Connectivity interface standards to enable interoperable “smart container” solutions
Digital Container Shipping Association (DCSA), a neutral, non-profit group established to further digitalisation of container shipping, in conjunction with its nine member carriers including Maersk, Hapag-Lloyd, ONE & MSC, has published IoT connectivity interface standards for shipping containers.
The standards can be implemented by vessel operators and owners as well as ports, terminals, container yards, inland logistics providers and other third parties to ensure interoperability between smart container solutions at the radio interface level.
With these standards in place, carriers and supply chain participants will be one step closer to providing customers with an uninterrupted flow of relevant information regarding the whereabouts of containers.
The DCSA IoT Standard for Gateway Connectivity Interfaces, which can be freely downloaded from the DCSA website, includes radio standards for gateways on vessel, on land, at event locations and in handheld devices.
These DCSA IoT standards provide an initial set of connectivity recommendations that are vendor and platform agnostic to reduce investment risk, increase operational efficiency and enable innovation.
Ultimately, DCSA IoT standards will allow carriers and other supply chain participants to focus on providing more valuable services and a better experience to their customers.
The new standards are the first of three planned IoT standards releases addressing the connectivity requirements for reefer and dry containers, as well as the RFID registration of these containers.
Future releases will focus on data structure and handling, physical device specifications as well as security and access management.
Maria Rosaria Ceccarelli, Chief of Trade Facilitation Section for UNECE said: “IoT will usher in a new era of efficiency in global trade. Smart containers that share information with multiple stakeholders will facilitate a digitally enabled supply chain.
“Interoperability of IoT devices is one of the keys to enable massive smart containers deployment, taking the digital age of shipping one step further beyond paperless processes by embracing the Internet of Things (IoT) to support enhanced decision-making by the various sectoral stakeholders.
Thomas Bagge, CEO of DCSA said: “This release is an important step in enabling mass deployment of smart containers and forms the foundation of a group of standards that will address the industry’s most critical container use cases.
"Once implemented, our IoT standards will enable, for example, reefer container tracking, monitoring and controlling along the entire container journey, with no connectivity ‘blind spots’."