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HANSA 10-2019

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Schifffahrt | Shipping The first step of this open standard is at the application layer, but the COA Work Group has also drawn up a roadmap to be expanded right down to the device level in terms of specification. The open standard is scheduled to be published in October 2019. Hicks sees the potential, that the reefer initiative may be expanded to equipment tracking and management. »I don’t know how fast someone like the UN works, but if there are certain aspects that the UN project is not covering, then the COA could do it. I will be most likely on things like standard equipment tracking.« But also on things like, again a very specialized area, container depots. Still, there are lots of different protocols of communication between shipping lines and leasing companies, the customers and the depots, e.g. the differences in how a damage on a container and the necessary work is coded. »What is needed is to standardize a lot of the communication between owners and depots. Because each of the lines are developing systems and changes are never easy«, Hicks thinks. According to him, COA members are absolutely interested in this. However, »being interested in one thing and making things happen is slightly different.« At the moment, it is almost impossible to create one standard for container owners, depots and shipping lines. »But technology may change so that we can make some way of at least standardization of communication processes.« In the COA sphere, telematics play an important role. In other areas like for example e-booking, fuel management, dangerous goods informations etc. there may be others. Blockchain against misdeclaration Container tracking and monitoring is of growing importance Regarding the widely discussed topic of dangerous goods declaration, there was another initiative recently set up. Maritime Blockchain Labs (MBL), founded by blockchain technology and governance experts BLOC and the Lloyd’s Register Foundation (LRF), announced the establishment of a consortium to explore the use of blockchain in tackling the significant risks and challenges associated with the declaration and handling of dangerous goods. The consortium will explore the use of digital tools for traceability of dangerous goods cargo, and immutable attestations and digital audit trails for due diligence with a view to generating more transparency and accountability in tracking dangerous goods; ultimately, reducing incidents. Also, the plan is to build and test a prototype to assess the potential for distributed ledger technology (DLT) to address the challenges faced by stakeholders throughout the supply chain. Funded by LRF and conducted in partnership with Rainmaking, the consortium includes Copenhagen Malmö Ports (CMP), Flexport, X-Press Feeders, SecureSystem, DSV, PSA, Port+, Agility and MTI. For HANSA, Marc Johnson, Head of Labs and Chief Sustainability Officer of BLOC commented on the question of how blockchain can help alleviate cargo misdeclaration. »With temperatures reaching in excess of 500 degrees centigrade inside containers on fire, extinguishing the blaze is both extremely difficult and dangerous, and the fire can easily spread to other containers and the ship as a whole. Last year gave us a stark reminder of the cost of such incidents when five crewmembers died in a fire on board Maersk Honam, on 6 March 2018, in a tragic incident that was also the largest general average loss in history, according to the International Union of Marine Insurance (IUMI).« For Johnson, blockchain is in many ways an ideal fit for this type of issue as it provides a secure, immutable store of information that has many obvious advantages of the current paper-based systems that are so susceptible to loss and misdeclaration. Focus on codes Continuously tracking and monitoring the contents of seafaring containers is a supremely complex task that demands cooperation amongst stakeholders and a high level of data interoperability and information sharing. However, he adds, it’s not that simple to simply »add blockchain«, as many in the industry who have been following blockchain’s progress will have likely observed. The initial findings of the consortium have revealed some crucial insights into the root causes of misdeclaration, gleaned from interviews and pooling knowledge and research. The starting point was to look at the implementation of the two current codes for handling dangerous goods – the International Maritime Dangerous Goods Code (IMDG Code), and the Code of Practice for Packing of Cargo Transport Units (CTU Code), The partners found that the myriad of different cargo classifications outlined within the two codes continuously inhibits shippers’ efforts to properly declare dangerous cargos to seafaring carriers, »as some of the dangerous goods suffer from the sheer number of ways they can be described, and there currently is no industry consensus or ‘best-practice’ on how to alleviate this growing issue.« According to Johnson and cased on the preliminary research that has been conducted, the primary reasons for the oc­ 32 HANSA International Maritime Journal 10 | 2019

Schifffahrt | Shipping currence of this ongoing challenge include weak enforcement, documentation complexity, lack of transparency, low-orlack of training, quality assurance measures, costs, and time pressures associated with maintaining operational efficiency leading to incorrect packaging or stowage and dangerous cargo bans. »Based on our understanding of the challenges from the information we’ve accumulated, it’s our assumption that declaration errors occur because of (1) Lack of Base Knowledge, (2) Intentional Fraud, and (3) Genuine Data Errors. Much to our surprise, it is widely accepted that these three errors contribute to the frequency of misdeclarations according to the order presented above«, the expert says. One hypothesis is that many of the challenges associated with the misdeclaration of dangerous goods are highly related to the scope of responsibility for any individual actor, and that the scope of responsibility is limited to the scope of their business partners. »Along these lines, it’s our hypothesis that this limited scope of responsibility implies that information is managed by siloed data systems that hinder transparent and efficient exchanges of information, because they rarely interoperate with data systems managed by other stakeholders along the connected value chain. This lack of data interoperability is a primary driver for misaligned incentives that prompt the lack of knowledge, and encourages deliberate mis-declarations in an effort to maintain or increase operational efficiency among stakeholders«, Johnson emphasizes. What’s next? To alleviate these issues, the partners »strongly believe the solution rests in a modular integration platform« that allows stakeholders to create, connect, and manage data inputs, mapping systems, and process flows, that connects to a suite of purpose-built remote sensors and devices, to provide stakeholders with actionable in-transit information about the location, condition, and security of the goods being shipped. For the consortium, it is also apparent that the proposed platform must maintain the ability to showcase the provenance of data, be able to interoperate with the digital infrastructure that already exists, and must allow stakeholders to better visualise the flow of information as it moves through the value chain. Furthermore, it is recognized that a digital platform in and of itself will not fully alleviate all of the issues the industry currently faces when declaring or handling dangerous goods. »To alleviate the many issues associated with data inputs and the active monitoring of goods, we see great benefit in utilizing purpose-built remote sensors and devices, to provide stakeholders with actionable in-transit information about the location, condition, and security of the goods being shipped, and to securely communicate with the platform to safeguard against data inconsistencies, whether intentional or not.« Johnson concludes: »It won’t be easy, but by combining these two systems, a modular integration platform for process tracing, and a set of purpose-built remote sensors that provide in-near-real time information, we are confident that we can create a solution that securely authenticates the provenance of data inputs, and transparently showcases the movement of goods throughout the value chain, thereby providing actionable insights about the goods being shipped and showcasing the efficiency gains possible. We believe that this combination of unique information gathering and processing solutions will equip and incentivize stakeholders to more accurately and appropriately declare the contents of their shipments, which will limit the occurrence of the mis-declarations of dangerous goods.«MM ONE CLICK – ALL DATA REMOTE DIAGNOSTICS BY E-RD HANSA International Maritime Journal 10 | 2019 33

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