Towards Trusted Trade-lanes (CORE1207)

Summary: The paper explores the concept of trusted trade-lane. In trusted trade-lanes operators implement an internal control system that makes possible to detect, handle and report dubious events in a way that meet requirements of customs agencies. Writers identify three essential characteristics of trusted trade-lanes: single partners are considered reliable and trustworthy, collaboration is based on long-term partnerships powered by viable business opportunities and managed by a clear decision-making mechanism, and control systems ensures integrity of traded goods and transferred data. In addition, the paper presents three alternative scenarios how the trusted partnerships can be designed in cross-border trade. The paper can be viewed here:

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Full review: The paper present recent developments in designing forms of partnerships that make possible to manage, predict and reconstruct supply chain operations and events. Customs agencies can use the control system to complete law enforcement and administrative tasks in a way they can reduce or even refrain from physical inspections and checks. The trading partners that have adopted the common control system and expanded it to the needs of regulatory bodies form trusted trade-lanes. Writers identify three essential characteristics of a trusted trade-lane. First, all partners operate transparently, reliable and trustworthy in their business relationships.  Second, partners are committed in long-term collaboration that gives all partners opportunities to succeed. The government structure has clear decision making mechanisms and selected legal representative. Third, partners must implement and manage a control system that ensures integrity of transported goods and transformed data within the partners and to the authorities.

The writers design three alternatives how partnerships can evolve into trusted trade-lanes. First, a focal company can act as a supply chain orchestrator and provider technical infrastructure for use of trading partners and logistics operators. The focal company lodges customs declarations and risk information to customs administrations on behalf of the trusted trade-lane partners. In the second alternative, a service provider manages a peer-to-peer information platform that supply chain operators use to communicate between each other and with customs agencies. Data on the platform is reused for both commercial and regulatory purposes (piggy packing). Partners can join and leave the platform as they see appropriate. The platform uses open standards and database management systems. Third, a service provider offers additional ‘assurance’ services for legally independent companies of a specific industrial area. The service provider acts as a trusted trader and defines common rules and requirements for the membership.

The paper demonstrates preliminary results in the CORE project. The project partners adapt trusted trade-lane concept in their own concrete business and logistics processes as well as in their information systems. The models and scenarios are further amended and developed during the project.

Reference: Hulstijn, J., Hofman, W., Zomer, G., & Tan, Y-H. (2016). Towards trusted trade-lanes. In H. J. Scholl, O. Glassey, M. Janssen, & E. (Eds.), Proceedings of the 15th IFIP E-Government conference (EGOV 2016): Electronic Government. (pp. 299-311). (Lecture Notes in Computer Science; Vol. 9820). Guimaraes, Portugal: Springer International Publishing.




The effect of supply chain security management on security performance in container shipping operations, 2012 (CORE1201)

Summary: The study creates a supply chain security framework that can be adapted on assessing how security management measures affect on safety and customs clearance performance in container shipping firms. Security management interventions are clustered in four categories: facility and cargo management, accident prevention and processing, information management, and partner relationship management. Findings indicated that container shipping firms that mainly focus on facility and cargo management and less on partner relationship management are generally more dissatisfied with their company’s customs clearance performance than companies that prioritize partnerships with governmental and commercial companies. The governmental agencies and commercial actors can employ supply chain security management framework, its attributes and dimensions in order to assess the supply chain security performance of container shipping firms.  The reviewed document is available at:

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Full review:  Several authors have clustered supply chain security measures into different categories, but only few authors have provided statistical models to test how well these categories can be used to assess benefits of security measures. The study establishes four security categories/dimensions: facility and cargo management, accident prevention and processing, information management, and partner relationship management. The results imply that partner relationship management is positively related to customs clearance performance. Further, information management and partner relationship management are positively related to safety performance. However, facility and cargo management and accident prevention and processing were not found to have substantial positive impacts on security performance what is controversial to many safety studies. Improved access control, material handling, information processing and reporting of anomalies are clearly factors that are positively related to safety performance based on several work place safety studies. The difference is probably due to questions that defined safety performance: the study addressed accidents and property damages while safety studies measure often near misses and their reporting.

The FP7 CORE project utilizes key performance Indicators (KPIs) to assess and monitor organization’s performance at the operational level. Two CORE KPI’s measure address safety and customs clearance performance, consequently the supply chain security framework can well be adapted on the CORE context. Improved access control, cargo handling, shipping information processing and reporting of anomalies can be measured by using the construct for ‘facility and cargo management’. CORE Training and education can be embedded into the factor ‘accident prevention and processing’ that captures documenting and disseminating of security information. ‘Partner relationship management’ can be tested as a mediating factor that controls how strongly implemented CORE interventions influence on organizational performance indicators in specific demonstrations. Customs agencies can consider using four dimensions of supply chain security as criteria for assessing security performance in container shipping firms. Finally the dimensions and attributes of the framework provide a tool to analyse qualitative data in the project where getting reliable quantitative data is challenging.

Reference: Ching‐Chiao Yang, Hsiao‐Hsuan Wei, “The effect of supply chain security management on security performance in container shipping operations”, Supply Chain Management: An International Journal, Vol. 18 Iss: 1, pp.74 – 85




Supply chain security education materials

Blog-29.02.16FP7-CORE is the European flagship research and development project in supply chain security and trade facilitation, running from May 2014 to April 2018. In today´s CBRA Blog we focus on education and training material development – Work package 19, Task 19.1 – in the CORE-project.

The CORE Task 19.1 – Education and training materials development – has an impressive set of partners: INTERPOL, World Customs Organization (WCO), European Shippers Council (ESC), European association for forwarding, transport, logistics and customs services (CLECAT), International Road Union (IRU), and Technical University of Delft (TU Delft) as the established big players; ourselves Cross-border Research Association (CBRA) as the Task leader (and an enthusiastic lecturing body in supply chain security and trade facilitation); as well as the BMT Group, as the Work package 19 leader. We first started interaction with the entire Task 19.1 team during summer 2014, when the CORE-project had just been kicked off, and everything was still in it´s infancy.

Today, at the end of February 2016 – near two years into the project – we are about to launch the full scale production of the CORE education and training materials. We vision content to be produced in three parallel categories: CORE Flagship Handbook (CFH); Partner-specific materials; and Other education content. Content which is considered to be near-final can be published on-the-fly for example at CBRA´s web-portal, , where a new section is planned for the “CORE Education” (like the “CORE Observatory” which has been live since last autumn). Having just over two years left with the CORE-project, we are right on schedule to start the full production of education and training materials!

CORE Flagship Handbook (CFH) will be the main joint outcome of Task 19.1, thus we welcome INTERPOL, WCO, ESC, CLECAT, IRU, TU Delft and BMT to work closely with us in the production, review and piloting of the Handbook. In our current plans the Flagship Handbook has the following four sections, each section having multiple chapters (typically between two and six chapters per section):

  1. Introduction to CORE innovation agenda; including explaining key CORE themes and concepts; and frameworks and models.
  2. CORE outcomes, findings and results – written primarily in the context of the 16 CORE-Demonstrations.
  3. Interpretation of CORE results per key stakeholder group: customs, police, cargo owners, logistics sector, security sector and academics
  4. Future research and development roadmap – focusing on gaps and shortcomings; critical assessment on what works and what doesn’t by the end of CORE-project.

Partner specific materials typically fall into two sub-categories. First one is generic, introductory materials which would be of relevance to 1-2 stakeholder groups – for example Supply chain management 101 for police officers. Such materials can quite easily be developed within Task 19.1, using CORE supply chains and trade lanes as examples. At the same time, such basic education material would not be of relevance for supply chain companies, thus it should not be published in the CORE Flagship Handbook, CFH. Second sub-category is on detailed technical content, which again would be relevant to 1-2 stakeholder groups. An example could be technical review on risk management tools for the logistics sector.

Other education material may consist of the following content buckets, listed in a rough “simple to more complex” -order: Factsheets; Quizzes; Basic case studies; Comprehensive case studies; Videos and animations; Serious games, and so forth. It is still early days to decide what makes sense to develop – and for what we have adequate resources, skills and budgets. Maybe we will start with some simple factsheets, quizzes and basic case studies – this is still to be discussed among Task 19.1 partners.

Finally, the plans regarding the CORE Education web-portal are still in a preliminary stage. We could have a simple dropdown menu at , for example with the following selection options: Introductory materials; Technical sections; and Factsheets & quizzes. In the last category we could share first outcomes of Task 19.1 work. Here, just like in all other aspects of CORE Task 19.1, we welcome ideas and feedback from the Task 19.1 team, and from the whole CORE Consortium – and even beyond, from any interested stakeholders and potential future users of CORE Education materials!

In Lausanne on 29.2.2016 – CBRA Blog by Juha Hintsa