The Certified Pick up welcome pack

Certified Pick up

Certified Pick up: an innovative solution for releasing containers in the Port of Antwerp

Container handling in the port of Antwerp is a complex process involving many players. Releasing containers is a vulnerable and time-consuming process which carries the risk of misuse and mistakes. In order to guarantee security and improve the operational efficiency and transparency, Port of Antwerp has introduced a new procedure, namely Certified Pick up. All players involved in container handling will have to join this procedure.

The container release process has been made more secure and streamlined by sharing real-time information on a unique central data platform. The system will regulate the release of containers based on coded identification and authorisation information. This development will contribute towards a more secure, effective and resilient supply chain.

For the design and operation of the application Port of Antwerp has teamed up with its subsidiary NxtPort which as a port community platform has already developed a series of digital applications for the Antwerp port community. Based on its knowledge of the Antwerp port sector NxtPort will contribute its know-how to expanding the digital infrastructure of the port.

Obligatory use

Certified Pick up will become obligatory for all supply chain partners involved in the container release process as of November 2020, January 2021 at the latest. All loaded import containers leaving an Antwerp port terminal by truck, rail or barge (including transhipment containers and empty shipper-owned containers) fall under this obligation, with the legal framework being included in the Port Police Regulations. Port of Antwerp has opted for a phased approach in order to ensure the stable expansion of the system.

Connection with Certified Pick up

Connecting to Certified Pick up will yield advantages of efficiency for operators in the logistics chain. These include improvements in security, simplification of administrative processes and shorter transit times for containers in Port of Antwerp.

In the next few months Port of Antwerp will take the necessary steps to implement Certified Pick up and together with NxtPort it will organise information sessions tailored to the various partners involved in the logistics chain. 

Involved Parties / Stakeholders

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 (eg 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 container, agent not able to find 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 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).


In the future, NxtPort will include automatic updates on the customs release. In the first version of the Certified Pick up solution, the customs release will be included in the Terminal release.

Release Right Owner

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 who has a valid user account on the Certified Pick up mobile application
  • Can Revoke a previously assigned Pick up Right for as long as the container has not left the Terminal

Pick up Right Owner

Once the transport operator has defined the person who will pick up the container, they can send him a Pick up right which can only be viewed on a personal and certified smartphone application.  


Getting started

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