Community now utilizes Descartes Systems Group’s cloud-based messaging services, integrated with its APCS e-Desk application. The e-Desk application leverages Descartes' Global Logistics Network (GLN) to connect port community members and improve efficiencies by automating paper-based processes and standardizing port-related messages.

“APCS e-Desk adoption has been very successful, with 60 percent of all export declarations now reported directly by the declarants,” said John Kerkhof, Director of Antwerp Port Community System. “EDI customers are connected via Descartes' GLN, which ensures a swift and secure stream of data to/from e-Desk.”

APCS is the network of systems and solutions that facilitates the exchange of data between business-to-government (B2G) and business-to-business (B2B) participants using the port of Antwerp. APCS collaborated with the Port Services Authority of Antwerp (PSA) to develop the e-Desk application to streamline compliance reporting with the European-wide Export Control Systems (ECS) initiative.

“We're pleased that the Descartes GLN is enhancing efficiency and cooperation across the Antwerp port community,” said Eric Geerts, Director Product Management, Descartes Systems Group. “The long and successful collaboration with the Port of Antwerp and our seamless e-Desk integration, enables streamlined sharing and use of electronic data—which helps to securely and competitively advance domestic and international trade in the Benelux region.”

The solution, combined with the GLN, provides declarants and terminal operators with a simple way to communicate shipment, container and status information with each other, and customs authorities, thereby reducing paperwork and improving operational efficiencies.

“All of our declarations for the various terminals in the port of Antwerp are sent to e-Desk using Descartes' customs compliance solution,” said Peter Goossens, Customs Declarant of UTI. “The time savings we've been able to achieve with this integrated and automated process are enormous.”

In addition to providing its cloud-based messaging services for the port community to connect to e-Desk, Descartes integrated e-Desk into its customs compliance solution. Data from the customs declarations can be repurposed and transmitted across a variety of parties, including ports and terminal systems like APCS.

“It's a huge operational advantage that we're no longer dependent on physically going to the quay for our export declarations,” said Peter Verlinden, Customs Manager at Rhenus Customs nv. “Descartes' tightly integrated system immediately processes responses and alerts from e-Desk so that we have clear visibility into our operations.”

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