Operations & Management

Port CDM and the notion of a perfect transport chain

Maritime transport remains a significant obstacle to manufacturers and exporters achieving seamless, efficient supply chains of goods. Despite huge advances in recent years in third party logistics providers offering outsourced services to enable manufacturers to gain just in time supplies (such as cart makers), the seaborne part of the chain remains a weak link.

A standardised messaging system being tested and developed to enhance port operations efficiency could have a significant impact across the total supply chain according to the latest Concept Note written by the STM Validation project and published in conjunction with Fathom.

In the latest  concept notes written by the STM Validation project to help promote understanding of the Port Collaborative Decision-Making Process, the authors explain how the concept can positively influence the total supply chain where multiple actors, including rail, truck, port and vessel operators all form a single logistics chain.

In this concept note the authors argue that each actor in a transport service chain need to recognise they have a key role (a common object of interest) in the delivery of end-to-end customer services. However, shipowners will often be focused almost exclusively on the port to port voyage and have little awareness, or perhaps even contractual incentive, to be aware of the greater transport chain.

Port CDM is all about digitalisation of the right information and getting and giving that information in a standard form when it is needed.

When looking at the logistics chain from a manufacturers perspective, they will often want a smooth process, and given they may have multiple products with numerous customers dispersed around the globe, as few points of contact as possible when it comes to their supply chains, which they will also expect to be agile.

Mikael Lind, from the Research Institute of Sweden, RISE, argues that when the voyage becomes a focus point, efficiencies may not be gained. The Port CDM concept is focused on port operation efficiency, just as Airport CDM has been doing in Europe for a number of years.

He, and the other authors, argue that Port CDM can be a fundamental part of achieving process completion, where the process is this execution of a total door-to-door logistics chain, but without any excessive or inefficient use of resources, time or cost.

 

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