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The quest to develop a set of standards for data collected from smart containers has taken an important step forward.

The United Nations Centre for Trade Facilitation and Electronic Business (UN/CEFACT) has published its first set of standards which will help interoperability between different systems in the container supply chain.

UN/CEFACT’s Business Requirements Specifications (BRS) initiative was led by smart container technology developer Traxens, which includes CMA GCM and MSC among its shareholders.

“The smart containers BRS project aims to provide clear global standards for the exchange of data to ensure interoperability and easy integration within different systems,” it said.

“Data will be generated once and shared between multiple stakeholders, platforms and systems; improving data exchange, automated workflow and alert generation.

“These new standards will be the basis for API development, bringing technology into every aspect of the supply chain and providing powerful and innovative tools.”

Interoperability of smart container data has been moving up the agenda over the past year, although many smart containers are already in use, there are no global standards to capture and communicate the array of data they generate consistently and across different modes.

Hanane Becha, innovation & standards senior manager at Traxens, said: “Thanks to smart containers standardised messages, the computer representation of the supply chain will become synchronised with the physical world, increasing the speed and accuracy of decision making, the automation as part of transport and logistics execution and the seamless collaboration between stakeholders.

“Enhanced data will improve visibility and predictability for stakeholders as well as for regulatory agencies that need detailed information on consignments before they arrive at the border.”

Traxens MD Jacques Delort added: “This technology can be combined with other innovations such as blockchain, big data or data pipelines to provide even more uses in the trading community. In all of these cases, though, we see that creating clear, unambiguous message exchange standards will unlock the further potential of enhanced data.”


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