INTTRA Asia Tech­nol­ogy Sum­mit

The need for de­vel­op­ing stan­dards to un­lock the po­ten­tial in data and achieve in­tel­li­gent sup­ply chain was voiced at the event

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The need for de­vel­op­ing stan­dards to achieve in­tel­li­gent sup­ply chain was voiced at the event.

Ad­vanc­ing the dig­i­tal trans­for­ma­tion of the ocean freight in­dus­try was the vi­sion for the An­nual Asia Tech­nol­ogy Sum­mit or­gan­ised by INTTRA in Sin­ga­pore. An au­gust gath­er­ing of more than 200 ship­ping and tech­nol­ogy ex­ec­u­tives came to­gether to net­work and col­lab­o­rate, with a fo­cus on mov­ing from “In­no­va­tion to ac­tion.” Sev­eral im­por­tant themes came out at this year’s sum­mit:

• Data si­los and in­com­pat­i­bil­ity are a ma­jor chal­lenge in the mar­itime sup­ply chain

• The in­dus­try needs data stan­dards in or­der to en­sure the free flow of in­for­ma­tion be­tween trad­ing part­ners

• Net­works will be the key to achiev­ing a truly in­tel­li­gent sup­ply chain in ocean freight

“This sum­mit is a plat­form to dis­cuss how tech­nol­ogy helps to cre­ate in­no­va­tion in sup­ply chain, es­pe­cially in ocean ship­ping. When we think about in­no­va­tion and any tech­nol­ogy so­lu­tions the first ques­tion that comes up is what is it that we want to achieve? We all have a vi­sion of what sup­ply chains can be. We think of sup­ply chain that is smart enough to be pre­dic­tive to an­tic­i­pate changes in cus­tomer needs and eco­nomic en­vi­ron­ments and which is flex­i­ble to re­spond to un­planned events. A lot of money has been in­vested to bring this vi­sion to re­al­ity over the years. A lot of com­po­nents of this vi­sion are avail­able to­day, we have cranes at ter­mi­nals that can sense a prob­lem and change their path. A lot of ad­vanced an­a­lyt­ics is be­ing im­ple­mented to in­ven­tory man­age­ment, lo­gis­tics and vis­i­bil­ity so­lu­tions. But we are yet to de­velop a fully in­tel­li­gent sup­ply chain,” re­vealed Inna Kuznetsova, Pres­i­dent and COO, INTTRA.

To­wards the end of 2016 INTTRA had pub­lished a white paper called “Blue­print 2017” which had pre­dic­tions about ship­ping com­pa­nies dig­i­tal­is­ing their phys­i­cal net­works, con­nec­tiv­ity of data re­sid­ing in dif­fer­ent sys­tems and end-to end con­nec­tiv­ity be­tween ocean and land. Many of these pre­dic­tions have come true. An­other pre­dic­tion made was head­ing an ag­ile in­ter­ac­tive in­no­va­tion. The in­dus­try is very prag­matic, op­er­ates on nar­row mar­gins, and so long projects with de­layed ROI is not an at­trac­tive propo­si­tion. The in­dus­try looks at short-term re­turns which has lever­aged small star­tups that bring tan­gi­ble so­lu­tions that are con­cise and spe­cific to mar­ket needs.

So build­ing the fully in­tel­li­gent sup­ply chain will re­quire ef­forts of the whole ship­ping com­mu­nity. Many com­pa­nies are still in the mid­dle of mov­ing from man­ual to get fully dig­i­tal. The most im­por­tant step comes next. Once all your data is in va­ri­ety of sys­tems, how can you ac­cess the data? This is where we start hit­ting the prob­lems, be­cause sen­sors on reefers of one car­rier trav­el­ling on the ships of an­other car­rier, which is very com­mon in al­liances, can­not ac­cess the servers. So the next big step for the in­dus­try is the con­nec­tion part. Once you con­nect all data sources, you can ap­ply all tech­nolo­gies like pre­dic­tive an­a­lyt­ics and AI to drive in­sights and this will give us a pre­dic­tive and flex­i­ble sup­ply chain.

Defin­ing the need for set­ting stan­dards, John Fay, CEO, INTTRA said, “In the past 18 months con­sol­i­da­tion has re­sulted in 5 car­ri­ers con­trol­ling 65 per cent of the to­tal con­tainer ca­pac­ity. But still we do not have too much room and the an­swer to this ca­pac­ity is­sue is not fewer ships but bet­ter in­for­ma­tion about what ca­pac­ity or de­mand is com­ing. We need bet­ter plan­ning that comes from bet­ter data and tech­nol­ogy.”

On the car­rier side a big is­sue is data shar­ing, stan­dards and in­ter­op­er­abil­ity be­tween ship­pers and car­ri­ers. The chal­lenges haven’t changed a lot in the past 2 years, but we have be­gun to make some progress to­wards us­ing tech­nol­ogy. But tech­nolo­gies such as AI and ma­chine learn­ing is worth­less with­out stan­dard in­for­ma­tion and data. Stan­dards can be cre­ated and distributed for free to the in­dus­try. An­other ad­van­tage for the in­dus­try is the power of net­work where one en­tity can join and ac­cess many and the oth­ers can do the same way as well.

Tech­nol­ogy is ex­pen­sive, in­no­va­tion is hard and the cost of do­ing it alone is sub­stan­tial. But if we col­lab­o­rate to de­velop tech­nol­ogy we can ben­e­fit from scale. One such ini­tia­tive is INTTRA CON­NECT – an in­dus­try neu­tral stan­dard set­ting open source ini­tia­tive which works by cre­at­ing groups for solv­ing com­mon prob­lems.

INTTRA an­nounce­ments at the sum­mit

Rates Pi­lot Pro­gramme

A ma­jor at­trac­tion at the sum­mit was the launch of INTTRA Rates pi­lot pro­gramme on sched­ule with 11 freight for­warders par­tic­i­pat­ing. INTTRA in­tends to launch a fully dig­i­talised rates so­lu­tion in the first half of 2019 based on the re­sults of the pi­lot. The cur­rent sys­tem for manag­ing rates and rate changes is in­ef­fi­cient and er­ror prone, lead­ing to er­rors in 30-45 per cent of all freight in­voices due to the man­ual na­ture of to­day’s rate man­age­ment pro­cesses. A dig­i­tal so­lu­tion will ad­dress this is­sue.

Avan­tida ex­pands into North Amer­ica.

Avan­tida, which re­cently launched in Mex­ico, has plans to launch in the US by the end of the year. Avan­tida con­tin­ued to grow in 2018 with

43 per cent more reg­is­tered users com­pared to the same pe­riod in 2017. In ad­di­tion to the US, Avan­tida plans to ex­pand to Scan­di­navia and Canada in the com­ing months. Trans­ac­tions have also en­joyed sub­stan­tial growth, more specif­i­cally in the area of de­pot ser­vices in­creas­ing by 61 per cent and tri­an­gu­la­tion ser­vices by 62 per cent in 2018 so far.

John Fay, CEO, INTTRA

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