Supply chain resilience: How digital standards help futureproof cargo visibility

The end of TradeLens’ platform doesn’t mean the end of their bold vision.

“The vision of establishing TradeLens as an open and neutral industry platform that provides supply chain connectivity and visibility is ambitious and laudable – it is never easy to be the first mover,” said Thomas Bagge, CEO of DCSA. “Despite the change in direction for TradeLens, the need for open collaboration, vendor neutrality and visibility is more critical than ever as maritime trade volumes are predicted to triple by 2050.”

Customers of shipping lines need futureproof cargo visibility. This means continuous access to shipping information regardless of who they ship with or what technology they use, even if an existing technology platform, for example TradeLens, is discontinued.

With unwavering commitment from our carrier members, DCSA is developing neutral, open- source digital standards that will set the foundation for an interoperable, futureproof container shipping ecosystem. In this environment, stakeholders will be able to collaborate and share information, regardless of technology platform. Ultimately, this will improve agility and reliability resulting in global supply chain resilience.

With DCSA digital standards, shippers or beneficial cargo owners (BCOs) can implement one API to receive container tracking data from any number of standards-compliant parties. Connections can be made directly with shipping lines through DCSA standards-based APIs, or indirectly through standards-compliant solution or service platforms.

Momentum builds for standardisation to ensure supply chain visibility

Increased collaboration based on digital standards provides benefits to every stakeholder, and momentum is building across the maritime industry. This is evident in the many initiatives currently underway, such as the Federal Maritime Commission’s Maritime Transportation Data Initiative (MTDI), which will leverage standards to streamline maritime transportation; the Future International Trade Alliance formed by DCSA, BIMCO, FIATA, ICC and SWIFT to drive digital standards adoption and the electronic bill of lading; and the ongoing eBL platform interoperability proof of concept supported by several eBL solution providers, ocean carriers and ExxonMobil.

If you are a shipper or BCO that has integrated with TradeLens and are now looking for an alternative method for receiving cargo visibility data, make your next step futureproof by adopting a standards-based approach. The DCSA Track & Trace standard, with its shipment, equipment and transport journeys, is not only aligned with TradeLens trade objects and subsequent tracing events, it also provides additional events to extend standardised cargo visibility across different carriers and solution providers.

Collaborate with DCSA to create a more reliable future for container shipping and help ensure supply chain resilience by adopting our digital standards and working with carriers that have adopted them. You can link directly to carriers that have implemented our digital standards through our API Portal web page.