Port of Antwerp Goes Live with Certified Pick up


Like thePort of Rotterdam, the Port of Antwerp is digitizing and optimizing processes. The latest step the Port has taken is to improve the process for releasing containers. The current process has a relatively high risk of misuse.

The Current Process

Currently, containers are released to truck drivers based on a PIN code that drivers provide. This PIN code is sent to the shipping company. The shipping company shares the code with other parties in the chain, with the code ending up with the transportation company and the driver. Because multiple parties are involved and the code is shared, there is a risk that the code ends up in the wrong hands.

The Improved Process

The security and efficiency of the container release process have been improved to reduce the risk of misuse and increase the speed with which containers can be picked up. The new process is called “Certified Pick-up” (CPu). CPu is a neutral and central data platform to which all parties involved in the process of importing a container are connected. As of January 1st 2021 this new CPu process is mandatory for all parties involved. All parties involved need to be registered before January 1st 2021.

In the first phase the CPu platform will provide transparency on container status through BL & container number combination. Nxtport, responsible for the development of the CPu platform describes the process as it will work after the 2nd phase is completed in Q2 of 2021 as follows:

Ship Agent

  • Submits a Commercial Release, once the release requirements are met (eg payment by shipper)
  • Identifies who receives the first Release Right (= Release Right Owner). Identifying a Release Right Owner can be done in the same step when submitting a commercial release by indicating the ReleaseTo party OR in a later step (e.g. carrier haulage or ReleaseTo party that is unknown to the platform).
  • Can Revoke a previously given Release Right (resets to process) at any time
  • Can Block or Unblock a Release Right ( eg when agreements with the shipper are not met)
  • Can Update the release parameters (eg terminal code) of the container
  • Can delete a Commercial release (eg perished goods inside the container, agent not able to find a solution with cargo owner)


  • Terminal will receive a commercial release right message from Certified Pick up platform when the Ship Agent has submitted it to the platform
  • Submits a Terminal Release. The terminal submits this release, combining three green lights. Three actions are available, which relate to the Green Lights:
    •      Release: the container is ready for pick up
    •      Scanning: the container is released from the terminal and needs to be transferred to the Border Inspection
    •      Block: the container is blocked and cannot be picked up

The Terminal release is an asynchronous step and can take place at any time, even before the commercial release (even though this is highly unlikely).

The right to release a container from the terminal is given by the agent to a BCO or forwarder. They can transfer the right to a transport operator.

  • Receives a Release Right from the Ship Agent or the previous Release Right Owner
  • Can Transfer a Release Right to another party
  • Can Accept or Deny a transfer from another Release Right Owner
  • Can Revoke a previous transfer (unless it was already accepted by the new Release Right Owner)
  • Can Assign a Pick-up Right to a Driver
  • Can Revoke a previously assigned Pick up Right for as long as the container has not left the Terminal

Pick up Right Owner

Before a container can be picked up at the terminal, the identity of the person assigned to do so needs to be validated by the Certified Pick-Up backend.

Read more on this project here.

The Benefits of Certified Pick-up

Certified Pick-up has benefits for all parties involved, including police and customs:

  • The new process increases operational efficiency.
  • The administrative processes involved will become much more simple.
  • Security levels will increase.
  • Throughput time of import containers will improve.

Customs Support is a Supporter of Digitalization

We are a supporter of digitalization of as many import and export processes as possible. We integrate with our clients, customs authorities and other parties involved to make customs-related import and export processes as smooth as possible. Next to that, we offer clients an online Customs portal. Contact one of our specialists to find out how we can help you smoothen your supply chain processes. Take the Load Off Your Mind!