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Clarity on standards for smart container data exchange

Work on developing a standard for smart container data exchange at UN/CEFACT has been completed, but the final version has not yet been published.

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Last week Marseille-based Traxens announced “it has led the development of the first standards for smart container data exchange published by the United Nations Centre for Trade Facilitation and Electronic Business (UN/CEFACT)”. The first “Business Requirements Specifications (BRS) delivers internationally standardised messaging to facilitate the use of smart container data,” Taxens declared.

 

Such a specification will clearly be pivotal in the adoption of smart container technology, but it is not yet publicly available. UN/CEFACT has not at this point published the standard on the Smart Container project website.

 

In response to WorldCargo News questions Traxens clarified that despite this the standard has been finalised, and the “Smart Container Business Requirements Specifications (BRS) document is now an OFFICIALY and globally approved standard by an accredited agency of the United Nations. The public review period is over and the document has been approved by the bureau on September 30. The final version will soon be published on the UN/CEFACT website”.

 

While some people will want to see the final version before commenting, the aim of the project is create a global standard to “capture and communicate” smart container data. This would avoid the situation where a container with a smart device is shown with the wrong location or other incorrect parameters in an application such as a port community system due to messaging and integration issues. The new standards would provide the basis for APIs to integrate raw smart container data into visibility tools that track containers.

 

Work on the standard through UN/CEFACT began in October 2017 under the leadership of Hanane Becha, innovation & standards senior manager at Traxens, which is excited about the potential a standard could deliver. “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,” said Jacques Delort, managing director of Traxens.

“Thanks to smart containers standardized messages, the computer representation of the supply chain will become synchronized 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,” said Hanane Becha, innovation & standards senior manager at Traxens.

“We are proud to pave the way to better data integration and advanced smart container services by bringing the shipping industry together around a common standard,” said Mathieu Friedberg, senior vice president – Commercial & Agencies Network, CMA CGM Group. “Such standardized solutions are key to advance digitalization and to seize all the opportunities offered by smart containers.”

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