Container Track and Trace data standards launched by DCSA

The Digital Container Shipping Association (DCSA), the standards group backed by industry heavyweights MSC, Maersk, CMA CGM, Hapag-Lloyd, ONE, Evergreen, Yang Ming, HMM and ZIM, has published a new set of common processes, data and interface standards for container Track and Trace (T&T) activities, which will be made available for free to all maritime stakeholders.

The DCSA T&T standard comprises an information model and interface standards that can be downloaded from the DCSA website, with the goal of enabling cross-carrier shipment tracking among all carriers, shippers and third parties that work to the standard.

The data model ensures track and trace data definitions are consistent for all users, leveraging any system. These definitions are based on the Industry Blueprint published by DCSA and its carrier members in 2019, which established a consistent vocabulary and proposed a common set of industry processes.

The T&T standards are also aligned with UN/CEFACT (United Nations Centre for Trade Facilitation and Electronic Business) standards to provide a global industry framework that preserves existing investments and streamlines communication among all supply chain participants.

“We are thrilled to introduce T&T standards for the industry that enable its customers to reduce complexity, cut costs and, over time, better manage their end-to-end supply chains,” said Thomas Bagge, CEO of DCSA.

“As DCSA standards are technology- and vendor-neutral, every organisation providing shipment tracking information to its customers today will benefit by adopting our T&T standard, because it will simplify data integration with carriers and improve information quality.”

For shippers, this new standard will simplify shipment visibility across multiple carriers, enabling them to better plan and optimise shipment handling activities. For carriers, it will unify T&T information sharing with other parties, ensuring accurate and efficient communication regardless of the underlying technology or platform.

“The ocean carrier community is enthusiastic and committed to advancing industry standards for the good of all parties,” said André Simha, Chairman of the DCSA Supervisory Board and Global Chief Digital & Information Officer of MSC.

“T&T standardisation is a huge advancement for container visibility and trade overall. Current DCSA ocean carrier membership represents 70% of the global container shipping market, and all carriers are invited to join us in collaborating to develop more efficient, automated digital container shipping. This will ensure global shipping in 2020 and beyond will benefit from digitalisation and the significant value interoperability offers.”

The DCSA T&T standard publication comprises a set of related documents: the DCSA Information Model 1.0, T&T Data Interface 1.0, DCSA-to-UN/CEFACT Data Mapping and associated Reading Guides.

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Rob O'Dwyer

Rob is Chief Network Officer and one of the founders of Smart Maritime Network. He also serves as Chairman of the Smart Maritime Council. Rob has worked in the maritime technology sector since 2005, managing editorial for a range of leading publications in the transport and logistics sector. Get in touch by email by clicking here, or on LinkedIn by clicking here.

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