Innovation: Smart Container Chain Management

Last update: 30.06.2013
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Keywords: 
global chain management and monitoring, intermodality, intelligent containers, transport, service platforms, logistics, optimisation
SMART_CM aims to do advanced technology implementation and research in order to overhaul the complete container door-to-door transport chain so that it is more efficient, secure, market driven, and competitive. It systematically analyses current processes and systems, produces new innovative concepts for processes and technologies, and demonstrates all these in a set of 2 world scale Demonstrators covering 4 supply chain corridors. Its view, analyses, and recommendations fall in the following four areas thus ensuring a fully comprehensive coverage of the call subject:
1. Innovation / Technology
2. Commercial / market issues
3. Business / organisational issues
4. Legal / Security issues

The SmartCM project objectives may be summarized as following:
- Stimulate interoperable B2B co-operation in door-to-door container transport security.
- Develop compliant application of B2B and B2A container security data solutions with international Customs operations.
- Develop a neutral approach and service platform for secure and interoperable data communications.
- Define added value services and chain visibility enabling techniques for fulfilling operational requirements of the actors
- Develop prototypes of advanced applications in global container management, such dynamic scheduling at the containers
- Assess large applicability of the above-mentioned project solutions by considering costs and benefits
- Analyze existing business models in global container chain management and operation and study e-managing business models
- Contribute to standards development for advancing of interoperability of technologies

SMART-CM involves all type of actors and big global players in the container trade today, such as: K&N, DHL, COSCO, PSA and DPW, as well as SMEs, and International Organizations that are world players in setting standards, promoting Intermodal Transport or Container registration, and security

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Project context and objectives:

During the last decade, a number of strict regulations was put in place to increase the security of the global supply chains. These regulations have always been seen as somewhat of a burden by the transport and logistics industry actors since they generally lead to a lack of efficiency, and thus a loss of time and money. The challenge is to achieve efficient information flow in full alignment with the physical movement flow. In this context, the SMART-CM consortium started a cross-sector assessment of the requirements needed to develop a technology-based solution that can be implemented globally.

In order for the global container door-to-door transport chains to become more efficient, secure and competitive, the work focuses on the development, demonstration and the after project robustness and operation of the SMARTCM platform which will support secured and non-biased critical information exchange among actors of the global logistics chains (B2B) and between the logistics actors and the customs authorities (B2C) for achieving quick customs clearance of the containers and better chain visibility and control by the logistics actors.

The project built upon the Green lane concept, initiated by the Belgian customs. Container security device (CSD) technology provides continuous monitoring of the status of a container that has been loaded and securely closed by an authorised person at the origin. All the actors and administrations involved receive information in real-time along the whole journey through a platform that guarantees secure information. In cases where all requirements are satisfied for a specific container then the customs can give the green light, meaning that it does not need to be checked when entering their territory of jurisdiction.

The project proved technological feasibility of the Green lane concept implementation and suggested technology information and process standardisation for global supply chain security.

Project results:

The main achievements of the project in the first 36 Months of the project may be summarised as follows:
1. Creation of a common understanding and a trusted environment amongst the actors of different sectors: This was achieved through the agreement on common and sector specific requirements of the neutral layer core functionality and information administration process between customs authorities and transport and logistics industrial actors. A minimum consensus on information sharing and cooperation during the project was achieved between the larger actors in a very competitive and fragmented environment such as that of global transport. The CSD technology providers and the platform solution providers agreed on platform design specifications and CSD technology enhancement for efficiency when addressing the business and customs requirements.

2. The project technology development was made operationally available: The single window platform was finalised and tested in the real world environment. Container authorised opening was specified, developed and tested by customs authorities. Visibility was specified on the basis of actors needs and relevant services were developed and made available for validation through simulation by industrial actors. CSD functionality was enhanced and tested in real-world demonstrations. The platform information exchange interfaces with additional sources of information were examined and implemented. Expansion of the single window approach of the project was achieved by developing and demonstrating a new platform service titled ICS SEAP. The addition of this service offers carriers the possibility to enter and to create ENS related information and the service since the generation of ENS declaration in accordance to the individual specifications of the different involved European Union (EU)
customs in the whole transport chain in the required format (according to the national specifications) and communication channel. The integration of the Neutral Layer and Porthus.net ICS SEAP solution, SMART-CM becomes a spear point project that gives a better answer to the current EU customs regulations.

3. The project solutions were demonstrated in real-world environment through a large number of containers being tracked on journeys over specific corridors: The project issued a call to external CSD providers in order to test their technologies. The demonstration corridors operated by the project partners DHL, K&N and COSCON involved major ports around the globe: Antwerp, Rotterdam, Singapore, Ningbo, Dubai, Nhava Sheva, Pireaus. Demonstration of all platform services through demonstrations to global chains with the direct involvement of consignees, road / rail operators and customs in the global chains.

4. The project supported the Green lane concept implementation for secure trade lanes: The in-depth analysis of the processes involved in the project technology implementation, highlight the need for process standardisation among customs. The demonstration activities created the basis for direct interface between EU and non EU customs involved in the corridors and enabled the detailed discussions on the concept implementation.

5. The neutral organisation mission and business model was defined on the basis of project partners justifications and input from selected limited number of external stakeholders: The potential for exploitation of the SMART-CM platform and each of its components was defined. The assessment of the impact of SMART-CM to business and security of the global container chain management was also examined and analysed. Assessment of the marketing opportunities of the neutral organisation.

6. SMART-CM standardisation proposal for CSDs technology and communication with middleware platforms is a major project achievement through CEN workshops and meetings. The project implemented to the context of CEN Working Agreement process consensus among the global CSD development industry actors on minimum technical and operational standards in order to meet the security requirements of both customs authorities and logistics industrial actors. In order for this to be achieved SMART-CM arranged for a large involvement of CSD providers to participate in the CEN standardisation meetings.

7. Substantiating dissemination activities in Europe, Asia and USA that made the project solutions known and widely assessed.

Potential Impact:

In this second period the project achieved to provide the global supply chain community with both technology products and standardisation / consensus building proposals in order to achieve highly secure and efficient supply chains.

The SMART-CM single window neutral platform ? enabling real-time monitoring of containers and a trusted operational environment where industrial parties and customs can share critical information that facilitates customs clearance procedures was used by the actors of Global Supply Chains and proved ability for Green lane concept implementation.

The SMART-CM value-added service platform ? allowing an intelligent combination of logistics related and container monitoring related real-time information for enhanced visibility and efficient management was tested by the logistics industry actors who evaluated highly the offered services impact in improving their business processes.

The project proposal for neutral information administrating organisation identity and role ? a neutral organisation embracing the Green lane concept implementation and will optimally operate the neutral platform was assessed pursuing further mutual agreements with customs on this basis.

The CSDs technology standardisation proposal ? an important step towards technology improvement and global solution achievement for Secured Trade Lanes implementation was reached by the technology providers in the context of CEN Working Agreement activity of the project with the participation of industrial representatives of all around the globe.

The robustness of SMART-CM solutions was validated in the context of real trade lane operation from China, Thailand and India to EU ports. The exploitation potential of these solutions was confirmed by the industrial parties and the consortium members that invested in them. The step towards vast implementation requires further cooperation and agreement among the public and private actors involved in global transport, regarding the new roles that emerge and the globally accepted standards on key performance indicators of the technological solutions for security.

The project major impacts may be summarised as follows:
1. EU and non-EU customs in China, USA, Thailand and Singapore shared the experience of technology supported secured Trade Lane implementation that is based on AEO principles and continues monitoring of Containers security and integrity status. A step towards mutual recognition was made by allowing the cooperation of different customs authorities in the context of real world environment testing of the SMART-CM platform functionalities and CSDs abilities. In the context of solving operation problems customs participating in the SMART-CM demonstrations found solutions and identified commonalities of pre-existing in each country approaches for secured trade that could facilitate the implementation of SMART-CM solutions. In this context the temporary import of CSDs during demonstration was made possible. The AEO role was substituted by customs representatives in some countries by trusted trade actors in other countries. Customs assessed the functionalities and the technical operational
characteristics of CSDs and indentified the added value for their operation by the continued monitoring of the container along the hinterland part of the transport chain. The demonstration of Container Authorised opening procedure added further benefit to the service by giving access to the customs authorities involved to inspect containers monitored by CSDs without disrupting the system and displaying breach messages. This created a basis for customs agreement on the procedure proposed by SMART-CM.

SMART-CM meets all the needs and requirements of the customs authorities, as these were stated early in the project, and can potentially reduce the percentage of physical inspection of containers by focusing primarily on non-certified supply chains.

2. SMART-CM provided to the actors of global transport and logistics industry the ability to:
- be familiarised with the CSDs use in large global chains;
- influence the CSDs and overall system capabilities by addressing requirements to CSD developers and test new models of CSDs by different CSD providers;
- understand the benefit of information sharing and trust the secured information exchange environment offered by the system;
- assess the SMART-CM solution contribution to the achievement of enhanced global supply chain visibility;
- identify requirements for integration to their own systems of the SMART-CM chain management solution components.

The benefits of the implementation of the SMART-CM project for the supply chain stakeholders can be significant. The level of significance though depends on the restructuring of an interested company and the process it follows in such a way that the SMART-CM technology can be fully integrated. Among the specific benefits of the use of SMART-CM for a given supply chain stakeholder are cost reduction, throughput time reduction, productivity and reliability improvement, flexibility and added value and quality monitoring. SMART-CM is very suitable for deployment with high value and time sensitive commodities. This is emphasised by the possible identified reduction to the container travel time. When this time reduction is combined with the monetary value of the goods a substantial benefit can be gained.

Based on the figures for trips between EU and China, the initial economic benefit from SMART-CM adoption will be approximately EUR 60 million annually. As with most valuable services, early adoption of SMART-CM would reduce the adoption costs for the participating companies and create a cascade effect increasing benefits and making adoption more profitable for additional companies interested in the project.

3. SMART-CM made possible for CSD developers and platform service technology providers to achieve:
- improvement of their solutions and products during the project lifecycle in order to comply with intersectional requirements for security;
- consensus on minimum standards for complying with security requirements and interoperability achievement.

SMART-CM received recognition by high level on going initiatives that will have in the future major impact on global supply chain security. The project proposals and results are acknowledged by the United States department of homeland security and by the global network customs initiative of World customs organisation (WCO).

Collaboration sought: N/A

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This innovation is the result of the project

Title: Smart Container Chain Management

Acronym: 
SMARTCM

Runtime: 
01.08.2008 to 31.10.2011

Status: 
completed project

Organisations and people involved in this eco-innovation.

Please click on an entry to view all contact details.

CENTRE FOR RESEARCH AND TECHNOLOGY HELLAS

(Greece)

Role in project: Project Coordination

Contact person: Dr. AYFANDOPOULOU Georgia

Website: http://www.certh.gr

Phone: +30-231-0498457

Contact

ANONYMOS ETAIREIA ELLINIKON KAI DIETHNON METAFORON PROODOS AE

(Greece)

Contact person: Mr. KONTAXIS Gregory

Website: http://www.proodos.com

Phone: +30-2109492135

Contact

BPV - BERATUNG UND PLANUNG IM VERKEHRSWESEN GMBH

(Germany)

Contact person: Ms. FRINGS Kathrin

Phone: +49-241402640

Contact

COMITE EUROPEEN DE NORMALISATION

(Belgium)

Contact person: Mr. MEERT Patrick

Website: http://www.cen.eu

Phone: +32-25500934

Contact

COSCO CONTAINER LINES

(China)

Contact person: Mr. XU Jianfeng

Website: http://www.coscon.com

Phone: +86-2135124888

Contact

COSCO NETWORK E LOGISTICS CO LTD

(China)

Contact person: Mr. HUANG Dalei

Phone: +86-1065542060/802

Contact

DHL MANAGEMENT (SWITZERLAND) LTD

(Switzerland)

Contact person: Mr. SIGEL Martin

Website: http://www.dhl.com

Phone: +41-612747830

Contact

DIEVROPAIKI ETAIRIA SYMBOULON METAFORON ANAPTIXIS KAI PLIROFORIKIS AE

(Greece)

Contact person: Mr. ILIADIS Sokratis

Phone: +30-2310478370

Contact

EUROPEAN DATACOMM NV

(Belgium)

Contact person: Mr. BOGAERTS Joeri

Website: http://www.edchq.com

Phone: +32-32711072

Contact

EUROPEAN INTERMODAL ASSOCIATION

(Belgium)

Contact person: Mr. RENZ Alexander

Website: http://www.eia-ngo.com

Contact

FRAUNHOFER-GESELLSCHAFT ZUR FOERDERUNG DER ANGEWANDTEN FORSCHUNG E.V

(Germany)

Contact person: Mr. KRAUSE Walter

Website: http://www.fraunhofer.de

Phone: +49 89 12052713

Contact

GEMEENTELIJK HAVENBEDRIJF ANTWERPEN (PORT OF ANTWERP)

(Belgium)

Contact person: Mr. BLOMME Jan

Website: http://www.portofantwerp.be

Phone: +32-32052240

Contact

HELLENIC MINISTRY OF ECONOMY AND FINANCE

(Greece)

Contact person: Ms. PEFKIANAKI Aspasia

Website: http://www.mof.gr

Phone: +30-2103375157

Contact

INTERNATIONAL CARGO SECURITY ORGANISATION

(Belgium)

Contact person: Mr. VERMEIRE Stefaan

Phone: +32-476415282

Contact

KUHNE + NAGEL GMBH

(Austria)

Contact person: Mr. TAYLOR Achim

Website: http://www.kuehne-nagel.com

Phone: +43-1906901111

Contact

MARITIME ASSOCIATION FOR RESEARCH AND INNOVATION-MARI

(Italy)

Contact person: Dr. VASSALLO Walter

Website: http://www.mari-research.eu

Phone: +39-0109288445

Contact

NEDERLANDSE ORGANISATIE VOOR TOEGEPAST NATUURWETENSCHAPPELIJK ONDERZOEK - TNO

(Netherlands)

Contact person: Mr. GERWIN Zomer

Website: http://www.tno.nl

Phone: +31-152696875

Contact

NINGBO PORT GROUP INFORMATION & COMMUNICATION CO. LTD.

(China)

Contact person: Mr. REN Haidong

Website: http://www.nbport.com.cn/en/

Phone: +86-57427691180

Contact

PLANET S.A

(Greece)

Contact person: Mr. HANDANOS Yannis

Website: http://www.planet.gr

Phone: +30-2106905000

Contact

PSA ANTWERP NV

(Belgium)

Contact person: Mr. LAS Anton

Phone: +32-32606111

Contact

PTV PLANUNG TRANSPORT VERKEHR AG.

(Germany)

Contact person: Mr. HUSCHEBECK Marcel

Website: http://www.ptv.de

Phone: +49-7219651178

Contact

SEQUOYAH INTERNATIONAL RESTRUCTURING NV

(Belgium)

Contact person: Mr. KNOORS Frank

Website: http://www.sequoyah.be

Phone: +32-14570600

Contact

SERVICE PUBLIC FEDERAL FINANCES

(Belgium)

Contact person: Mr. VAN CAUWENBERGHE Herman

Phone: +32-25763087

Contact

TEKNOLOGIAN TUTKIMUSKESKUS VTT

(Finland)

Contact person: Mr. PERMALA Antti

Phone: +358-207224535

Contact

THAI INTERNATIONAL FREIGHT FORWARDERS ASSOCIATION

(Thailand)

Contact person: Mr. WISETRUNGROT Somsak

Website: http://www.tiffathai.org

Phone: +66-26718558

Contact

THE PENINSULAR & ORIENTAL STEAM NAVIGATION COMPANY

(United Kingdom)

Contact person: Mr. VANTOMME Thierry

Website: http://www.dpworld.com

Phone: +32-037303353

Contact

THESSALONIKI PORT AUTHORITY SA

(Greece)

Contact person: Mr. ARVANITIDIS Miltiadis

Website: http://www.thpa.gr

Phone: +30-2310593393

Contact

TIFFA EDI SERVICES CO., LTD

(Thailand)

Contact person: Mr. LOVICHIT Anusorn

Website: http://www.tiffaedi.com

Phone: +66-26727000

Contact

UNIVERSITA DEGLI STUDI DI ROMA TOR VERGATA

(Italy)

Contact person: Prof. RANALLI Francesco

Website: http://www.uniroma2.it

Phone: +39-0672595800

Contact

VLAAMS INSTITUUT VOOR DE LOGISTIEK VZW

(Belgium)

Contact person: Ms. GEYSELS Liesbeth

Website: http://www.vil.be

Phone: +32-32290500

Contact

ZEMBLAZ NV

(Belgium)

Contact person: Mr. VERHEYEN Jean

Website: http://www.descartes.com

Phone: +32-38000600

Contact