London 12.05.2016 – The impact of digitisation and the Internet of Things on global container supply chain operations, shipping and landside logistics will be a major theme at the 40th TOC Europe Conference & Exhibition, taking place 14-16 June 2016 at the Hamburg Messe, Hamburg, Germany.
As container shipping lines come under extreme pressure to squeeze costs out of their businesses, the ripple effects are spreading along the maritime supply chain. Ports and terminals especially are coming under greater cost pressures than ever before as they seek to improve operating efficiencies and reduce disconnects in the hand-offs between supply chain components in the face of larger ships, lower growth and more price-sensitive customers.
Technology is expected to play a key role in tackling these challenges, making real-time information available to all parties across shared platforms. But digitisation is only part of the story. Business transformation also requires everyone to make the necessary cultural, commercial and regulatory adjustments to a brave new world of “collaborative decision making”.
This year’s TOC Europe Container Supply Conference (CSC) will bring together key players to look not just at technology innovation, but also to explore the business value of connectivity.
Container shipping lines are coming to realise the value of supply chain collaboration and the enabling role of technology in realising that goal. As headline CSC speaker Andreas Mrozek, Global Head Marine & Terminal Operations at deep sea carrier Hamburg Süd, comments: “Shipping is currently in the process of learning to become much more innovative in terms of technology. Implementation cycles have been speeded up, and both shipping lines and ports are experimenting with new technologies and new IT optimisation systems.”
“However, a key factor in the successful implementation of technology innovations is a new form of cooperation between ports, terminals, shipping lines and other supply chain partners jointly to optimise the supply chain in order to take real advantage of these developments.”
Mr. Mrozek does not expect a ‘Eureka’ moment to materialize: single large impacts happen rarely in the global logistics space. Instead he envisages many small innovations which could add up to very significant improvements across the container supply chain.
Numerous examples of these new forms of cooperation will be discussed throughout the CSC conference, principally collaborative decision making, driven by advanced data collection and analytics.
For example, port community systems (PCS) have been around for decades. Originally, they were conceived primarily as administrative tools, for example, digitizing Customs documents, transmission of Bills of Lading, etc. Logistics and supply chain optimization were simply not part of this process. Also, the range of the PCS was usually defined by the perimeter of the port area and the stakeholders working within it. This restricted the functionality of the PCS to achieve true connectivity with the hinterland that each port serves, and that hinterland can stretch to several hundred kilometres. Equally, integration between the PCS and terminal operating systems (TOS) was limited.
But that is now set to change, with a growing number of port authorities – including TOC Europe 2016 host Hamburg – now setting out to define and implement a new wave of data-driven collaboration among all the stakeholders. Speakers exploring this topic on Day Two of CSC at TOC Europe will include Dr. Oscar Pernia, Director of Product Strategy for Navis, and Dr. Francisco de los Santos, Chief Technology Officer of Algeciras Port Authority, who will present jointly on “Digital Ports”.
Basing their analysis on the implementation of ‘Algeciras BrainPort 2020’, they will explain how this major maritime hub is moving towards a new port management model where, besides improving port products and services for enhanced efficiency, security and sustainability, it also serves to instil a new culture and mindset focused on continuous improvement and operational excellence.
In a recent paper, Drs. Pernia and Santos stated that “Ports realize that their future is not only tied to infrastructure development, but also to smarter approaches and a seamless integration of the port community. A culture emphasizing continuous improvement with operational efficiency across the whole port community will be the most important differentiator for port competitiveness. The use of technology becomes critical to enable process improvements across port logistics, including both water and land sides.”
Their presentation on this innovative project can be heard in the CSC session The Future is Smart: Technology Transformation & Disruption Across the Container Supply Chain.
Out of the silo
Also on Day Two of TOC Europe CSC, the session on Digitization of Container Trade: Collaborative Platforms & Networks, will expand on how logistics stakeholders can replace fragmented data silos and manual information exchange with digital information hubs connecting multiple parties.
Robert Inchausti, Chief Technology Officer at XVELA, will discuss how cloud-based collaboration can enable ocean carriers and terminal operators to jointly manage the vessel stowage planning and execution process. Stowage is widely acknowledged as a critical component of the ship-shore supply chain interface, yet remains one of the least effective or efficient processes. XVELA first introduced its “pit stop port” concept at TOC Europe last year and since then has secured a number of major terminal and shipping groups to take part in its pilot phase.
Beyond the port gates, Dr. Stefan Wiech, Partner at HPC Hamburg Port Consulting, will share details of a major cross-border project between Switzerland, France, Germany and Belgium to establish an intelligent IT management system for the coordination of barge and river traffic management in the Upper Rhine. The project includes barge slot management and container exchanges aimed at significantly improving connectivity between marine ports and hinterland sites.
The future for online freight quotes, bookings and management will also be on the agenda, with speakers including Zvi Schreiber, CEO of Freightos, one of the new breed of internet platforms aiming to shake up a notoriously laborious and fragmented aspect of global supply chain operations.
These are just a few examples of the emerging “digital container supply chain” to be explored during the Innovation & Technology Day at TOC Europe CSC this year, with other expert speakers from ABB, BIMCO, CyberKeel, Data61, Dell, E.R Schiffart, Port of Hamburg, Kuehne + Nagel, ORBCOMM and Quintiq delving into issues ranging from disruptive technologies to data collaboration, smart assets, IoT, big data, analytics and cyber security.
Forty years at the heart of the game
“Over the past four decades, TOC has put technology at the heart of the conversation on how container port and logistics operations must evolve to meeting changing market needs. Today, as technology evolves at a startling pace, this dialogue is more important than ever before,” said Paul Holloway, TOC Worldwide Director. “The ‘flight to connectivity’ could transform container supply chain operations in ways that none of us can yet fully imagine and we are delighted to welcome a stellar line-up of speakers to help map out the future at the 40th TOC conference in Europe.”
Event format maximizes networking opportunities
TOC Europe comprises three concurrent debating forums – the Container Supply Chain (CSC) Conference, the TECH TOC Conference and Bulk Ports & Technology – supported by a trade exhibition where industry peers can meet suppliers, swap notes and debate the high level discussion points presented in the conference sessions.
The Container Supply Chain (CSC) element is an executive-level discussion forum focused on international trade, container shipping, port development and logistics, bringing together shippers, shipping lines, 3PLs, port authorities, terminal operators, government and other key supply chain members.
This is complemented by TECH TOC, designed to engage operational executives in the practicalities of port and terminal performance, with in-depth debates on facility design, automation, operations, equipment and technology from berth to gate.
Bulk Ports & Technology keeps you updated on the latest trends in dry bulk shipping, commodities markets and advances in materials handling technology, transportation, and port operations.