Creating the new reality – open standards, interoperability and governance needed

03 December 2018

As Lamia Kerdoudj-Belkaid, Secretary General of FEPORT, the Federation of European Private Port Companies and Terminals, observed at TOC Europe 2018: "Open systems and engagement of all parties, with due governance, is vital to getting value from digitalisation along maritime logistics chains and to deal with disruption." No one platform or system can ever hope to control the complex web of global trade processes, assets and infrastructure and of course we live in a competitive world where customers expect the right to choose their suppliers. So, digital interfaces across platforms and with enterprise IT are vital.

So too are governance frameworks for data exchange and coordination among public and private parties, including security, data protection and privacy.

Lack of open standards and interfaces are also seen as holding back the anticipated benefits of container terminal automation. "Terminal operators need to step up and help move the discussion forward because we really have to work on standards, interoperability and protocols as an industry so that we don’t increase the complexity of the system just for the
sake of it,” said APM Terminals COO Keith Svendson at TOC Europe 2018. 

As discussed at recent TOCs key issues in creating the new automated and digital supply chain infrastructure include.

  • Wide variety of data formats
  • Huge amount of paper and manual processes still in the system 
  • Lack of open interfaces, standards and protocols 
  • Culture and skills gap between the physical and digital worlds 
  • Unwillingness to share data for fear of losing control and value
  • Lack of resources and skills to take full advantage of new technology
  • Challenge of integrating smaller players with limited IT capabilities 
  • Balancing digital connectivity with security, commercial IP, data protection and privacy  
  • Disappointing outcomes from automation endeavours
  • Need for more clearly defined use cases
  • Cost and complexity

Industry initiatives such as TIC4.0 , an open group launched at TOC Europe 2018 by 15 global private container terminal operators and port equipment manufacturers, are looking to move the needle in creating a common ground of technical understanding and terminology to support industry standards. Other similar capacity building and research initiatives are being hosted at EU and global level by industry, NGOs and government.

TOC Events in 2019 events will once again provide a single space to hear views from multiple parties on next steps in

TOC Asia

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:

For further information regarding this release, please contact:

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Tel +44 (0) 20 8279 9403 | Email

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Suzanne Tiago, Group Marketing Manager, TOC Worldwide

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Esther White, Next Level Information

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