It's all about the data
The top 3 ways DCSA standards can make your life easier:
- Enable access to standardised shipping data from multiple carriers that’s easy to integrate into your solutions
- Enable two-way, real-time data communication across the end-to-end container journey via standardised APIs
- Allow you to focus on innovation instead of spending resources aggregating, sanitising and digitalising shipment data
As a solution provider to shippers and logistics companies, you play an important role in digital transformation of the container shipping industry. Your digital solutions are a critical link in the supply chain, providing shippers with access to important data about their shipments. Your goal is to offer a single, clean data stream that’s always accurate and up to date. But aggregating, sanitising and digitalising all that data from so many disparate sources and systems is time-consuming and expensive, for you and your customers.
Why is getting clean data so difficult? Currently, the container shipping industry is fragmented in terms of data, processes and technology, which makes information exchange between parties difficult if not impossible. For example, track and trace data isn’t yet aligned or digitised across carriers and their logistics partners. This means multi-modal transport chains often appear as “black boxes” to customers, and containers are lost from view until they arrive at certain points in the supply chain.
EDI and other methods of digitalisation have enabled some carriers and third parties to provide data regarding ETA or revised dates of arrival to shippers and third parties. However, in many cases, the data quality is questionable due to reliance on manual reporting or inefficient processes that introduce errors and delays. The net effect is that there are limited pathways for digitalised data to travel freely across the end-to-end supply chain. Messages are blocked as systems and modes of transport change and geographical borders are crossed. As a result, there are huge “blind spots” along the container journey that no proprietary solution is likely to resolve.
Better data through standardisation
Making clean data more available requires digital data standards. First, to create common definitions and frameworks for digitalising the data, and second, to establish standardised protocols for communicating it. Without standardisation, you can have all the data you want, but it may be unusable or incomprehensible to other systems, which makes delivering it to your clients in a consumable way difficult to say the least.
Now, imagine if the data you received from carriers and other stakeholders was automatically accurate and available in real time? What if you could focus the time you now spend sanitising your data stream on creating apps that slice, dice and deliver data to your customers in unique and innovative ways? DCSA is working to help ensure you always have access to top quality, real-time data that’s easy to integrate into your solutions.
Where DCSA and its digital standards fit in
There are 3 fundamental ways in which data handling needs to improve in container shipping:
- Data needs to address the requirements of different industry stakeholders, especially the customers of ocean carriers
- Data needs to be digitalised in a standard way
- Data needs to be a communicated in a common way, in real time
DCSA is addressing all 3 of these needs. Check out this e-book for more details.
With DCSA standards in place, the industry will have a technological foundation for enabling two-way, real-time communication across the end-to-end container journey. Of course, our standards alone can’t ensure that every piece of data input into the system is good or current, or that everyone will adopt them. But without DCSA standards, moving towards greater visibility and more reliable services is impossible.
Standards for all!
Shippers and carriers aren’t the only ones who will benefit from a technology foundation based on DCSA digital standards. Once standardised data is available via standard APIs, everyone who has adopted the standards can make use of it. This will enable solutions providers, freight forwarders, terminal operators, drayage providers and other third parties to build apps that provide new value to shippers.
DCSA digital standards provide a necessary technological foundation for digital innovation that will ultimately make container transportation services more transparent, reliable, easy to use, secure and environmentally friendly. As a solution provider for this industry, your involvement in the standardisation process is crucial to transforming data collection and usage. Consider this your invitation to collaborate with us!