Standardisation initiatives

Industry Blueprint, creating a common language in container shipping

For many years customers have requested more transparency in the services provided so that shipping follows a similar process for all carriers. To enable transparency and facilitate collaboration in the shipping industry, we embarked on a foundational project to align our processes in a blueprint.

This is an important step to facilitate standards creation and enable digitisation.

The Industry Blueprint (IBP) is a living document where all processes commonly used in container shipping are mapped out and validated by carriers. It includes high level process maps on three types of journeys: shipment, equipment and vessel. By aligning on the meaning of “vessel arrival”, for example, we have agreed on the definition of specific transport events for customer track and trace purposes.

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Alignment of data definitions and interfaces

Information and data are critical for the container shipping industry not only for use within the individual liner carriers, but also for sharing vital updates across the industry. Today the data landscape in the industry is complex. Carriers, customers and third parties use many different technologies, data definitions and data exchange methods when communicating with each other.

To reach alignment, DCSA has created the ‘DCSA Information Model’ to serve as the foundational data language for the industry. DCSA leverages the Information Model in our data definition and interface standards, such as our Track & Trace standard and in upcoming standards for documentation. This ensures that customers, carriers and other supply chain participants will speak the same business and data language across standards.

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IoT standards for container shipping

DCSA IoT standards are designed to enable mass deployment of interoperable “smart container” solutions. The standards can be implemented by vessel operators and owners as well as ports, terminals, container yards, inland logistics providers and other third parties. Once implemented, they will ensure an uninterrupted flow of relevant information regarding the whereabouts and status of containers and their contents at any point along the container journey. “Blind spots” will be eliminated from container tracking, controlling and monitoring.

DCSA has three planned IoT standards releases to address the interoperability requirements for the industry’s most urgent container use case groups: reefer containers, dry containers, and the RFID registration of these containers. The releases will focus on network infrastructure connectivity, data structure and handling, physical device specifications, and security and access management.

All recommendations in DCSA IoT standards are vendor and platform agnostic to reduce investment risk and increase operational efficiency. As such, the standards are designed to enable carriers and other supply chain participants to focus on providing more valuable and innovative services, as well as a better experience for their customers.

As open standards, DCSA IoT standards are complementary with the UN/CEFACT interoperability standards, namely the Multi Modal Transport Data Reference Model and the Smart Container Business Requirement Specifications in particular.

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Cyber security onboard ships

In an age where IT and operational technology is increasingly connected and automated, the ability to prevent cyber attacks is a core competency every carrier must have – on shore and onboard ships.

The International Maritime Organisation (IMO) has adopted a resolution that cyber risks should be appropriately addressed in safety management systems no later than the first annual verification of a company’s Document of Compliance, starting on 1 January 2021.

This means every carrier must prepare an implementation framework to address cyber risks onboard ships during 2020.

To help carriers meet this timeline, we have kicked off the cyber security initiative to facilitate framework creation and provide best practice guidance to carriers. The implementation consists of a series of practical recommendations wrapped around the NIST Framework which is the recognised authority on cyber risk management.

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