OECD: Data sharing standards a must

Data sharing An ITF study found information sharing can reduce cost, cut delivery times and generally improve resource efficiency, but data standards are needed. Credit: Pixabay

Public authorities should support the creation of open standards in maritime logistics to develop a data-sharing configuration that is useful to all players in the supply chain, the International Transport Forum (ITF) has said.

ITF’s Information Sharing for Efficient Maritime Logistics case study assessed the opportunities and challenges related to data-sharing in the maritime logistics chain and found information sharing can reduce cost, cut delivery times and generally improve resource efficiency, but the lack of industry standards for data-sharing can act as a hurdle to establishing common platforms for information sharing and collaboration.

It said that “it is important to clarify what should be standardised, whether standardisation should be publicly or industry-driven, and how the implementation of standards will be organised.”

Close collaboration

To enable faster cross-border interactions and save costs, close collaboration between public and private systems for the exchange of logistics information is needed, found the study. Maritime logistics stakeholder consultations along with pilot projects and testing will help work out best practise for setting up public-private data pipelines.

Combined efforts to providing digital solutions for stakeholder coordination could also generate efficiencies from which all participating ports benefit. This includes coordinating public and private maritime stakeholders through information platforms and more collaboration in implementing single entry points for administrative services, so-called Single Windows.

The study also concluded that governments should ensure that digitalisation in the maritime logistics chain occurs in a competitive environment and seek to maintain a balance between innovation and competition, for instance by supporting open standards in logistics.

Cyber security vulnerabilities should be closely monitored and systems put in place that limit knock-on effects throughout the entire supply chain in case of an incident. Setting minimum cyber security standards for logistics organisations and systematically raising awareness can address this issue, stated the study.

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