A recent overhaul of Portuguese Customs processes and a desire to move their system from a manual, paper-based one to an electronic one, has bought about a change in the law in Portugal which now requires ground handlers to capture all information electronically on a customs web interface.
For Groundforce Portugal, as the cargo handler for TAP Air and numerous other airlines, and user of the Hermes air cargo management system, this meant looking for a way to report the Manifest and AWB information electronically on this new customs web interface.
“The huge volume of data that needed to be captured meant it was not practical to enter it manually,” said Chris Stebbing, Senior Developer at Hermes. “A substantial and very complex amount of development was needed to meet these new Customs requirements. New document capture screens were added and extra processes were also included that could work with the new Customs interface.
We had to overcome many complex technical challenges too. The Customs specification lacked some clarity and was not complete enough to determine everything that needed to be done at once, so in order to ensure that all the desired functionality was developed, we needed to learn the processes inside and out and had to undertake a lot of trial and testing. This uncompromising approach to quality meant this project took more than a year to complete and was a great success.”
Miguel Martins, at Groundforce Portugal added, “Throughout 2013, teams from Hermes and Groundforce worked together to develop a real-time interface that would meet the new requirements set by the Portuguese Customs Authorities. As a result,not only are we able to fulfil the new legal requirements but we have also been able to remove some of the previously outsourced manual entry, streamlining our operation and making it much more efficient.”
Groundforce Portugal has a wide range of high quality services, supported by professional and experient staff members, always regarding the market’s and its customers’ needs.
Presently, Groundforce Portugal provides services to over 150 airline companies in the following portuguese Airports: Lisbon, Porto, Faro, Funchal and Porto Santo.