Practices > Good Practices > Brokerage > SmartGate

Smart Gate is a serious game that creates an understanding and insight of the chain operation of the cargo trade,  shows the consequences of transporting ‘green’ and ‘red’ freight and increases involvement by a new way of working.

Target group: Employees and interested parties of Schiphol (airport). Playing the game gives the player an insight into the workings of the chain system and in the benefits of using the services of SmartGate Cargo. During the game the player must transport goods at the airport transportation, transporter from the hall where the goods come through and the forwarder and handler to the airline per flight to eventually be shipped. SmartGate Cargo is free web based and can be played by anyone.

Role of partners?
Schiphol Airport, Dutch Customs, ACN and ATOS consulting worked (public-private cooperation) alongside planning on Smart Gate Cargo solutions. IJsfontein was asked to co-create a serious game because of their proven record of developing high quality user driven interfaces and experiences.

Why is it needed?
Airport Schiphol is the most attractive airport for transport for moving goods. Their aim is to create a safe, innovative and undisturbed air chain where all cargo is processed through the Smart Gate.

Dutch Customs, Schiphol Airport and ACN have initiated an innovative public-private cooperation between government agencies responsible for enforcing border crossing legislation and the private sector. It is referred to as Schiphol SmartGate Cargo and includes the integrated monitoring and, in the case of perceived risks, the one-stop physical inspection of goods leaving the EU. The combination of growing cargo volumes, mounting security requirements and ever more complicated government inspections poses new challenges for the air cargo industry. In particular the increasing social pressure on inspections in areas such as security, food safety, animal health, plant diseases, strategic goods and environmental requirements are making the situation quite complex.

To ensure adequate public safety and security while at the same time safeguarding economical interests, ACN and Dutch Customs have signed a covenant in which they agree to make all information on air cargo flows transparent and to base all inspections – both Customs checks and other inspections – on risk analysis. Introduction of this concept is supported by SmartGateTheGame, a “serious” game with e-learning module. This game will assist air cargo companies to optimally prepare for the changes and train their personnel. It will be also used in regular and vocational education, and promoted as SmartGate The Game.

What are the success factors and challenges?
After the launch, within three months almost 4.000 unique visitors visited the game page and played the game three times – on average. Visitors came from among others the Netherlands, Italy, Germany, France, Turkey, Belarus and Curacao. The awareness about SmartGate Cargo increased enormously through the game, and companies around the airport became more involved in the whole SmartGate project and are now more open and likely to change.

Business name: IJsfontein
Contact name: Jan Willem Huisman/ Bart Hufen
Address: Haarlemmerweg 4
Telephone: +31 20 33 00 111
City: Amsterdam
Country: Netherlands
E-mail: janwillem(at) bart(at)
Legal status of Company: Private Limited Company/Sole Trader
Number of employees: 25
Nature of business: interactive communication and media productions
Name of company collaborating with: Schiphol, Air Cargo Netherlands (ACN), Atos Consulting, Dutch Customs
Title of project: SmartGateTheGame – Gain With A Smart Chain
Dates of activity: July 2011 – 2013
Activity Theme: Brokerage services – bridge building
Project website:

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