Digitalisation is standardising the total logistics chain
The digitalisation of information flows within the shipping sector will soon be closely linked to those of other parts of the total logistics chain argues a new paper from the project leaders of the Port CDM concept development. The argument is that with the ports taking on an important digital hub as transport information is digitalised and standardised, a new definition of efficiency will likely emerge.
Port CDM, or Port Collaborative Decision Making, is a concept being developed under the EU-funded Sea Traffic Management Validation project. STM recently announced that a common messaging standard for port activity time stamps is being finalised with the help of IALA.
A number of ports are already trialing Port CDM , and the Port of Rotterdam, although not a member of these trials, recently announced its use of some of the related messaging that falls under STM.
In this new concept note published through Fathom World, the authors argue that cargo owners are taking a much more involved interest in efficiency, which could lead to port efficiency being less focused on individual actors, such as the terminal operator or ship, but the whole logistics chain.
And there are certainly companies like Amazon that have indicated already their interest in being masters of their own delivery chain, puting a focus more squarely on the cargo than the vessel.
In the latest Concept Note the authors write:
“Digitization of all key assets across the common infrastructure creates the foundation for higher predictability. In an ecosystem of autonomous actors serving the needs of different clients, digital access to relevant information allows individual actors to be more efficient, particularly if they are able to access the intentions and the progress of the other actors in real-time. This can
also enable analysing and querying existing patterns of activity to avoid perpetuating inherently inefficient processes and habits. Digitization provides a contemporary opportunity to re-think, re-configure, and optimize current business processes.
“This includes inter-organizational re-engineering by moving operations and decision-making between actors. However, some actors are competing and may be reluctant to share information, especially detailed information. Accordingly to facilitate an acceptable level of information sharing a balance will have to be found between sharing a sufficient amount of decision-relevant information such as status information for the transport unit to facilitate the flow in the supply chain without the need to share detailed information such as packing list at the source”.