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HANSA 07-2021

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Behördenschiffe · Abwasser-Behandlung · Big Data & Cyber Security · Car Carrier · IMO & Klimaschutz · Wasserstoff-Technologien · Deutsche Bulk-Reedereien · Piraterie & maritime Sicherheit

HÄFEN | PORTS »What

HÄFEN | PORTS »What data do we really need?« As maritime digitization moves forward, so does the authorities’ hunger for even more data. Jonathan C. Williams FICS, General Manager of international shipbrokers’ and agents’ association Fonasba, sees a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to clear out redundancies Many say that the Corona pandemic has spurred digitalization in the maritime industry. Do you observe the same thing around ship agents? Jonathan C. Williams: The pandemic has driven massive change in many areas, and our sector is no exception. In June last year we supported the paper coordinated by IAPH entitled »Accelerating Digitalization of Maritime Trade and Logistics« that called for progress to be maintained after we return to normal. Ship agents are keeping pace with the technological change and taking advantage of the new technologies. At the same time however, we are seeing authorities taking advantage of those developments by actively pursuing the collection of more data. Is that a technical issue? Williams: For some vessels it is, as they do not have the facilities onboard to transmit large volumes of data to the agent. Container and cruise operators already handle large amounts of information, often from data centres ashore, but the demands are increasing across all sectors, often predicated on enhanced security requirements. For example, the passenger sector is currently being consulted about providing significantly more data on passengers, including cabin allocations, when and how the ticket was purchased, and for ferry operators, vehicle registration details. Similar levels of passenger data granularity are already provided by airlines, but the required data exchange and processing infrastructure has been in place in the aviation sector for many years. Increasing demands for operational data from ships will also place additional pressure on ports, many of which are still reliant on paper-based transactions and the physical presentation of documents for passengers and cargo. According to the IAPH paper above, less than 30% of IMO Member States have functioning port community systems, so there is plenty of scope for improvement there. What does it mean operationally for agents? Williams: With much of the data passing through the agent, any increase in the data from the ship will also increase their workload, so being able to exchange it electronically through single windows is very welcome. That said, at its most basic level, all this technology is just a pipeline that sends data from an agent to the national single window. It saves time, but does not add value, or reduce the administrative burden on the vessel or the agent. Furthermore it should not be forgotten the extra cost to the agent of data processing is significant. In parallel to the technological solutions, we should be looking at the data we are required to collect – and asking if it is all necessary. Are the national authorities just collecting it because they have always done so? We should be asking whether they still have a clear need for the data and if so, to justify that need. Jonathan C. Williams, General Manager Fonasba Isn’t the reduction or removal of redundancies the idea of the single window approach? Williams: It should be, but we are not there yet. The development of the European Maritime Single Window environment (EMSWe) provides an ideal, perhaps unique, opportunity to look at all the data we must provide for ship reporting. The continuous development of maritime transport, and the accompanying legislation, means there will be redundant data moving around and as part of the system development process, each element needs to be carefully reviewed to assess its current value and importance, and those which no longer have any practical value should be cleared out. If the authorities cannot immediately explain why a data element is required, it probably is not. It is relatively simple to press a button and send data away, but it must be verified and processed, often by the agent, which takes © Fonasba 78 HANSA – International Maritime Journal 07 | 2021

HÄFEN | PORTS time, effort and resources, only for some of it to be stored away and never looked at again. So, rather than just keep adding more data elements, a thorough and comprehensive audit will ensure that we only collect and pass on that which is a needed. The EMSWe proposals currently include a three-part data set. Broadly speaking, Part A is the internationally mandated IMO information and Part B that required by national authorities. Those two are fine, although some harmonization of part B across Europe would also be welcome. Part C is data at collected at individual port and local level, as well as anything else, and it currently contains more than 1,200 data elements. Many will be the same item under different names, and they are currently being consolidated. With that done, the project can move on to removal of the redundant data, a process requiring the active participation of Member States. What role does cyber security play for ship agents in this context? Williams: It is critical, not only because of the confidential or commercial value of the data at risk but also the interconnected nature of the systems. If one section or element of the system gets hacked or fails, the knock-on effects are significant. In the recent past we have seen successful cyberattacks on fully automated and integrated systems, for example for cargo bookings and stowage planning, and the chaos that ensues across the entire operation is significant. Depending on the severity of the attack, the company can be forced to revert to manual processes, if there are still sufficient staff available who know how to set up and operate those manual processes. In addition to the impact on direct operational and commercial matters, security breaches can compromise personal data. This is a particular problem for those involved in passenger operations and one that has the potential to grow as increasing volumes of personal data are collected and transmitted to the authorities. Fines for breaches of data protection regulations are significant and may pose a threat to the continued viability of the entity guilty of the breach. What is your recommendation then – caution or restraint? Williams: We must not squander the phenomenal progress that has been made recently as digitalisation has considerable potential to enhance and improve the movement of ships and cargo for everyone’s benefit. As the investment required to implement new technologies is significant, we will need to determine which of the many developments coming forward are viable in the long term. To inform those decisions, Fonasba has established a Digitalization and Automation Committee specifically to monitor and review technical developments in this field. Its work will be vital in guiding our members through the digitalisation landscape. Interview: Felix Selzer Menschen. Umwelt. Wirtschaftskraft. Neue Orte wachsen lassen. Was uns antreibt, wenn wir Kompensationsflächen in unseren Häfen entwickeln, lesen Sie unter www.hafenplus.de Folgen Sie uns auf HANSA – International Maritime Journal 07 | 2021 79

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