Criminals are constantly on the lookout for new ways to steal, not least in ports. MSC Belgium is the first ship’s agent to introduce a new container release system that enables customers to collect their containers quickly and efficiently in a secure environment. MSC Belgium sees the new system, rolled out on 8 May, as the first step towards making the port 100% secure.
Collecting containers in the port of Antwerp is now a good deal more secure. The advanced container release system offered by MSC Belgium enables users to log in to an independent, secured portal website. Customers deal with an independent partner who is also a leading expert in data management and data security. Not until they are correctly logged in to the website are they given all the information necessary to collect their containers. The logging in process includes an additional identification step supported by Microsoft, making everything as secure as possible so that criminals have less opportunity to go about their nefarious business.
A further advantage of this system is that customers of MSC Belgium can see at all times which containers have been assigned to them, together with the status of the containers. Along with other functions this makes the new container release system a future-oriented tool for the day-to-day business of Belgian companies.
But MSC Belgium is fully aware that the fight against crime in the port will not be won with the introduction of this innovative system alone. This is merely the first step in a programme of ongoing investment to make the port 100% secure, according to the company. The new system is available as of 8 May. Customers of MSC will be able to carry on using the existing system until 10 June, so giving them a month in which to get used to the new system.
PSA Antwerp is fully behind this initiative and is providing all necessary technical and operational support to roll the system out more widely within the port. Security, efficiency and transparency are key for PSA Antwerp too, as the largest terminal operator in the port.
Antwerp Port Authority is very enthusiastic about such initiatives by private company, as it too has made the fight against organised crime a priority. “This is a positive development for the port community and for the reputation of the port of Antwerp,” according to a Port Authority spokesperson. Indeed the Antwerp Port Community System (a joint venture by the Port Authority and Alfaport Antwerpen) has been collaborating for several months now with the companies involved with a view to offering this technology throughout the port. The preparations for this are now nearing completion, and the technology will shortly be implemented generally in the port of Antwerp under the name of “import services release module.” Several companies have already given formal confirmation that they will join the system.
MSC Belgium NV was set up in Antwerp in 1979 and has since developed into one of the largest employers in the port. MSC Belgium is a “leading agent” for the Geneva-based Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC). With a hinterland of 300 million consumers the port of Antwerp is of great strategic importance for MSC.
PSA International is one of the world's leading players in container handling, with terminals in Asia, Europe and America. PSA Antwerp is the group's largest investment outside Singapore. PSA Antwerp operates five container terminals in the port of Antwerp: The Deurganck, Europa and Noordzee terminals below the locks, and the MSC Home Terminal (50/50% joint venture with PSA) and the Churchill Terminal above the locks.
Source: Port of Antwerp