Ports and the shipping industry are all increasing joining the drive to achieve digitization within the shipping industry. The need to achieve this long-discussed goal was further highlighted as ports and shippers sought to continue uninterrupted operations as COVID-19 spread around the globe.
“The COVID-19 crisis has painfully demonstrated the heterogeneous landscape that currently exists across ports worldwide,” reports a new call to action for digitization from a collation headed by the International Association of Ports and Harbors (IAPH) and leading organizations in the shipping industry. “While some port communities seized the opportunities of the fourth industrial revolution and developed into full-fledged ‘smart’ ports, many others have barely grasped the essentials of digitalization and continue to struggle with a larger reliance on personal interaction and paper-based transactions as the norms for shipboard, ship-port interface and port-hinterland based exchanges .”
Calling for wide-ranging adoption of secure electronic data exchange, the collation reported that currently only 49 of the 174 member states of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) possess functioning port community systems.
This call to action is just one of the recently announced steps from different parts of the shipping industry all aimed at advancing digitization. For example, global terminal operator DP World recently completed the early stages of integration with TradeLens, a blockchain-based digital container logistics platform. Additionally, China Merchants Port Group, Alibaba Group, and Ant Financial Group also announced a new strategic cooperation to develop a smart port technology to create a unified platform that will allow buyers and sellers of goods to integrate with logistic companies, banks, customs, and other officials to conduct contactless digital export and import transactions.
“One of the major outcomes of the last eight weeks of intensive work of the WPSP Covid19 Task Force is the very urgent need for ports to digitalize processes and data exchanges as we move towards a post-COVID19 modus operandi” commented IAPH Managing Director Patrick Verhoeven. “ Exchanging paper by hand and relying on person-to-person interaction simply doesn’t cut the mustard anymore, neither from a safety nor efficiency standpoint.”
The call to action defined a set of nine priorities to advance digitization. This includes finding ways of using existing requirements to support electronic transmission, receipt, and response of information for all port community-related transactions, making the transition to full-fledged single window systems. They are also calling for efforts including: harmonize data standards; introducing port community systems and secure data exchange platforms in IMO Member State ports; reviewing and adding to IMO’s guidance; promoting best on applying emerging technologies; and increase health security in port environments.
The report calls for establishing a coalition of stakeholders and believes through that a practical roadmap to digitalization can be developed.
At the same time, the Digital Container Shipping Association (DCSA), a non-profit group established to further digitalization of container shipping technology standards, took another step in its efforts by publishing IoT connectivity interface standards for shipping containers. The DCSA IoT Standard for Gateway Connectivity Interfaces includes radio standards for gateways on vessels, land, at event locations, and in handheld devices.
According to the DCSA, with these standards, carriers and supply chain participants will be one step closer to providing customers with an uninterrupted flow of relevant information regarding the whereabouts of containers and their contents at any point along the container journey. Vessel operators and owners as well as ports, terminals, container yards, inland logistics providers, and other third parties will be able to use the standards to ensure interoperability between smart container solutions at the radio interface level.
The new standards are the first of three planned IoT standards releases addressing the connectivity requirements for reefer and dry containers, as well as the RFID registration of these containers.
International Association of Ports and Harbors report concludes: “Working on these priorities requires collaboration between maritime supply chain industry stakeholders and government. Above all, it calls for inter-governmental collaboration as the acceleration of digitalization will require change management at local, regional, and national levels. National trade facilitation committees implemented under the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement could be an excellent instrument for member states and port authorities to drive the change.”
The IAPH reported that its policy document will now be submitted to the IMO Secretariat in London as a proposal for further dissemination.
This range of efforts all shares one common goal of achieving digitization at all phases of the shipping process.
In June, a UK Royal Navy destroyer and Dutch Royal Navy ship safely moored in Odessa, Ukraine, were spoofed to locations off-shore of a Russian naval base on Crimea. One week later, it was a US Navy ship moored in the same port that was spoofed (above). These are interesting cases in several ways. First, how […]
A massive fire broke out at the Port of Beirut on Thursday, incinerating a warehouse full of tires and oil within the port’s free zone. The same area was heavily damaged in the ammonium nitrate explosion that leveled the central port area and the adjacent waterfront on August 4. According to Lebanon’s civil defense agency, […]
Over the course of the past five days, the Australian Maritime Safety Authority arranged a medical intervention for an injured aboard a freighter in the Indian Ocean. On Saturday evening, the Spliethoff tweendecker Dolfijngracht called for assistance while under way about 1,000 nauical miles off the coast of Western Australia. A crewmember had sustained serious […]
The UK government’s new post-Brexit tariff regime will result in both winners and losers. The new regime is set to replace the European Union’s Common External Tariff from the end of the Brexit Transition Period on December 31, 2020. The UK’s commitment to the ongoing Brexit process and ending the UK’s transition from EU membership […]
The First DP2, Twin-Hulled SOV in the World, NB72 Groene Wind met the Sea on September 29. 2020 in Yalova, Turkey. The Groene Wind will be directly chartered to Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy for the maintenance of the Rentel and Mermaid & Seastar (known as SeaMade) offshore wind farms in Belgium. This is the first DP2, […]
The U-Freight Group (UFL), with its considerable involvement in eCommerce logistics, says that the latest statistics showing that global e-commerce sales hit $25.6 trillion in 2018 are a further vindication of its decision to enter this sector of the international freight market several years ago. The latest available estimates, up 8% from 2017, were recently […]
DSV Belgium has solid experience in the transport of pharmaceutical products for different customers. With a pharma hub based at Brussels Airport a lot of experience and know-how has been built up over the years. Last weekend, the forwarder handled one hundred million mouth masks, an important milestone for its Belgian organisation that has put […]
With close to 100 daily cargo flights operated to a destination network spanning more than 65 cities across six continents, Emirates SkyCargo is delivering essential supplies and commodities to people around the world. The air cargo carrier is currently operating 11 Boeing 777 freighter aircraft, each with a capacity to transport about 100 tonnes of […]
Operators can continue to use pilots and other crew members who have unable to comply with certain training, recent experience, testing, and checking requirements due to the COVID-19 outbreak in support of essential operations. Additionally, this Special Federal Aviation Regulation (SFAR) provides regulatory relief to certain persons and pilot schools unable to meet duration and […]
The naval forces of the US and Bahrain recently staged a joint force training exercise which showcased the interoperability between coalition warships operating I the Arabian Gulf. Coalition Task Force Sentinel executed combined exercise Sentinel Shield supporting Sentry and Sentinel patrols in the coalition’s area of operations. The guided-missile destroyer USS John Paul Jones and […]
Astral Aviation has increased its intra-African network with cargo freighters during the pandemic. While there has been a reduction in capacity to, from, and within Africa, which has been caused by a stoppage of passenger flights and limited frequencies on freighter aircraft, Astral Aviation continues to operate cargo freighters from its Nairobi hub to 13 destinations […]
Callan Marine is serving as the prime contractor to the Texas Department of Transportation for a maintenance dredging project located at the Bolivar Ferry Terminal, in Galveston, Texas. Work began in May and is estimated to be complete in late July 2020. The project consists of the removal of 600,000 cubic yards of material and […]
Best known as a leading passenger airport serving Germany’s most populated federal state North Rhine-Westphalia, Düsseldorf has become transformed into a vital distribution point, during the COVID 19 pandemic, for medical equipment and other life-saving goods, mostly from China. Gerton Hulsman, managing director of cargo operations, reports that the handling teams are working hard to […]
Emirates SkyCargo has expanded its weekly scheduled cargo flight operations to cover 75 destinations across six continents. Through its wider reach, Emirates SkyCargo is able to transport essential commodities and other urgently needed cargo more rapidly across the world, allowing exporters and importers across markets to benefit from direct access to widebody cargo capacity. Some […]
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has released a Marine Accident Brief about an accident that occurred on April 15, 2019, involving the towing vessel DeJeanne Maria which struck the end of a submerged dredge pipeline while pushing two spud barges to the Gulf of Mexico. The incident occurred on the Mississippi River in Pass […]
Global commercial aviation charter company Albion Aviation Group is reporting that it is seeing a considerable uptake in its professional cargo broker training courses from the current global pandemic crisis and surge in charter demand. “We have completed a number webinar courses for a whole of host of companies, looking to manage their own cargo […]