Grant agreement no: 218588. Date: 1.6.2008-30.10.2011
INTEGRITY URL: http://www.integrity-supplychain.eu/
FP7-INTEGRITY was a research and development project to improve the visibility, reliability, and security of international intermodal door-to-door supply chains. The project was co-funded by the European Commission in its 7th Framework Programme and coordinated by the Institute of Shipping Economics and Logistics (ISL), Bremen/Bremerhaven, Germany.
During the project’s demonstration phase, SICIS – the Shared Intermodal Container Information System developed within the project – successfully achieved the goal to track more than 5,000 containers on their way from China to Europe. This tremendous success reflects the marvelous cooperation within the INTEGRITY Consortium, consisting of logistics providers, cargo owners, terminal operators, Customs authorities, software developers, and academic partners. No other research project has handled such a large number of containers, underlining the potential of this innovative system.
The aim of SICIS was to improve the visibility, reliability, and security of international intermodal door-to-door supply chains. This was achieved by collecting all relevant information from several sources such as the factory or consolidation centre where the container is stuffed, the operating systems of participating container terminals, tracking the vessel by its AIS (Automatic Identification System) transponder, and, as an option, CSDs (Container Security Devices) attached to the container. SICIS consolidated this information and granted access for relevant stakeholders based on a sophisticated system of access rights and under strict control of the owner of the respective trade lane.
Robin Smith, representative of UK-based logistics provider BAP Logistics, a partner in the project, underlines that SICIS is a unique tool for the pro-active monitoring of container supply chains and for the first time allows a complete overview of a container’s transport.
The best level of monitoring is reached if the containers are equipped with CSDs, which acquire the container’s position using GPS and transmit this information to SICIS via cellphone radio. In addition, the CSDs detect the container’s security status and raise an alarm if a container is opened without permission.
During the SICIS demonstration, CSDs from the China-based supplier CIMC have been used. The sea-leg of the voyage was covered by tracking the position of the vessel using information from its AIS transponder, which was read by satellite-based or terrestrial receivers. As a consequence, the container’s position was known at any time during its voyage with an accuracy of a few meters. It is not expected that all containers worldwide will be equipped with CSDs in the near future, so SICIS did not completely rely on their use. Even without a CSD, the information from the other data sources is sufficient to considerably improve the supply chain transparency.
SICIS not only improved the logistics processes but also achieves a win-win situation both for industry and Customs authorities. The latter require reliable information about the containers’ contents in order to perform risk assessment in the best possible way. Very often, Customs receive ‘agent to agent’ transactions only. These contain no information about the buyer or seller, which is insufficient to allow them to perform detailed risk assessments. SICIS provided the opportunity to access consignor and consignee data, which is considerably more reliable.
The successful completion of the SICIS demonstration phase clearly proved these benefits both for the logistics world and authorities in real life situations.
Publications and presentations:
Hintsa, J., Männistö, T., Urciuoli, L., and Ahokas, J., 2011. Customs Perspectives on Detection of Deliberate Regulatory Violations in Global Supply Chains - the Role of Information and Data in Risk Identification. OSCE-UNECE Round Table/UNECE Inland Transport Security Forum in Vienna, Austria on 12 – 13 December 2011. http://www.osce.org/eea/99852?download=true [Accessed 17 April 2013]
Zuidwijk, R., van Oosterhout, M., Urciuoli, L., Hintsa, J. and Veenstra, A., 2011. Adoption and effects Extended SICIS, INTEGRITY - intermodal Global door-to-door container supply chain visibility. In: HICL 2011 Proceedings, Hamburg International Conference of Logistics. Hamburg, Germany, 8-9 September 2011, Erich Schmidt Verlag GmbH & co.