17 March 2017

Data exchange in logistics: how to enable a joined-up approach for trade and government

PARIS, 15 March 2017 – At the second Conference organised by TLF Overseas and CLECAT at the SITL in Paris, more than 80 participants came together to review progress and challenges on data exchange between government and business. 

Speakers explored and discussed the practical advantages of better exploiting available data and the use of information and communication technologies (ICT) in transport and logistics efficiency: simplification, lowering costs, and a better use of resources and existing infrastructures. The EU-funded research project CORE (www.coreproject.eu) continues to test concepts whereby the same information should be reported once-only for different purposes, whilst demonstrating both the integrity of data and security of goods. To meet these goals, several trade lane demonstrators are testing solutions, involving logistical service providers, transporters, as well as end-to-end business stakeholders. 

Speakers from the CORE consortium showcased possible solutions for standardisation and automation in data analysis through advanced data-sharing for the supply chain visibility. By building the shipping information pipelines, all parties in the trade lane can exchange confidential information on supply chain events, and, at the same time, prove the continuous integrity of containers and goods throughout the total shipment. Nicolette van der Jagt, Director General of CLECAT noted, ‘This is a very promising development in the CORE project, connecting industry and Member States, both preparing for the next steps in support of digitalisation on data exchange to facilitate trade and commerce.’   She continued: ‘CLECAT is equally involved in other EU Horizon 2020 projects, such as SELIS, addressing innovation in logistics and supply chains and building on intelligence from the CORE project, stimulating and accelerating innovation adoption in order to support growth of the European economy through competitive and sustainable logistics.  As freight forwarders’ representative associations, we see the need to raise the profile and understanding of new logistics technologies and business processes that are being proposed in EU support and innovation programmes.’ 

CLECAT and TLF Overseas engage with policymakers when it comes to legislation and compliance issues, but believe freight forwarders will equally benefit from public-private partnerships in support of better collaboration. Anne Sandretto, General Manager of TLF Overseas noted, ‘we and CLECAT are member of the Digital Transport and Logistics Forum (DTLF) established by the European Commission to bring our expertise to foster more efficient exchange of electronic information in transport and logistics (between and within transport modes).’  She added: ‘Digitalisation is crucial in a market which is extremely dynamic and where the professional competence of the freight forwarder is increasingly essential.  Also, we find it important that companies are able to select and implement their particular solution as part of an open environment, which is technology-independent – based on existing standards such as the UN/CEFACT which focuses on currently-implemented international standards of data exchanges including the WCO Data Model. At the same time we need to address issues relating to privacy, liability and ownership of data.’  Having said this, there is no doubt that digitalization creates new opportunities for business and government and will change the way cargo flows will be managed in the future. 

Speakers at the event included: Dominique Willems, CLECAT, Wout Hofman, Ph.D., Senior Research Scientist, TNO, Joris Tenhagen, Manager Business Development, Seacon Logistics Group, Dr. Lance Thompson, International Development Manager, CONEX and Eric Louette, MEEM/DGITM – ITS Task Force.   Presentations are available below.

About CLECAT, TLF Overseas :

CLECAT is the leading voice on freight forwarding and logistics in Europe. Established in 1958, CLECAT represents and are supported by 25 member organisations working to promote a sound approach to transport and logistics across Europe, in support of the competitiveness of our industry.

Union TLF Overseas (Union of Transport and Logistics enterprises) is the leading organization in France representing air, sea and customs freight forwarding  as well as logistics activities and supporting their development in the transport and logistics chain in France.