IoT standards for container connectivity launched

The Digital Container Shipping Association (DCSA) has published Internet of Things (IoT) connectivity interface standards for shipping containers.

The standards have been published in conjunction with DCSA’s nine member carriers.

The new guidelines can be implemented by vessel operators and owners as well as ports, terminals, container yards, inland logistics providers and other third parties to ensure interoperability between smart container solutions at the radio interface level.

With these standards in place, carriers and supply chain participants will be closer to providing customers with an uninterrupted flow of relevant information regarding the whereabouts of containers and the status of their contents at any point along the container journey.

The new standards are the first of three planned IoT standards releases addressing the connectivity requirements for reefer and dry containers, as well as the RFID registration of these containers.

Future releases will focus on data structure and handling, physical device specifications as well as security and access management.

Thomas Bagge, CEO of DCSA said, “This release is an important step in enabling mass deployment of smart containers and forms the foundation of a group of standards that will address the industry’s most critical container use cases. Once implemented, our IoT standards will enable, for example, reefer container tracking, monitoring and controlling along the entire container journey, with no connectivity ‘blind spots’.”

In addition, Maria Rosaria Ceccarelli, Chief of Trade Facilitation Section for UNECE, said, “Interoperability of IoT devices is one of the keys to enable massive smart containers deployment, taking the digital age of shipping one step further beyond paperless processes by embracing the Internet of Things (IoT) to support enhanced decision-making by the various sectoral stakeholders.

“This standards release by DCSA is very important and complementary with the UN/CEFACT interoperability standards, namely the Multi Modal Transport Data Reference Model and the Smart Container Business Requirement Specifications in particular. I believe that these standards will play an important role in aligning the industry in terms of IoT interoperability.”