When data sharing becomes the standard
4 September 2018
Data sharing adds a great deal of value in the logistics sector. There are many initiatives underway to get this process right. Nevertheless, there are still many barriers to it being adopted broadly. A large-scale study into data sharing amongst SMEs is trying to change this. Our colleague Ad Schoenmakers was interviewed about it because of his pioneering role in this field. Why is data sharing so important and what does he believe is necessary to overcome the obstacles?
Transparency in the supply chain
Sharing of logistics and order data streamlines logistics processes in the chain more effectively. For example, importers and freight forwarders can follow and manage the status of shipments across the whole supply chain. But customs clearance data can also be shared more quickly, which means distribution runs more smoothly. Ad: “Ritra Cargo shares data because of the collective interest of it adding value for all parties in the chain. Parties that share data will thus benefit greatly from this”.
It often happens that a client or partner is not technically capable of sharing data. Ritra Cargo then often develops a free one-to-one EDI interface. This is primarily for smaller parties at present. Ad: “The larger the party, the less inclined they are to adapt to other companies’ methods of data sharing. However, they are essential in establishing a standard and broad adoption of data sharing.”
Standards in data sharing
Initiatives for data sharing are springing up everywhere. Including a few sector-wide initiatives that are trying to establish standards. Portbase’s Port Community System and the iSHARE protocol system are good examples. In addition, Blockchain is a well-known example of a protocol system for data sharing. Sector-wide use of these data applications will ensure a larger degree of transparency, security and reliability in the chain.
Ad: “Because of all these kinds of developments in the field of data applications, I wonder whether freight forwarders that operate the way they do today will still be necessary in 10 years’ time. There are many options for setting up data sharing with organizations. We need to utilize these. In addition, there are many opportunities here for Ritra to develop new products and services.”
Ritra Cargo therefore uses new sector-wide data applications for data sharing as much as possible. Besides, we are involved in the development of many of these initiatives at an early stage. Our clients and other partners also benefit from this.
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