1. What do you think is the current status of standardization in the container terminal industry, what are the points not addressed yet?
Standardization in the container terminal industry is on a very low level. Especially looking at the details: the variety of terminology and range of definition is very big. Even in one terminal the position of the same technical item is identified in a different way, depending on the vendor. I just saw this with identifying the exact position of a wheel with regards to the container handling equipment. Even in a traditional (non-digitised) world – imagine the amount of misunderstandings that are being caused by this lack of standards. Digitising a process and making sense out of the data based on this foundation is almost impossible!
For the industry, being on such a low level is good news in two ways: there is a big potential for improvement and there are a lot of low hanging fruits. Both means that the positive effects of standardization will become visible, which is a huge motivation for all involved parties.
2. From your point of view, why are standards important moving forward in the 4th industrial revolution and IoT?
Standards are important to minimize the cost of moving forward in the 4th industrial revolution. The cost of implementation in a standardized environment will be lower compared to the current situation, because items can be identified in an unambiguous way and the interpretation of signals and messages is clear.
Standardization in the container terminal industry also allow start-ups and traditional companies to develop small solutions that can be applied to many similar problems. This is a speed booster for the development in the industry. Just remember, what was achieved in the internet sector with all the open source software development kits. Imagine that would happen in our industry as well!
3. What do you expect of the work at TIC 4.0 and what was the main reason becoming a member?
We expect to closely connect to innovative parties in the industry. We share our experience and knowledge and learn from others, which gives us new ideas and possibilities.
The main reason for becoming a member was to push the process of standardization. This can only be achieved, when experts in the industry participate, share their knowledge and support the idea.
4. What was the most encouraging experience working in TIC 4.0 together with the members?
Getting in touch and closely working together in the meetings with industry leaders across the world is a great experience! It makes me grateful to have the opportunity to participate in the TIC 4.0 initiative to sustainably improve the industry and create a foundation for something that will last.
The most encouraging experience was when Boris Wenzel presented the Terminal Links pilot in Malta at the #CTAC2020. In this short presentation, you could see how the magic of standardization when implemented in the right way can change the business to lead and steer transparent processes and make better and informed decisions.
About the member/author:
Luisa Kempf is the Chief Technology Officer of EUROGATE Technical Services GmbH. EUROGATE a shipping line-independent container terminal group with container terminals in 12 locations across Europe. Luisa supported the initiative from the start and EUROGATE is one of the founding members of TIC4.0.