Digital Cargo Forum

To provide the cargo industry with a structure and a framework where supply chain participants collaborate and co-develop digital projects for improved visibility, transparency and efficiency in the industry

Background

Founded in 2016 in Switzerland, the Digital Cargo Forum (DCF) represents service providers that are directly or indirectly involved in trade and cargo transportation industry. Roles of our members are: shippers, freight forwarders, financial service providers, trading companies, air, maritime, land transport companies, warehouse operators and insurance brokers.

In 2015 The EU PEMLIC consortium was temporarily put in place to send in a application for MG 6.2 under the EU Move umbrella.

Even if the consortium wasn’t rewarded the investment, the companies involved in this PEMLIC consortium decided to stay together and move forward in optimizing international logistics. With time the need for a collaborative forum to create leverage for companies to develop a solution supported by the community was strong enough for Ericsson to call for a first kick-off meeting with 50 companies. This resulted in the founding of the Digital Cargo Forum.

The need for DCF

The logistics industry is known for the many different logistics associations. Some operate locally (country level) others work global on an industry or modal level. So, why starting another one?

The logistics industry needs to work together across modes of transport and regions to create an open market and global interoperability. Who or what organization could support the industry to create such interoperability? When scanning the landscape of existing organizations, we saw unfortunately clear gaps between modes of transport and regions. We saw the need for a neutral environment to cover Trade, Multimodal Transport and Technology Transformation opportunities on a global scale.

For this purpose, we founded the Digital Cargo Forum (DCF).
Together with industry players we are filling some of the gaps and speeding up the creation of the needed standards and an open market.

What we do

 Promote and protect the interests of international trade and facilitate effective cooperation among market players on trade facilitation;
    • Secure a neutral, open, independent and impartial digital collaboration environment not tied to any private interests;
    • Provide a forum for its members decisions, sharing best practices to better policy-making, information business and engaging stakeholders in driving innovation;
    • Brings together the voice of shippers and including all stakeholders and service providers in international trade;
    • Bridge between other (logistics) associations;
    • Lobby with World trade organisations, World customs organization etc.

Programs

The Digital Cargo Forum develops best practices and pilot implementations of digital solutions to improve visibility and transparency of freight as it moves through all transport modes

Logistics Data Exchange

The collaboration layer Linked Data using unique identifier to enable data sharing. Solution will support transport execution over both Road and Air, incorporating the ability to execute the conversion between different types of messages via a semantic structure.
The benefit of the collaboration layer is that logistics operators would only need to execute one integration to the collaboration layer and then be connected to all other connected players.
Integration work is ongoing involving with Shippers, Forwarders, and Airlines. In next phase idea is to introduce Customs and pre- and onward trucking.

Dangerous Goods

The collaboration layer will enable data sharing of Dangerous Goods Certificate directly from the shipper to all other parties that need the information. It will consist of a unique identifier pointing to the Dangerous Goods Certificate that can be shared throughout the logistics chain when needed. Also, in order to ensure data integrity of the certificate a Blockchain solution will be added with a public key.

The benefit of enabling multi-party sharing of Dangerous Goods Certificate is improved availability throughout the logistics chain in a multi-mode environment, data availability on demand, and data integrity.

Unique Voyage Identifier

The process of collecting ETA information manually with limited or inefficient sharing to relevant stakeholders is today a manual operation. Typically, information is conveyed via email, phone calls or radio to agents and/or port authorities. The UVID is established in the Sea Traffic Management Project (STM), together with a digital service infrastructure alleviating manual routines for information sharing.

The Supply chain visibility offering created by the UVID provides better basis for planning, reduced waiting times and turn-around times, improved asset utilization.

The integration work is involving Swedish Maritime Authority, Port Authorities, Forwarder, Terminal Operator, and a shipping line.

Developer

To provide the cargo industry with a structure and a framework where supply chain participants collaborate and co-develop digital projects for improved visibility, transparency and efficiency in the industry

Semantics

It is part of DCF’s mission to create, maintain, and promote the logistics schemas. Goal is to boost the use of shared conceptual structures in the form of logistics ontologies for better data interoperability in the logistics industry.

A schema represents the semantics of an organization or industry, and not a database design, it may exist on various levels of abstraction. Unlike a relational database, a semantic database doesn’t require all relationships to be stored explicitly as separate entries. The benefit of this: we can continuously add new data and relations, add new tasks and functions, allowing us to incrementally grow the model without having to start over architecting the model when something in the outside world changes.

Semantics is an information model providing a universal framework (grammar and vocabularies) to describe and to link data. It adds contextual information around the data so it can be understood, searched, and shared by people and machines. The Logistics semantics are modelled using the Resource Description Framework (RDF) form.

Ontology is a formal naming and definition of the types, properties, and interrelationships of the data entities that really exist in the logistics domain. It gives meaning and context to the concepts we use in logistics. Example: in a Logistics ontology we might define ‘Port’ as an intermodal hub in logistics (example: seaport and airport). In a Wine ontology that same word ‘Port’ will have a total different meaning: aged wine from Portugal.

We define Logistics ontology to limit complexity in the data model and organize information in the domain of logistics. The ontology can then be read by people and by computer systems and applied to problem solving.

DCF’s Logistics ontology can be used with many different encodings, including RDFa, Microdata and JSON-LD. These vocabularies cover entities, relationships between entities and actions, and can easily be extended through a well-documented extension model.

Members

The Digital Cargo Forum brings together all participants in the freight supply chain from all modes, including air, maritime and road. If you are actively developing digital cargo solutions, join us in leading the industry

Diverse membership

The Digital Cargo Forum currently counts 50 members from different parts of the cargo business. We have different member categories. Click below to find out more about joining us.

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