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Ports and terminals have unfortunately often been characterised as black holes of information, not least by cargo owners. This is despite the fact that port community systems represent some of the earliest IT initiatives to combine operational, commercial and regulatory data around import and export shipments and trade compliance.
But in the new digital economy, ports and terminal have a chance to be just as much a nexus of information flow as they are of physical cargo flow. Of course, these two facets are completely intertwined, as the CEO of PSA International pointed at TOC Asia 2018, where the port operator launched CALISTA, a digital platform blending cargo logistics, inventory management, trade compliance and finance data.
More than ever before, cargo owners, carriers and citizens care about what goes on in their ports and expect a high level of visibility. At present, that expectation is often not met. But ports are critical value nodes in trade lanes, supply chains and for the cities with which they co-exist. And the concept of the smart port should include the ability to gather, analyse and distribute data that can be turned into useful information for decision making on a host of activities that determine the efficiency of port infrastructure and services.
While digitalisation and automation are no panaceas, they may help mitigate some of the multiple current challenges facing ports – from spatial constraints, to pressure on productivity, waterfront and landside congestion, vessel
scheduling, cargo flow visibility, infrastructure and asset optimisation, fiscal constraints, environmental regulations and social pressures.
The story has only just begun and once again standardisation and collaboration will be key in defining and delivering this futuristic concept of what the port can achieve and how to do more with less.
A dialogue with the regulators – new environmental rules and data standards
An enhanced regulatory and policy focus for TOC Events in 2019 will include the supply chain-wide challenges and costs of complying with new environmental standards and climate change initiatives. That includes the imminent International Maritime Organization (IMO) 2020 cap on sulphur content in ship fuels, new emissions reporting and reduction targets, plus ongoing decarbonisation and energy efficiency efforts worldwide that will impact shipping, port operators and the whole supply chain. Technology will no doubt have a significant role to play.
TOC will also seek to facilitate important dialogue between industry, policy makers and regulators in the digital arena. How can the various parties work together to achieve a sensible balance between open connectivity, security, commercial IP and data protection and privacy?
9 – 10 April 2019
Marina Bay Sands Singapore
About TOC Worldwide
For 40 years, TOC Worldwide has provided the market-leading conference and exhibition forums for the global port and terminal industries and their customers. With a change of name to TOC Container Supply Chain, the TOC event portfolio is now evolving fast to attract a wider audience of container supply chain professionals. Taking place each year in the world’s four key shipping hubs – Europe, Middle East, Americas and Asia – each TOC is now a complete container supply chain event for its region, bringing together cargo owners, logistics providers, carriers, ports, terminals and other key members of the container supply chain to learn, debate, network and foster new business solutions.
Notes to editors:
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