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CTAC 2020: Data boom requires urgent standards

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With the global data sphere set to continue its exponential growth, there remains debate over how it can be used and what standards will be in across the container terminal industry.

At CTAC 2020 the debate on standards continued but there could be an end in sight with the Terminal Industry Committee 4.0 (TIC 4.0) set to publish some first results towards a standards catalogue in the first quarter of 2020. This according to Boris Wenzel, Managing Director, Terminal Link.

TIC 4.0 is group 20 terminal operators and big equipment manufacturers working on the standards that concern the container terminal activity, Wenzel explained.

During the discussion at CTAC 2020 on Big Data, the question arose that perhaps we are moving towards having to many sets of standards with moderator Lars Jensen, CEO, SeaIntelligence Consulting, noting that the Digital Container Shipping Association (DCSA) is also working on standards.

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Wenzel pointed out that the efforts of the DCSA is solely concerned with the shipping standards but said that there had been joint meetings between the DCSA and TIC4.0 to work on standards with the interfaces that the shipping lines use.

“You must have credible associations forming up for the big blocks and then these blocks have to talk to each other to bring about standards covering the entire supply chain,” Wenzel pointed out.

Muneeb Khadeer, Director of Product Management, Navis, added, “There is going to be an emerging standard that is going to take over and that is what everyone is going to adapt to.”

Khadeer said from Navis’ point of view they are looking at standards from the application programming interface (API) standpoint and how to access and leverage those APIs and bring that information into processes.

Regarding the uptake of big data in the container terminal industry Wenzel said that we will only see large scale adoption over the next ten to twenty years, citing human resistances as one of the barriers to adoption.

“If you don’t have the people accepting this tech and be capable of using it could take a long time,” he said. “I don’t see people being really ready for this, you need an entire new set of skills.”

Khadeer also noted that intellectual property (IP) is also a barrier to adoption of Big Data processes.

“The mentality is that my IP is in that data and I’m going to lose more than I’m going to gain by sharing this data.”

However, Khadeer did not that the adoption of software had initially presented the same challenge with the IP set in the source code. This is now moved to an open source software industry and the value has grown exponentially.

The benefits of successfully using Big Data were set out by Stegano Negrini, Technical Director, Head of IT/OT & Automation Processes, Terminal Investment Limited who said, “My call to action now is time for us to act and translate words into action. This will bring benefit to our businesses in terms of safety, double digit savings, clearly would increase profitability and last would help the reputation of our companies.”

Khadeer provided a. example where the use of data analytics has increased productivity at a container terminal with Navis’ work with the Port of Tanjung Pelapas (PTP) in Malaysia.

The said that with real time data visibility via Navis o2 reporting the PTP team were able to 5,000 moves within a week.

Over the last six months PTP and Navis has processed over two billion events without a single data point lost, Khadeer’s presentation claimed.

“Monitoring operations in real time is the first step in your analytical journey and helps validate the data that is being collected by operations,” he said.

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