The project was a response to the trade and transport industry urgent requests for achieving improved efficiency, while satisfying increased security, in global door-to-door intermodal container transport chains management. In practical terms this could be stated as the ability for:
- Continuous monitoring of the container and the consignment’s passageway through the whole chain with the use of interoperable, cost effective container security technologies.
- Quick customs clearance of the containers at checking points, through technical integration of multiple technologies and provision of neutral customs related information in standardized format tailored, however, to individual customs authorities needs.
- Easy access to services, commercial transactions and tools for total chain quality and visibility improvement with main emphasis on emergency management and minimization of costs resulting from container transport management by exception.
- Free selection of ports, handling companies and other actors to be involved in the container intermodal transportation as a result of global industry standards implementation that will cover the technological as well as the commercial, organizational and business aspects of the trade.
- Access and use of container transport related information from different sources (platforms of security devices technology providers, port MIS systems, fleet cargo monitoring systems, traffic management systems etc) in a technology-agnostic way for implementing cost effective container transport chain planning and operation management.
Smart-CM aims to do advanced technology implementation and research in order to overhaul the complete container door-to-door transport chain so that it is more efficient, secure, market driven, and competitive. In brief, the SMART-CM objectives may be summarised as follows:
- stimulate interoperable B2B co-operation in door-to-door container transport security;
- develop compliant application of B2B and B2A container security data solutions with international customs operations;
- develop a neutral approach and service platform for secure and interoperable data communications;
- define added value services and chain visibility enabling techniques for fulfilling operational requirements of the actors;
- develop prototypes of advanced applications in global container management, such dynamic scheduling at the containers;
- assess large applicability of the above-mentioned project solutions by considering costs and benefits;
- analyse existing business models in global container chain management and operation and study e-managing business models;
- contribute to standards development for advancing of interoperability of technologies.
The project systematically will analyse current processes and systems, will produce new innovative concepts for processes and technologies, and will demonstrate all these in a set of two World Scale Demonstrators covering four supply chain corridors. Its view, analyses, and recommendations will fall in the following four areas, thus ensuring a fully comprehensive coverage of 'smart container chain management':
- innovation & technology;
- commercial & market issues;
- business & organisational issues;
- legal & security issues.
SMART-CM will involve all type of actors and big global players (like K&N, DHL, COSCO, PSA and DPW) in the container trade today, as well as SME's and International Organisations that are world players in setting standards, in promoting intermodal transport or container registration, and in security.
Two real-life demonstrators will validate the innovative organisational technologies and processes:
- Corridor A (the Europe-MiddleEast corridor):
Antwerp-Port Said - feeder service to Thessaloniki – Dubai - NAVA SHEVA / Mundra.
- Corridor B (the Europe-Asia/Pacific corridor):
Antwerp-Singapore - feeder service to Laem Chabang in Thailand and Ningbo in China.
The two Corridor Demonstrator Projects have provided test beds to demonstrate in a real-life environment its developments that enable improved security, efficiency, increased visibility and reduced costs of the global container chain operation. These improvements relate to organisational, technological, operational and business matters. Flows have been covered from the point of stuffing (loading) and stripping (unloading), in other words from door-to-door as far as the use of containers is involved, and have involved all actors active in or serviced by the demonstrator scenario. Several thousand container trips have been covered throughout the project.
The benefits of the implementation of the SMART-CM project for the supply chain stakeholders can be significant. The level of significance though, depends on the restructuring of an interested company and the process it follows in such a way that the SMART-CM technology can be fully integrated.
The robustness of SMART-CM solutions was validated in the context of real trade lane operations from China, Thailand and India to EU ports. The exploitation potential of these solutions was confirmed by the industrial parties and the consortium members that invested in them.
The step towards vast implementation requires further cooperation and agreement among the public and private actors involved in global transport, regarding the new roles that emerge and the globally accepted standards on key performance indicators of the technological solutions for security.
- An efficient and integrated mobility system: Service quality and reliability
- The external dimension