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Who are the readers of Shipping and Freight Resource – Update

+++ Updated post as the original post had some technical issues +++

Hey all, I need your help.. 

As many of you may know, I started this resource in 2008 primarily as a medium to share the knowledge and experience that I gained on the job in the industry in the form of educational content..

Over the years, this resource has been viewed 18.5 million+ times by over 11 million+ readers, and over 46,000 of you have subscribed to receive my articles by email..

Thanks to this support, the resource has evolved into a niche resource providing not only quality educational content but also selected industry news, market insights, interactive discussions, and executive insights.

Throughout this journey, many of you have interacted with me personally and online through your comments and know a bit about me, but there is a lot I need to know about YOU – my readers..

To understand my readership and your needs better, I have put together 5 simple questions.. I invite you to click this link to answer these questions..

The form has only 3 mandatory questions and 2 optional questions.. The optional questions are about how this resource has helped you and any specific/special topics you would like me to cover..

Several articles have been written and training courses conducted based on some previous responses so please do complete these 2 optional questions as well..

If you see “Sign in to Google to save your progress. Learn more” on the form you can ignore it.. You can complete the questionnaire without signing in.. If you have already taken this questionnaire, thank you.. 

Your feedback is very valuable to me to improve the content of this resource, and it will also help others understand and learn more..

Let’s get to know each other.. 🙂

Who are the readers of Shipping and Freight Resource

Hey all, I need your help.. 

As many of you may know, I started this resource in 2008 primarily as a medium to share the knowledge and experience that I gained on the job in the industry in the form of educational content..

Over the years, this resource has been viewed 18.5 million+ times by over 11 million+ readers, and over 46,000 of you have subscribed to receive my articles by email..

Thanks to this support, the resource has evolved into a niche resource providing not only quality educational content but also selected industry news, market insights, interactive discussions, and executive insights.

Throughout this journey, many of you have interacted with me personally and online through your comments and know a bit about me, but there is a lot I need to know about YOU – my readers..

To understand my readership and your needs better, I have put together 5 simple questions.. I invite you to click this link to answer these questions..

The form has only 3 mandatory questions and 2 optional questions.. The optional questions are about how this resource has helped you and any specific/special topics you would like me to cover..

Several articles have been written and training courses conducted based on some previous responses so please do complete these 2 optional questions as well..

If you see “Sign in to Google to save your progress. Learn more” on the form you can ignore it.. You can complete the questionnaire without signing in..

Your feedback is very valuable to me to improve the content of this resource, and it will also help others understand and learn more..

Let’s get to know each other.. 🙂

Navigating the Uncertain Future of Green Fuel in Global Shipping Operations

International shipping keeps the global economy afloat, transporting billions of dollars of cargo daily. However, these operations come at a steep environmental cost, as the industry remains one of the largest drivers of human-caused climate change

Biobased diesel and other green fuel alternatives have emerged as a possible solution to reducing the sector’s massive carbon footprint, but widespread adoption isn’t happening quickly enough. Furthermore, the recent EPA ruling on biofuel volume requirements casts uncertainties about the viability of a net-zero transition in global shipping in the coming years. 

What does this mean for the industry? Is there a way to mitigate the increasingly damaging effects of everyday operations?

International Shipping’s Growing Climate Impact 

The commercial shipping sector emits 1 billion tons of CO2 yearly, translating to around 3% of global emissions. However, this figure could go as high as 10% by 2050 if current processes remain unchanged. Getting the industry to net zero in line with global sustainability goals will be a massive challenge, especially as demand for international goods continues to rise. 

As things stand, the primary focus for decarbonizing shipping comes down to the type of fuel used and its associated carbon footprint. Bunker fuels like heavy fuel oil and marine diesel oil are an environmental nightmare, and only by replacing them with cleaner alternatives can the industry take a meaningful step toward a greener future. Many clean shipping fuels already exist, but a full-scale transition can only occur with a government mandate.

The EPA’s Final Renewable Fuels Standards Rule for 2023-2025

On June 21, 2023, the EPA announced its final rule on blending volumes and standards for various biofuels, including biomass-based diesel, cellulosic biofuel and advanced biofuel. Among these options, biomass-based diesel presents the most viability for adoption in the industry. The problem is the EPA capped its volume target at 3.04 and 3.35 billion gallons for 2024 and 2025, respectively. 

Naturally, the news was met with backlash from green fuel advocates, who expected much higher volumes, especially since biobased diesel production already exceeded 3 billion gallons in 2023. The expectation was that the blending volume would continually go up over the next few years to edge closer to established net-zero requirements. 

The announcement was also disappointing to agricultural processing companies who stood to benefit from the anticipated increase in demand for oilseed, fat and grease feedstocks — key ingredients in biofuel production. 

At this point, the prevailing sentiment is that the government needs to do more to promote the widespread production and utilization of green fuels. While the outlook appears bleak, the EPA ruling is not necessarily a negative development. The projected output is falling short, but these estimates are for up to 2025 only. Subsequent years may have much higher figures, especially as the calls to mitigate climate change across all sectors grow louder.

What Needs to Happen to Reach Net-Zero Shipping Emissions?

Transitioning from fossil fuels for shipping operations is the single most important action for decreasing the industry’s emissions. However, it won’t be easy, as currently available alternatives still present significant limitations. For example, many ships now run on liquefied natural gas (LNG), which has a 25% lower CO2 emission than conventional shipping fuels but is a notorious methane emitter. 

Unstable diesel prices, driven by seasonal fluctuations in demand and supply of heating oil, add to the complication. Price instability makes establishing a benchmark for cost-value analyses to justify biofuel production and distribution challenging. If it doesn’t make business sense to switch to green fuels, producers will remain hesitant to make the move. Such a transition isn’t economically feasible at the moment, considering biodiesel costs 70%-130% higher than regular fuels. 

What About Zero-Emissions Fuels? 

Ammonia and hydrogen are the most promising zero-emission alternatives on the market, but scalability remains a key challenge. These fuels have yet to enter the global shipping energy supply line, primarily due to their unique limitations. 

Using ammonia as shipping fuel presents potential safety concerns because of its high toxicity levels. As a highly corrosive agent, it might be unwise to use it to travel across rough seas, especially over long distances. Hydrogen is a promising solution, but it is flammable and must be stored at cryogenic temperatures — two distinct properties that make it unsuitable for lengthy, volatile voyages. 

These safety concerns and the costs of retrofitting the ship to accommodate the fuels and train the crews are deployment barriers. 

Electric battery packs are another excellent zero-emission option, but current systems can only power short-distance travel. The best-case scenario is to use them in combination with other fuels, similar to how hybrid vehicles operate in road transport. 

What Does the Future Hold for Biofuels?

The EPA’s biofuel volume requirements ruling may be regarded as a setback for green fuel adoption, but it’s likely only a temporary bump in the grand scheme of things. Given the increasing clamor for decarbonization and eco-conscious practices sweeping the globe, the future of biofuels looks promising.

Potential growth and market expansion will be the main drivers of the green fuel revolution. Despite the EPA ruling, global demand and use cases of biofuels continue to climb. The International Energy Agency estimates the growth to reach 41 billion liters by 2026, just one year after the coverage period for the current Renewable Fuels Standards Rule. 

Continued technological advancements, such as tailored microorganisms and enhanced feedstock crops, are also essential for widespread biofuel adoption. Effective collaborations between policymakers, researchers and industry stakeholders will drive the transition to a sustainable energy future.

Green Fuel Is the Key to Sustainable Global Shipping Operations

Biomass-based diesel and other clean energy fuels are critical to tackling anthropogenic climate change in international shipping. Current adoption levels aren’t progressing at the expected pace, but it’s only a matter of time. A net-zero shipping industry is possible, and the future may not be as uncertain as it appears.

Disparity in rates sought and offered could delay TransPacific contracts – Dimerco

“The global economy is in a delicate balancing act, teetering between growth and inflation” – this seems to be the crux of Dimerco’s Asia-Pacific Freight Market Report for April to May 2024.

The findings in this report highlight significant trends and challenges that are shaping the freight market in this critical region.

Inflation and Global Economic Stability

According to the Dimerco report, the Global Manufacturing PMI rose from 50.3 in February to 50.6 in March 2024, indicating a slight uptick in manufacturing activities which is a positive sign. However, it comes with the caveat of rising prices, particularly in the service sector, driving inflation.

In the US, inflation has surged beyond expectations, with headline inflation at 3.5% and core inflation at 3.8% forcing the Federal Reserve to reconsider its plans for interest rate cuts, likely pushing them back to later in the year.

China and India are showing robust growth, with PMI readings above 50, indicating expansion while countries like Taiwan and Japan are facing contraction, with PMIs below 50.

This variance highlights the uneven recovery across the Asia Pacific region, reflecting different levels of economic resilience and challenges.

Waves of change in the ocean sector

Although there was a surge in new container ship deliveries in March with a capacity of 260,000 TEUs delivered, the Dimerco report speaks to a widening rate gap for transpacific shipments. It suggests that the disparity between the rates sought by Beneficial Cargo Owners (BCOs) and those offered by the carriers could potentially delay contract renewals in 2024.

The report suggests that “Situations such as potential disruptions in the Red Sea, a looming strike at US East Coast and Gulf Coast ports by ILA in October & November, and the US presidential election in November are expected to keep FAK floating rates elevated,” making 2024 a challenging year for negotiations.

The Asia-Pacific freight market in April-May 2024, as detailed in Dimerco’s report, showcases the resilience and complexity of global trade. By understanding the current landscape and anticipating future shifts, we can better prepare for the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead.

To receive the full report, please contact

Gitte Willemsens
PR & Brand Communications Director
CHARLIE PESTI
Gitte.w@pesti.io

About Dimerco Express Group

Dimerco Express Group integrates air and ocean freight, trade compliance and contract logistics services to help companies compete and win through superior global logistics. The majority of the company’s logistics projects connect Asia’s logistics and manufacturing hubs with each other, and with North America and Europe.

This focus makes Dimerco the premier global 3PL at connecting Asia with the world. Founded as an air freight forwarder in Taiwan in 1971, Dimerco now serves customers from 150+ Dimerco offices, 80 contract logistics operations, and 200+ strategic partner agents throughout China, India, Asia Pacific, North America, and Europe.

For further information about Dimerco and its initiatives, please visit https://dimerco.com/

6 tips to avoid the consequences of incorrect Incoterms®usage

Ever since its introduction in 1936, Incoterms® has been a paradox to many buyers, sellers, traders, freight forwarders, shipping lines, and other stakeholders who use it in global trade..

The Incoterms® rules facilitate the conduct of global trade.. By referencing Incoterms® rules in a sales contract, the parties to the contract can clearly outline and define their respective obligations as far as transfer of risk, cost allocation, arrangement of transport, and customs clearance..

There are several consequences of using the incorrect Incoterms® and users need to fully comprehend what it means when they put a three-letter Incoterms® rule into their sales contract..

Emily O’Connor, Director of Trade and Investment for the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), went as far as to say that “people will frequently choose the wrong Incoterms® rule for their transaction”..

Here are 6 tips to avoid the consequences of incorrect Incoterms®usage..

1) Use appropriate rules for the chosen mode of transport

FOB (Free On Board), one of the Incoterms® rules, was designed to be used only for sea or inland waterway transport wherein the seller delivers the goods on board the vessel nominated by the buyer at the named port of load..

The risk of loss or damage to the goods passes from the seller to the buyer when the goods are on board the vessel and thereon..

Although it is clear that FOB is suitable only for cargoes where the shipper delivers the goods such as Bulk or Break Bulk on board the ship, many customers still use FOB rules for containerized goods as well..

This is incorrect as containerized cargoes are delivered to a container terminal where it is received under the control of the carrier and not received on board the ship.. In this case, FCA would be the appropriate term to be used..

The incorrect usage of FOB in containerized cargoes has been and is quite prevalent across the world.. As a consequence of this incorrect usage, the seller is exposing themselves to unnecessary risks and costs..

2) Understand the allocation of costs and risks between the buyer and seller

Although the Incoterms® rules clearly outline the allocation of costs and risks between the buyer and seller, there are often several disputes around the costs and risks such as whether in FOB or FCA rules the bill of lading costs are for the seller or buyer..

Even certain statutory and seemingly straightforward charges such as THC (Terminal Handling Charges) have led to disputes as the quantum of THCs and its application varies from port to port.. In some ports, the carriers may offer a Free Out option while in some ports, it could be levied separately..

Another example is in CIF and CIP rules, both parties need to understand the extent of the cargo insurance coverage required..

Incoterms® 2020 rules require specified levels of cover like “limited insurance cover complying with Institute Cargo Clauses (C) or similar clause” under CIF and “extensive insurance cover complying with Institute Cargo Clauses (A) or similar clause” under CIP..

A lack of understanding of such requirements can lead to cost disputes and/or delays to the shipment itself which could impact the delivery time..

3) Reflect the version of Incoterms® rules agreed upon

While the latest Incoterms® 2020 is the version recommended by the ICC, parties can use a different version of the Incoterms® if they so choose..

However, they need to ensure that the year and version of the chosen Incoterms® rules is reflected clearly in their sales contract – for example – Incoterms® 2020..

Why, because different versions have different requirements.. For example, the below items have been changed in Incoterms® 2020 rules compared to the previous Incoterms® 2010 version..

  • Bills of lading with an on-board notation and the FCA Incoterms® rule
  • Costs, where they are listed
  • Different levels of insurance cover in CIF and CIP
  • Arranging for carriage with seller’s or buyer’s own means of transport in FCA, DAP, DPU, and DDP
  • Change in the three-letter initials for DAT to DPU
  • Inclusion of security-related requirements within carriage obligations and costs

If the year and version of the Incoterms® are left out, it could be open to interpretation and a judge, or an arbitrator will not be able to determine which version of the rules applies to the contract..

This will cause further costs and delays in the completion of the transaction..

4) Be geographically specific on origin and destination

It is very very important to be geographically specific when agreeing on the place of origin or destination..

For example, in a DAP transaction, if the delivery location is said to be DAP Mumbai, it leaves a lot for interpretation as Mumbai is a huge city..

The buyer based in Mumbai may be expecting the goods to be delivered to a place outside the central business district whereas the seller may have interpreted it differently and this could result in additional trucking costs and risks as it varies by areas..

In a FOB sale, not specifying the port or terminal of loading could leave it open to interpretation and if the cargo is already delivered to the wrong port/terminal it will result in massive cost implications and delays..

It is therefore best to be as geographically specific as possible in naming the port, place, or point, as the case may be, in the chosen Incoterms® rules..

5) Understand what Incoterms® rules DO and DOES NOT do

It is particularly important for the users to understand what the Incoterms® rules DO and DOES NOT do..

What the Incoterms® rules DO

Incoterms® rules describe:

  • Obligations between seller and buyer such as who organises carriage or insurance of the goods or who obtains shipping documents and export or import licences;
  • Where and when risk transfers from seller to buyer; and
  • Which party is responsible for what costs between the buyer and seller such as carriage costs, packaging, loading/unloading or security and others.. In terms of costs, as per the Incoterms® rules, A articles represents the seller’s obligations and B articles represents the buyer’s obligations..

What the Incoterms® rules DO NOT do

It is important that the users understand that the Incoterms® rules

  • Is NOT the Contract of Sale and does not apply to any specific cargoes or mode of transport.. It is included in the sales contract relating to the trade transaction irrespective of what the declared cargo is..
  • Does not specify or deal with the time, place, method, or currency of payment relating to the sale price.. This forms part of the contract of sale..
  • Does not deal with any legal, political, regulatory, sanctions, prohibitions, tariffs, or intellectual property matters..
  • Does not dictate or deal with the transfer of ownership or title of the goods nor is it a remedy for any contract or performance breaches..
  • Does not consider any aspect of force majeure, issues relating to delays, or other hardships
  • Does not deal with any method, place, or laws for the resolution of any disputes that may arise
  • Does not provide the applicable law, which might be covered by international agreements like the CISG, or domestic laws related to health, safety, or the environment

Users must be very clear on these aspects as incorrect assumptions or interpretations of the rules will result in additional costs and delays..

6) Choose the rules that suit the requirements of the business

The seller and buyer must understand the nature of the business in each other’s countries and agree on the rules and regulations prevailing in their respective countries and what can and cannot be done..

Choosing Incoterms® rules without understanding the rules and regulations in the origin and destination countries could result in unnecessary costs and delays..

For example, DDP rules place maximum responsibility on the seller.. Under these terms, the seller is responsible for paying import duty and all applicable taxes till delivery..

Therefore, the seller must be sure that they understand the requirements and be confident that they can undertake all these responsibilities..

Failure to do so could jeopardize the transaction adding to additional costs, risks, delays, and potential loss of future business..

On the other extreme, EXW places maximum responsibility on the buyer, and under these terms, the buyer is responsible from the time of loading of the goods at the seller’s premises including completing export clearance procedures which the buyer may not be au fait with..

Therefore, the buyer must be sure that they understand the requirements and are confident that they can undertake all these responsibilities..

Conclusion

Incoterms® rules were created to address the risk of misunderstanding and costly disputes in domestic and global trade where sale contracts may not have been adequately drafted..

As the volume and complexity of global trade increases, so does the possibility of incorrect usage of Incoterms® rules..

As per the International Chamber of Commerce, the latest version of the Incoterms®, which is the Incoterms® 2020 rules, seeks to “offer a simpler and clearer presentation of all the rules, featuring revised language, an expanded introduction, explanatory notes, and articles reordered to better reflect the logic of a sale transaction“..

I hope these tips will help avoid costly consequences due to the usage of incorrect Incoterms®..


The article has been republished with some critical updates

25% increase in container volumes for Port of Los Angeles in 2024 compared to 2023

The Port of Los Angeles experienced a busy April 2024, handling 770,337 container units representing a 12% increase compared to 2023 making it the 9th consecutive month of year-over-year growth at the busiest container port in the USA.

As for the yearly volumes in the first 4 months of 2024, the Port of Los Angeles processed 3,150,841 TEUs across its various terminals representing nearly 25% more in volume than in 2023.

This figure also represents a 5% higher throughput than the Port’s five-year average from 2019, including two years of pandemic where the port handled record volumes.

Announcing these figures at a media briefing, Gene Seroka, Executive Director of the Port of Los Angeles said “All our vital operational statistics at the Port of Los Angeles are at or better than pre-COVID levels. I’ve been urging shippers to take advantage of our fluid terminals and excess capacity. We’re ready to upscale on demand as we move into the second half of 2024.

Seroka was joined at the Port’s media briefing by Daniel Hackett of Hackett Associates, which produces a rolling six-month forecast of imports from 16 major container ports across North America. Hackett shared insights into the rise of West Coast cargo volumes over the past year and the outlook for a traditional “peak season” shipping season later this year.

As per port statistics, the Port of Los Angeles handled 416,929 import TEUs in April 2024, up 21% compared to April 2023 the previous year, and 133,046 export TEUs, an increase of 51% compared to April 2023 making April 2024 the 11th consecutive month of year-over-year export gains. The Port processed 220,262 empty containers, a 14% decrease compared to 2023.

The Port of Los Angeles is North America’s leading trade gateway and has ranked as the No. 1 container port in the United States for 24 consecutive years. In 2023, the Port generated $292 billion in trade and handled a total of 8.6 million container units, sustaining its top rank among ports in the USA.

Special Containers & its Cargoes – OOG/Reefer – A Refresher

The ubiquitous shipping container recently celebrated its 68th birthday and has become the lifeblood of global trade..

Around 866 million TEUs were shipped globally in 2023 with the volume projected to reach 988 million TEUs by 2027..

As we know, there are several different types of containers in the container fleet of the various shipping lines..

  1. Dry Van or General-Purpose Containers (Standard & High-Cube)
  2. Open Top Containers (Soft Top & Hard Top)
  3. Flat Rack Containers (Fixed End, Collapsible/Platform, Super-Rack)
  4. Tank Containers
  5. Refrigerated (Reefer) Containers
  6. Side Door Containers
  7. Bulktainers
  8. Various other custom containers

The wide spectrum of cargoes shipped in containers across the world on almost every container ship includes a diverse array of special cargoes such as Out of Gauge (OOG) and Refrigerated (Reefer) cargoes..

They are termed as special cargoes and special containers because these require particular attention due to their unique cargo handling, storage needs, permits, approvals, equipment, regulations, and documentation..

Out of gauge Cargo (OOG)

OOG cargo is cargo that cannot fit into a normal GP container as it exceeds the dimensions of the GP container in terms of length, width, and/or height.. (View the “generic” container dimensions)

OOG cargo is carried in Open Top containers (OT) or Flat Racks (FR), due to the nature and size of the cargo..

Open Top Containers – This type of container is used for loading cargoes that are over-high like machinery, vehicles, tyres (see below), steel coils etc..

Special Containers & its Cargoes – OOG/Reefer
Image: Hapag Lloyd

It is also used for in-gauge cargoes that cannot be easily loaded through the door and need to be loaded from the top (like glass)..

Special Containers & its Cargoes – Open Tops - OOG/Reefer
Image: Hapag Lloyd

Flat Rack Containers – Mainly used for cargo that exceeds the width (referred to as over-width) or height (over-high).. If the cargo is just over-width or over-height, fixed-end flat racks can be used where the ends of the container are fixed and cannot be folded..

There are also collapsible flat racks or platform containers where the ends of the container can be collapsed to form a platform and cargo is loaded on top of it..

Special Containers & its Cargoes – Flat Racks - OOG/Reefer
Image: Hapag Lloyd

Both fixed-end and collapsible flat racks are used in combination to load cargo that is over-width, over-length, and/or over-high.. Big machinery, heavy equipment, project cargo, large vehicles on tracks, boats, big reels, etc are loaded on this type of container..

Platforms are also used underdeck of the container ship to load oversized cargo across several containers, like below..

Special Containers & its Cargoes – OOG/Reefer
Image: CMA CGM

Super-racks are another type of flat rack with a difference in that in a Super Rack container, the corner posts can be extended upwards to increase the height to cater to high cargo as shown below..

Special Containers & its Cargoes – OOG/Reefer
Image: CMA CGM

Reefer (Refrigerated) Cargo

Although these cargoes and containers have become a regular feature on many container ships, reefer containers are considered special due to the many requirements for the perishable cargo carried on these containers..

A refrigerated container or reefer container is a shipping container used for the transportation of temperature-sensitive cargo..

A reefer container has its own integral and inbuilt refrigeration unit but its also relies on external power, from electrical power points at a land-based site, a container ship, or on a quay..

Special Containers & its Cargoes – Reefer Containers - OOG/Reefer
Image: Hapag Lloyd

When transported over the road on a trailer these reefer containers are powered by generators (“gensets”) clipped onto the reefer container on road journeys..

Reefer containers are used to carry many cargoes that are sensitive to temperature changes and require a temperature-controlled environment.. Examples include Frozen Meat, Fresh Produce, Fruits, Vegetables, certain Chemicals, Photo films etc..

perishable cargo in reefer containers - shipping and freight resource

Reefer containers have also evolved to be smart, capable of providing real-time tracking and information relating to humidity, and temperature settings, and is also used in Cold Treatment Sterilisation for shipment of fresh produce..

Conclusion

The shipping industry’s ability to adapt to the requirements of special cargoes through technological innovations in container design is a testament to its crucial role in global trade..

Each type of special cargo and container solution exemplifies the intricate and fascinating world of global trade, shipping, freight, and logistics, highlighting the industry’s adaptability and technological advancements in facing modern shipping challenges..

Understanding the specific needs and appropriate shipping methods for OOG and Reefer cargoes not only enhances logistical efficiency but also minimizes the risk of damage, ensuring that goods arrive at their destinations safely and in optimal condition..

As global trade continues to evolve, so will the technologies and methodologies employed to transport these critical cargoes across the world’s oceans.. The industry is continually innovating to meet the demands of transporting these complex cargoes as these cargoes form essential components for many industries..


Article republished after critical updates

International Day for Women in Maritime to highlight women’s role in maritime safety

Women’s crucial role in shipping and ensuring maritime safety will be celebrated worldwide on this year’s International Day for Women in Maritime.

Observed globally each year on 18 May, International Day for Women in Maritime (IDWIM) aims to promote the recruitment, retention, and empowerment of women in the sector, as well as a barrier-free work environment.

IMO Symposium on Safe Horizons

Ahead of the day, the International Maritime Organization (IMO) will host an international symposium on Friday, 17 May at IMO headquarters in London, under the theme ‘Safe Horizons: Women Shaping the Future of Maritime Safety.’ The event will be livestreamed on IMO’s Youtube Channel.

The symposium will feature a line-up of distinguished seafarers, maritime professionals, and maritime leaders who will speak about reframing maritime safety through a woman’s lens, and how to implement a holistic approach to safety at sea, taking into account gender considerations. (See full programme)

IMO Secretary-General, Mr. Arsenio Dominguez said:

“The goal is not just to honour women’s successes but also to advocate for equal opportunities and to unlock the full potential that a diverse workplace offers, to shine a spotlight and raise awareness on the challenges they face: discrimination, disparities, and limitations with regards to career opportunities. 

“The maritime sector offers a multitude of prospects for women, spanning from seafaring to engineering, from law to logistics, and beyond… We must lead by example, serving as role models striving to create inclusive, empowering and safe work environments for women.” 

Gender equality has been a longstanding focus for IMO. Only 29% of the overall maritime workforce and only 20% of the workforce of national maritime authorities are women. Women make up less than 2% of seafarers worldwide.

To highlight solutions, the event will feature the Diversity@Sea project by the All Aboard Alliance. The project involves 11 shipping companies each piloting a series of measures onboard one of the vessels in their fleet to promote inclusivity, including being crewed by at least four women.

IMO Gender Equality Award

To conclude the symposium, the first-ever IMO Gender Quality Award will be handed to Ms. Despina Panayiotou Theodosiou of Cyprus, former President of the Women’s International Shipping and Trading Association (WISTA International).

Ms Theodosiou was selected by the IMO Council in November 2023 for her work to advance gender equality and empower women throughout her tenure as President of WISTA International.

The IMO Council also commended the following nominees:

  • Mr. Mikael Skov (Denmark), CEO of Hafnia
  • Ms. Sanjam Sahi Gupta (India), Founder of MaritimeSheEO and WISTA chapters in India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Georgia, and Malaysia (she will be present on the day)
  • Commodore Amit Srivastava (India), Indian Navy (he will be present on the day)
  • Ms. Eunjung Heo (Republic of Korea)
  • Ms. Camille Dyan A. Simbulan (Philippines), Head of Communications and Special Projects for Women and Youth of the Associated Marine Officers and Seamen’s Union of the Philippines (AMOSUP).

The annual IMO Gender Equality Award was created in 2023 to recognize individuals who have made significant contributions to advancing gender equality and the empowerment of women in the maritime sector.

Watch the Secretary-General’s full IDWIM video message.

The IMO invites the maritime community to share pictures of maritime safety through a woman’s lens on social media, using the hashtag #WomenInMaritimeDay. Please tag @IMOHQ on X formerly Twitter; LinkedIn; Instagram; and Facebook.

Find out more about the event: International Day for Women in Maritime 2024 (imo.org)

Are you still dependent on the carrier to send the cargo arrival notification..??

When we talk about cargo arrival notification, one contentious issue has been raging for years for both carriers and customers..

Back in 2012, I took a deep dive into the question of whether a carrier is liable if they didn’t send the cargo arrival notification to the consignee/notify..

Fast forward to 2024, the rise of real-time tracking platforms, IoT service providers, and smart containers has changed the visibility landscape dramatically putting the power in the hands of the customer..

Today, customers have unprecedented access to their cargo’s whereabouts, courtesy of carrier portals and independent tracking providers giving rise to the question of whether carriers are still the gatekeepers of this crucial cargo arrival information or whether technology has made this requirement redundant..??

The new question to the customer is, In this era of real-time track and trace, do you still rely on carriers for arrival updates, or do you have a trusted alternative at your fingertips..?? If so, what is your most trusted and go-to source of information..??

Take this quick poll and add your comment in the comments column at the end of this article if you have any additional information..

Question: Are you still dependent on the carrier for container arrival notification..??

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The back story of the question of carrier’s liability for arrival notification

As we know, the bill of lading has the Consignee and Notify fields, the details of which are provided/updated by the shipper or booking party to the carrier as part of the bill of lading instructions..

The Consignee field will have the name and address details of the actual owner, buyer, end user, bank, freight forwarder, or agent or it could just say “To Order” depending on the type of bill of lading that is issued..

Being named the consignee on the bill of lading comes with the risk and responsibility of being held accountable for many issues such as non-clearance of cargoes, late clearance, cargo abandonment, claims etc..

The Notify field on the other hand may be the details of the entity who should be notified of the arrival of the cargo.. This could be the actual buyer or receiver of the goods, clearing and forwarding agent, trader, or agent.. The Cargo Arrival Notification is sent to this notify party..

The carrier/agents at a port of discharge usually follow the above information provided by the shipper and send out Arrival Notifications to the Consignee and/or Notify..

So in terms of the question “Is a carrier liable for any costs if they don’t send the arrival notification for import cargo..??” the answer from the carrier’s perspective, would be that “they are not liable”..

From a carrier’s perspective, they only send an arrival notification as a “service to the customer” and are not obligated to do so legally.. This is displayed clearly in most bills of lading, usually next to the Notify Party field like the below example from a Hapag Lloyd bill of lading..

Are you still dependent on the shipping line to send container arrival notification..??
Image : Hapag Lloyd Bill of Lading

The relevant clauses can be found on the reverse of the bill of lading (Terms and Conditions)..

20. Notification and Delivery (Hapag Lloyd)
(1) Any failure to give notification of the arrival of the goods shall not involve the Carrier in any liability nor relieve the Merchant of any obligation hereunder.

or

22. Notification, Discharge and Delivery (Maersk)
22.1 Any mention in this bill of lading of parties to be notified of the arrival of the Goods is solely for information of the Carrier. Failure to give such notification shall not involve the Carrier in any liability nor relieve the Merchant of any obligation hereunder.

As per the carrier, the ultimate customer or their agents have the responsibility to track and follow up on their shipment..

The new question therefore is, in this era of real-time track and trace, do you still rely on carriers for arrival updates..?? Or do you have a trusted technological alternative at your fingertips..?? 

Unveiling ASCM CONNECT 2024 – Europe – A Supply Chain Must-Attend Event

5 Reasons You Don’t Want to Miss ASCM CONNECT 2024: Europe

Are you ready to immerse yourself in the vibrant world of supply chain management right in the heart of Europe?

ASCM is proud to present ASCM CONNECT 2024 – Europe, a two-day conference set to take place on 4-5 June in Brussels.

With a lineup boasting 40 speakers, hundreds of supply chain professionals, 24 educational sessions, seven interactive Connection Cafés, four enlightening panel discussions, and endless networking opportunities, this event promises an unparalleled experience.

Here are five compelling reasons why you simply cannot afford to miss ASCM CONNECT 2024 – Europe.

1) Stay Ahead with Trend Insights – Stay abreast of the latest supply chain trends and gain valuable insights into those on the horizon. Keynote speaker Chris Southworth, secretary general of ICC United Kingdom and a leading international expert in creating modern digital trade ecosystems, will share his insights about global trade and supply chain. In addition, a panel of global trade experts will discuss current trends.

Explore ASCM’s Top 10 Supply Chain Trends in 2024, covering crucial topics such as digital transformation, artificial intelligence, supply chain resilience, and circular supply chains.

2) Exclusive Peek into Supply Chain Strategies – Ever wondered how other organizations tackle supply chain challenges, optimize supply chain networks through design and simulation, and adopt an integrated business planning process?

ASCM CONNECT 2024 – Europe offers an exclusive opportunity to learn firsthand from industry leaders. Discover strategies from entities like Rohde & Schwarz, Etex, Korea Research Institute for Human Settlements, Takeda, and Kellanova’s Pringles brand.

Plus, don’t miss an exclusive facility tour of the Pringles Mechelen manufacturing plant, the second-largest Pringles factory globally.

3) Find Solutions to Your Challenges – With years of experience under their belt, our presenters are equipped to help you navigate through your company’s supply chain challenges.

Dive into presentations and panel discussions covering topics such as building resilience, supporting sustainability, and leveraging supply chain maturity assessments for growth and innovation. Don’t forget to attend the pre-conference SCOR Use Case Symposium for an in-depth exploration of the SCOR DS Orchestrate process.

4) Network with Industry Leaders – Connect with top supply chain professionals from across Europe and beyond during our engaging Connection Cafés. Discuss approaches to various supply chain topics and build lasting relationships. From welcome receptions to live band parties, there are countless opportunities to connect one-on-one throughout the conference.

5) Invest in Your Future – ASCM CONNECT 2024 – Europe is not just another conference—it’s the premier event for supply chain management this year. Join us and return home armed with insights that will propel both your career and your organization forward. Just ask last year’s attendees, who raved about the insightful sessions and meaningful connections they made.

Don’t miss your chance to be part of this transformative experience. Register now for ASCM CONNECT 2024 – Europe at connect-eu.ascm.org and elevate your supply chain expertise to new heights.

Please feel free to use this promo code – ASCMEU300 which gives you EUR300 off the registration price.

Last year’s attendees raved about their experience.

Insightful educational sessions, thought-provoking discussions, great peer connections,” said Fazlur Rahman, head of global demand planning and digital planning transformation at The Kraft Heinz Co. “It was a pleasure to participate in ASCM CONNECT: Europe.

Katarina Toth, Europe, Africa, and Middle East P&S operations enabling lead at Syngenta, added “I not only had a chance to get insights about how to become a transformative leader, but I also had the opportunity to have meaningful conversations with the speakers and other participants.

All that’s missing is you

Don’t miss this chance to be enlightened and inspired by the best supply chain education in the world. To learn more about ACSM CONNECT 2024: Europe or to register, visit connect-eu.ascm.org.

Strategy and Execution in Supply Chain – What is it, and how to bridge the gap

I recently wrote an article on how businesses can bridge the gap between strategy and execution for CargoNow and how these challenges can be tackled, enhancing strategies, and effectively executing plans to improve their supply chains..

The article provides a comprehensive look at the tools and methodologies emerging to ensure that supply chains survive future disruptions and thrive amidst them..

As we all know, the term “supply chain” was catapulted into the mainstream conversation around 2020-2021, mainly spurred by COVID-19..

As the pandemic unfolded, it also unraveled the complexities of global supply chains, the disruptions they can face, the current challenges in the industry, etc, thrusting it into the spotlight and making it a focal point in households and boardrooms alike..

The sudden visibility or interest was not just due to the disruptions, it was also a wake-up call as consumers and the market became acutely aware of the fragility and significance of supply chains due to extensive media coverage of various disruptions..

These included port congestion, container shortages, skyrocketing freight rates, and severe imbalances between supply and demand.. These issues, compounded by job losses and harsh conditions for seafarers, painted a stark picture of the sector’s challenges..

But, as often happens in times of crisis, these challenges also unveiled significant opportunities within the industry..

COVID-19, while primarily a global health and economic crisis, inadvertently elevated the profile of the supply chain industry, demonstrating vividly how integral supply chains are to the functioning of businesses and daily consumer life..

It also underscored the need for robust strategies to manage these complex systems effectively and highlighted the critical gaps between strategy and execution generating conversations on how businesses can bridge these gaps and enhance the resilience and efficiency of their supply chains..

While the benefits of Supply Chain Optimization Technology are undeniable and it is rapidly evolving with innovative technologies and applications emerging all the time, there is a significant gap between supply chain strategy and execution creating a lot of problems for the stakeholders..

Webinar with FMC Commissioner Bentzel – Update on Maritime Data and Compliance

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We are excited to invite you to an exclusive webinar with Commissioner Carl Bentzel of FMC on the 13th of May 2024 at 10:00 US ET in discussion with Hariesh Manaadiar.

This webinar is inspired by Commissioner Bentzel’s recent call to action, emphasizing the need for an industry-wide shift towards more data-driven and efficient practices.

This webinar will

  1. Provide the market with an update on the activities of FMC in the digital/maritime space since the last session with Commissioner Bentzel in 2021.
  2. Delve into the development and impacts of the Maritime Transportation Data Initiative (MTDI), and its statuses including the new RFI..
  3. Discuss digitalization in practice especially relating to digital documents and payment platforms and its benefits and mitigation of demurrage and detention for carriers and customers..
  4. Discuss barriers to digital adoption and enhancing industry compliance.
  5. Analyze recent developments in the maritime sector, and its economic impacts, facilitating a better understanding of the evolving market dynamics.

Why You Should Attend

This webinar offers a remarkable opportunity to interact directly with leaders at the forefront of shaping maritime policies and practices and gain firsthand knowledge that could transform your approach to maritime logistics.

Whether you want to learn how to enhance operational efficiency, navigate regulatory landscapes, or stay updated with the maritime industry’s latest trends, this webinar is for you.

Register Today and Transform Tomorrow

Register now for the webinar and do not miss this opportunity to be part of a discussion that could redefine the norms of maritime logistics.

Register for Live Webinar with FMC Commissioner Carl Bentzel and Hariesh Manaadiar

 

 

Executive Insights with Pamela Mar of ICC DSI on Digital Standards in Global Trade

As we have seen in the recent past, there has been a lot of realization and understanding in the industry about the crucial role that data and document standards play in the shipping, freight, and global trade industries..

Data and document standards are helping the industry to streamline operations, enhance transparency, improve efficiency, and drive digital transformation..

The importance of these standards cannot be overstated, as they directly impact the effectiveness and reliability of the global supply chain..

Shipping and Freight Resource caught up with Pamela Mar, Managing Director of the International Chamber of Commerce’s Digital Standards Initiative (#ICCDSI) fresh from the successful launch of the Final Report on the Key Trade Documents and Data Elements (KTDDE) in London..

The ICC DSI is a global initiative based in Singapore, backed by an international Governance Board comprising leaders from the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), Enterprise Singapore, the Asian Development Bank, the World Trade Organisation, and the World Customs Organisation..

SFR: Congratulations on the launch of the KTDDE project, Pamela.. Could you start by explaining the mission and objectives of this initiative..??

PM: Thank you! The KTDDE project is focused on simplicity, standardization, and alignment in digital trade standards. Our goal is to create an integrated, open digital trade ecosystem where plug-and-play data sharing is the norm.

This requires a unified approach to standards and data terms. This initiative brings together various stakeholders to commit to interoperability and data alignment, enhancing the speed, traceability, and transparency of the global trading system.

SFR: How do you envision the KTDDE project transforming day-to-day operations in international trade..?? 

PM: KTDDE provides a foundational guide for digital trade documentation and compliance, making it easier for companies to know where to start their digital transition. By adopting the 21 documents that are already harmonized, businesses can achieve interoperability, secure their core data elements first, and connect their operations more effectively across the global supply chain.

This initiative serves as a blueprint for both businesses and trade platforms, aiming to simplify and streamline digital trade practices.

SFR: What immediate benefits can businesses expect from adopting the KTDDE standards..??

PM: Businesses will see significant improvements in operational efficiency and data management. By adopting harmonized documents, companies can reduce time spent on documentation and enhance visibility throughout the supply chain. This leads to faster transactions and better compliance with international trade regulations.

Businesses will experience enhanced operational efficiency and better data management. By adopting documents that have already been harmonized businesses can reduce the administrative burden and improve compliance with international trade regulations. This leads to quicker transactions and increased supply chain visibility, ultimately providing a significant competitive advantage in the global market.

SFR: With the transition from traditional paper-based systems to digital, how does the KTDDE framework promote inclusivity and accessibility for smaller market players..??

PM: The KTDDE framework is especially beneficial for SMEs who may not have the resources that larger corporations do. It provides a clear roadmap and tools that simplify digital trade, allowing smaller players to compete on a more level playing field. Our reliability assessment for trade platforms also helps SMEs choose the right partners and platforms, reducing the complexity of going digital.

SFR: What are the next steps for ICC DSI following the launch of the KTDDE report..??

PM: Our focus now is on driving the adoption of these standards. We are working to create a supportive trade ecosystem that facilitates easy adoption and helps stakeholders realize the benefits of digital trade. This includes continued collaboration with industry experts and over 50 organizations to refine and promote these standards globally.

SFR: Can you elaborate on the role of emerging technologies like blockchain and AI in the future strategy of ICC DSI, particularly in terms of enhancing trade document interoperability..??

PM: Emerging technologies like blockchain, AI, and digital identity are crucial for the secure transmission of data and ensuring its integrity across the trade lifecycle. These technologies will help manage data trails and support digital identity verification, making them integral to our strategy for enhancing document standards and processes. This will enable more seamless connections across the global trade ecosystem.

SFR: How do you see the role of international communities in the development and adoption of these standards..??

PM: International communities, including governments and trade bodies, play a vital role in raising awareness and facilitating the adoption of digital trade standards. By sharing success stories and supporting pilot projects, they can help businesses understand the benefits of digital trade and encourage a proactive approach to adoption.

SFR: Finally, what is your vision for the impact of digital standardization on the global economic landscape..??

PM: I envision a world where digital trade is not just a possibility but a reality. Digital standardization has the potential to transform the global economic landscape by making trade more accessible, efficient, and secure.

It can close the trade finance gap for SMEs, particularly for SMEs, by providing reliable data for credit assessments and enabling easier compliance with KYC and AML regulations. Ultimately, digital trade standardization will support the growth of a more resilient and inclusive global economy.

Thank you, Pamela, for your insightful contributions to digital standardization and for sharing your expertise.. Your efforts have paved the way for a more interconnected and efficient global trade environment..

Watch the Executive Insights video with Pamela Mar – MD of ICC DSI..

DELIVER Europe 2024: A Deep Dive into the Future of Retail and Logistics

Set in the heart of Amsterdam, DELIVER Europe 2024 stands as a pivotal gathering for global leaders in the retail and logistics sectors. This event, scheduled for June 5-6, is designed to ignite discussions and foster collaborations that will shape the future of commerce.

With a focus on innovation, sustainability, and the evolving dynamics of consumer engagement, DELIVER Europe 2024 offers a unique platform for industry professionals to explore transformative ideas and forge strategic partnerships. This conference promises not only to address current industry challenges but also to map out the next steps in the technological and ethical evolution of retail and logistics.

DELIVER Europe 2024 will address several critical areas within the industry:

  • Tech Retail Revolution: Innovations that are transforming retail through technology.
  • Day to Day Supply Chain: Enhancements in daily operations and logistics efficiencies.
  • Sustainability Spotlight: Initiatives and practices for greener supply chain solutions.
  • Retail Ethics 2.0: Discussion on evolving ethical standards in retail.
  • Future Shoppers: Insights into the changing preferences and behaviors of consumers.
  • Power of Data: The strategic use of analytics to drive retail and supply chain decisions.

Why Attend?

The event offers a unique buyer program that covers all major expenses for attendees, including travel, accommodations, and meals. It provides an unparalleled opportunity for networking, learning from industry pioneers, and exploring vendor solutions firsthand. The format includes keynote speeches, workshops, and live demos, all designed to facilitate deep understanding and collaborative opportunities.

Who Attends?

DELIVER Europe 2024 will welcome a diverse group of participants, including C-level and D-level executives from over 40 countries, representing both large enterprises and innovative startups. This mix ensures a rich exchange of ideas and experiences, making it a must-attend for leaders looking to shape the future of their industries.

Speakers and Insights

The speaker lineup includes industry giants such as Jesper Toubøl from The LEGO Group, Jannie Appelt from Just Eat, and other executives from Natura&Co and IKEA. These thought leaders will share valuable insights and proven strategies, offering attendees actionable knowledge and inspiration.

Call to Action

For industry leaders and innovators seeking to stay ahead of the curve in retail and logistics, attending DELIVER Europe 2024 is essential. Secure your spot at this pivotal event to network with top professionals, gain exclusive insights, and drive your business toward future success. Explore more and register at DELIVER Europe 2024’s official website.

68 never looked this good..!! Happy 68th birthday shipping container

We fight for the space for it, await its arrival eagerly, love the revenue it earns us, and apparently cannot live without it in this modern day and age.. It keeps us clothed, fed, entertained, fit, healthy, good looking and much more.. 🙂 You get the message..

I am talking about the Shipping Container, Freight Container, Box, TEU, FEU, or whatever else it is called..

The journey of the container that started on the 26th of April 1956 is continuing, stronger than ever before, becoming more modern, smart, strong, and state-of-the-art as it gets older..

Universally hailed as one of the greatest inventions of the modern world and the one true architect of Globalisation, the ubiquitous CONTAINER has become an integral part of our life..

Happy 68th Birthday my Dear Container 🙂

Container Birthday

The back story of the container

Malcom McLean an American trucking company owner/trucker turned inventor and Mechanical Engineer Keith Tantlinger are the two main people credited with this innovation called the container.. McLean for the idea and concept and Tantlinger for the details and design..

Image for Ideal-Malcom-Keith

The first lot of 58 containers was loaded on board the SS Ideal X, a converted World War II oil tanker, on 26th April 1956..

Thus began the journey of the shipping container which has shaped the modern world and has influenced all spheres of our life..

Container Growth

For the past 68 years, the shipping container has, through the creation of ISO standards, enabled mass production, transportation, and usage of standardized containers.. This has enabled the ports, container terminals, and handling equipment to be standardized across the globe, the evolution of which has resulted in the current mega-ships capable of carrying more than 24,000 TEUs on a single ship..

The growth in container volumes has also been exceptional.. Between 2008 and 2024, the container fleet of just the Top 10 container lines in the world grew 144% with MSC ruling with a 305% increase in their TEU capacity..

The global Container port traffic for this period grew 63% justifying this increase in container orders..

Since the last time I wished a happy 65th birthday to the container in 2021, there have been 5 largest container ships in the world moving from a capacity of 23.964 TEUs in 2020 (HMM Algeciras) to 24,346 TEUs in 2023 (MSC Irina)..

Not just in volume, but in terms of technology as well, container shipping lines are fervently pursuing their vision of converting their container fleet into Smart Container fleet to enhance visibility..

 

Hapag Lloyd diversifies eBL vendors – adds IQAX to their ecosystem

Hapag-Lloyd, the 5th largest container shipping line in terms of ship and TEU capacity with a 7% global market share has further enhanced its commitment to offer 100% electronic bills of lading by 2030.

Hapag Lloyd has signed up to use IQAX eBL over the GSBN infrastructure in addition to WaveBL which they are already offering using DCSA standards placing them in the unique position as the only carrier on both networks.

Hapag’s approach to using multiple eBL service providers mitigates risks associated with relying on a single provider and promotes healthy competition and innovation within the eBL market.

The transition to eBLs is expected to streamline the documentation process, significantly reducing the time from weeks to seconds. This efficiency gain enhances the operational aspects of maritime shipping and contributes to environmental sustainability by cutting down the CO₂ emissions associated with transferring paper documents.

These collaborations are integral to developing and implementing a standardized eBL application programming interface (API), ensuring compatibility and integration across the industry’s digital landscape.

As per IQAX, 9 banks (Bank of China Limited, Bank of China (Hong Kong) Limited, The Export-Import Bank of China, Shanghai Rural Commercial Bank Co. Ltd., Bank of Ningbo, Bank of Communications Co. Ltd., China Merchants Bank, Shanghai Pudong Development Bank Co. Ltd, and CITIC Bank) are already on-boarded on IQAX eBL.

Commenting on the arrangement with Hapag, Lionel Louie, IQAX Chief Commercial Officer, said, “The IQAX eBL solution offers a fast, highly reliable system at no additional cost to customers. Today, it is trusted by more than 12,000 customers, with over 180,000 carrier’s original eBLs issued since 2023 and the documentation for an estimated US$29 billion worth of goods has been digitised.

Our solution gives Hapag-Lloyd’s customers full control of the eBL together with complete visibility of the shipment and document milestones.

Bertrand Chen, CEO of GSBN, welcomed the cooperation stating, “GSBN welcomes the collaboration between two key partners within our ecosystem. As the volume of eBLs issued over GSBN’s blockchain network grows at an exponential rate, it further reinforces our additional use cases with various commercial banks and the tokenisation of eBLs for trade finance.

Adding his voice, Niels Nuyens, head of digital trade at DCSA said, “This is a great milestone in our joint mission to digitalize the container shipping industry, and very important to reach the milestone of 100% eBL in 2030. By adopting these standards, all parties involved are demonstrating true digital leadership and paving the way for a more streamlined and efficient global trade ecosystem.

As carriers continue to implement and expand their use of electronic bills of lading, Hapag Lloyd has set a precedent for the industry, marking a shift towards a more integrated and environmentally friendly global trade ecosystem.

The collaboration between GSBN, DCSA, and various stakeholders underscores a collective drive toward digitalization that promises to reshape the future of maritime commerce.

It is here..!!! ICC DSI’s digital framework for Key Trade Documents and Data Elements

The International Chamber of Commerce’s Digital Standards Initiative (ICC DSI) has unveiled the groundbreaking framework designed to digitally transform end-to-end supply chains.

The Final Report of the Key Trade Documents and Data Elements (KTDDE) was released on the 24th of April 2024 in Stamford Bridge, London at the Commodity Trading Week Europe under a Special Session titled “Documents to Data: Unveiling the complete framework for digitalising global supply chains, end to end”.

The KTDDE initiative is a key milestone in global trade as it integrates 36 key trade documents into a single, unified framework that not only enhances interoperability but also secures data sharing across global trade operations.

A Comprehensive Approach to Digitalisation

The KTDDE working group chaired by Robert Beideman from GS1, meticulously analyzed essential trade documents, providing a robust foundation for digital transformation applicable across diverse sectors and interactions, whether business-to-business (B2B) or business-to-government (B2G).

This extensive 18-month study that involved several experts, practitioners, and regulators from the world of supply chain and trade worldwide, underscores the ICC DSI’s commitment to creating a seamless digital trade environment.

Commenting on the release of the Final KTDDE Report, Pamela Mar, Managing Director of the Digital Standards Initiative, emphasized the collaborative nature of the project stating “This work exemplifies the bridges that ICC DSI has built between standards development organizations, industry associations, international businesses, and the finance and service providers all along the supply chain.

It spotlights the ICC Digital Standards Initiative’s founding mission of developing an integrated, inclusive vision for the achievement of a harmonised, interoperable digital trade ecosystem for a rapidly changing world,” added Mar.

The Way Forward: ICC DSI’s Vision for Digital Trade

The report highlights the principles of ICC’s DSI

  • Adapt and apply: Digitalisation primarily is not about developing new or “better” standards, but rather about highlighting the standards that largely already exist, and providing a guide to how the different trade documents (and the shared data that power these documents) work together across every industry and player;
  • Convene and collaborate: The greatest value comes from collaboration between organizations with a substantive body of work in digital trade, whose individual efforts have not been leveraged by others, and vice versa;
  • Transparency and accessibility: Every player—from the small business to the multinationals dealing with thousands of transactions daily—would benefit from a simpler, trusted standards baseline for every part of the supply chain, which could then become their on-ramp for getting started with (or scaling) the work of trade digitalization.

As we now present to you the complete 36 document standards set, the vision has been realised. Our work is just beginning. We now turn toward driving adoption across industries globally and amplifying our efforts to share a holistic vision for creating trust in data and for digital trust at scale,” concluded Mar.

Commenting on the release of the report, Stephan Wolf, the newly appointed Chair of the DSI Industry Advisory Board and CEO of the Global Legal Entity Identifier Foundation, praised the project for signaling an end to the fragmentation in global trade. He highlighted the unified framework’s ability to bridge gaps between businesses, standards organizations, intergovernmental bodies, and regulators.

Conclusion

The ICC DSI’s comprehensive digital framework for Key Trade Documents and Data Elements marks a significant advancement in the digitalization of global trade. By providing a clear, actionable plan and fostering collaboration across various sectors, ICC DSI is paving the way for a more integrated and efficient global trade environment.

Stakeholders are encouraged to engage with this transformative initiative to realize the benefits of a digital-first trade ecosystem.

For those interested in deeper insights or to access the full KTDDE report, please visit the ICC Digital Standards Initiative’s website.

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