Automation

The Benefits of State of the Art Automation

Kelsey Vierkant
Kelsey Schenk
Marketing Officer

If we compare the customs brokerage industry with the financial industry, it is behind when it comes to digital transformation. Our industry is a very traditional one. There is a lot of manual entry of data. A lot of forms and documents are processed by hand, with customs specialists reading the documents, looking for the data that they need. These manual processes have two main disadvantages: they are time-consuming and error-prone.

Game-Changing Innovations

There are several game-changing innovations that will impact the digital transformation of our industry.

Machine learning and artificial intelligence - Customs Support is already using these technologies, for example with scanning documents and having artificial intelligence read these documents and extract the data that is needed for customs declarations.

Robotic Process Automation - Customs Support is using this technology in several processes where we have eliminated manual data entry and have automated the processing of documents and data.Blockchain -Customs Support is anticipating blockchain, which is essentially a secure way of sharing information in a large database. Where all actors play their part while sharing all the data.

Digital Platforms - Freight forwarding, for example, is an area where we see different platforms disrupting traditional ways of working. Customs Support is ready to integrate with these platforms and enable these platforms to offer customs brokerage solutions to their customers as well.

Our Ambitions

Customs Support is striving to become the digital leader in the market. We are streamlining and automating our filing processes as much as possible. This makes these processes highly efficient and accurate. Next to that, we have developed online dashboards to enable our customers to have real-time insight into the customs status of their shipments.

Digital Transformation and Brexit

The number of UK customs declarations will grow 400% from 50 million to 250 million. A staggering number of 50,000 new customs agents will be needed to handle these documents. This makes one thing very clear: we need to be ready to do more work with fewer people. Digitizing and automating processes enables our customs specialists to handle more documents in less time and improve compliance and accuracy.

Digital Transformation at Customs Support

One of the processes which are very time consuming is data entry. We have several solutions in place to take care of this, each with their own level of automation. At the lowest level, the data entry is done manually. In this case, the automation level is no more than 10%. Another option is that our customers take care of manual data entry, and our specialists focus only on checking the documents and correcting them if needed, before filing them.

Data can also be uploaded into our customs systems through a converter tool. In this case, the automation level is up to 50%. Data is exported from our customers’ systems to a CSV or XLS file, which is then converted and loaded into our systems. This option is called SDI, which stands for Smart Data Interface.

One level up, with automation at 75% is our PDF OCR solution, where our customers send us their commercial documents in PDF format. These are then scanned with an AI-powered scanning solution and the relevant data is extracted and loaded into our systems. The highest level of automation is found in our EDI solution where there is a direct interface between our customers’ systems and ours. Files are exchanged automatically between the two systems.

The Benefits of Interfacing with your Customs Broker

  • When automatically processing information, clerical tasks are reduced, and data entry errors are eliminated
  • Using EDI for the end-to-end processes results in significant savings in time and resources for all parties involved
  • The use of paper is minimized
  • Data quality is enhanced
  • Timelines are improved
  • Operational efficiency increases
  • Costs are saved for all stakeholders
  • Carbon footprint is reduced 


If you want to know more about interfacing with Customs Support, contact one of our specialists. They are happy to answer all your questions and investigate how we can integrate with you to make your export, import, and transit processes faster and smoother.