Thursday, August 15, 2019

European Grouping Sees Data Sharing as the Way Forward for Logistics Projects

Freight Stakeholders Investigate How to Work Collectively in the Supply Chain
Shipping News Feature
EUROPE – After three years of research and development the Shared European Logistics Intelligent Information Space (SELIS) will be brought to a close. The principals say this is a successful outcome producing collaborative, open and cloud-based intelligence platform that encapsulates built-in industry knowledge. Given the input of such freight industry luminaries as DHL, the Port of Rotterdam and A.P. Moller - Maersk, one would hope that is indeed the case.

A total of thirty seven different partners have been involved in the €17 million flagship European Commission-funded research project and part of the EC’s €77 billion Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme. The idea is to provide a trusted data sharing environment for all logistics stakeholders, enhanced by innovative big data analytics that support pattern recognition and predictive algorithms over a massive quantity of supply chain data.

This sharing of information is key to the project and two of the partners, Maersk and IBM, have already worked together to produce the blockchain technology product, TradeLens. The SELIS project’s approach and contribution towards a ‘Pan-European Logistics Intelligence-Sharing Platform’ has been through the federation of what SELIS has termed ‘Supply Chain Community Nodes’.

These nodes are designed to incentivise and enable a complete transformation of how physical objects are packaged, transported, distributed and delivered in complex supply chains. The project hopes to motivate a faster, more efficient, flexible and sustainable supply chain ecosystems for Europe. Makis Kouloumbis, SELIS Project Manager and Program Delivery Director at Inlecom Systems, the Project Management and Coordinating partner, observes:

“SELIS’s Supply Chain Community Nodes offer a secure, user-friendly plug-and-play approach to sharing and analysing supply chain data, in turn enabling real-time collaboration across communities within the broader Transport & Logistics sector. EU transport and logistics represents approximately 15% of global annual GDP. The sector has substantial potential for innovation-led initiatives that can drive new value.

”However, for many years innovation in transport and logistics’ IT systems has been impeded by the need to integrate multiple legacy systems and solutions which have not been designed in the context of anticipating or supporting collaborative logistics models.

The global supply chain recognises that reducing costs, improving operational efficiencies and meeting the European Commission’s CO2 targets represent some of the important KPIs that can be addressed through enhanced supply chain collaboration. Owed to this, the sector needs a secure and trusted vehicle which allows it to extract value from shared industry data, but in ways that enable full control over proprietary and commercially sensitive data.”

Photo: Members of the collaboration gathered outside the IBM facility in Dublin at the SELIS 2nd General Assembly.