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August 17 2020

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18 The Journal of Commerce | August 17 2020 www.joc.com JOC Top 50 Global Container Ports Special Report THE OPERATORS OF the ports of Rot- terdam and Singapore are working with three software providers to link with the two most prominent container data-sharing networks, promising a seamless exchange of operational data and shipment transactions. An agreement announced July 28 includes the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA), the Port of Rotterdam Authority, ter- minal operator PSA International, and software providers CargoSmart, TradeLens, and GeTS. The software providers involved in the agreement signify the impor- tance of creating interoperability between various data platforms link- ing global containerized shipments, notably TradeLens, a Maersk/ IBM-led blockchain initiative, and CargoSmart, which is developing a competitive data-sharing platform called the Global Shipping Business Network (GSBN). GeTS is a Singa- pore-based software developer that's built, along with PSA, the Port of Singapore's port community system, known as Calista. Better coordination among ports could create more efficient opera- tions at key gateways. If, for example, data around a vessel departure in Singapore and the cargo aboard the vessel is shared directly with Rot- terdam, it could theoretically allow cargo owners and their representa- tives in Rotterdam to plan earlier to retrieve their containers. Data shar- ing could also help customs agencies in both countries to align earlier. The agreement between Rot- terdam and Singapore emphasizes the need for systems, whether built for use in specific ports or those intended to link ports, to use application programming interfaces (APIs) to allow data to be shared more efficiently. "Port authorities have devel- oped or are developing maritime single windows to implement IMO's Convention on Facilitation of International Maritime Traffic to facilitate the electronic exchange of information for port clearance," MPA said in a statement. The importance of being interoperable The port authority said the data standards and API initiatives will support its digitalOCEANS initiative, "where individual data platforms of port authorities, port operators, shipping lines, logistics companies, and platform providers can exchange data and interoperate through a common set of APIs." Along with its partners, MPA will hold a series of technical workshops to design, test, and publish the API specifications, the authority said. "Different players in the mar- itime ecosystem are pursuing digitalization at varying paces," MPA chairman Niam Chiang Meng said in the statement. "To truly reap the benefits of effective informa- tion exchange, we need to move beyond digitizing single nodes in the Gateway connections Major ports begin aligning data networks with CargoSmart, TradeLens By Eric Johnson "We need to move beyond digitizing single nodes in the maritime supply chain." The ports of Singapore and Rotterdam (pictured) have shared digital best practices since 2017 in an effort to promote data sharing among ports. SBWorldphotography / Shutterstock.com

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