1.       Introduction and background

A wide range of software systems have been developed in recent years, aimed at providing solutions to shipping lines, leasing companies, depots and terminals to manage their container operations more efficiently.

The systems are intended for a number of different container activities, including:

  •        Global tracking of containers (all types)
  •        Telematics for monitoring special containers, including reefers and tanks
  •        Security

One of the issues facing the industry is to find technology to permit the different systems to communicate with each other. The increase of partner shipping lines using the same vessel along with shipper owned container requires a level of commonality.

These issues were raised at the 21st COA Meeting in Singapore (June 2018) and the first Work Group took place during the 22nd COA Members Meeting in Rotterdam (November 2018).

Relevant stakeholders were invited to provide comments and feedback – and to suggest items for discussion on the Meeting Agenda.

2.       Establishing the Work Group and Defining the Objectives

  •         One of the first WG items discussed at the WG was to establish its objectives. At this stage, the role of the COA is to provide a neutral platform, permitting the stakeholders to meet, discuss the issues that they are facing – and agree how to proceed.
  •         Depending on how successful this is, the next stage might be to develop industry-agreed Guidelines – Eventually, it could lead to standards, perhaps within the scope of ISO work group.

Unified Data Model for Reefer Data Exchange

The COA’s Reefer Telematics Work Group has developed a Unified Data Model (UDM), to provide a single, global definition of data related to reefer containers – a ‘Reefer Data Classification Schema’.

The purpose of this Data Model is to enable the exchange of information on refrigerated containers in a uniform way – independent of the model and manufacturer. Data exchange by using the standard data model introduced in this document will provide refrigerated container operators (having mixed fleets of different reefer machinery) the convenience of accessing relevant data – without the complexity of accessing them with different formats and means.

To view the UDM – Click HERE
To view a recording of the webinar launching the document – Click HERE

The benefit for the shipping industry is a standard for reefer data exchange formats, thereby removing barriers and making it easier for data “consumers” to build value added services for reefer container operations. The end product will be a definition of ‘Reefer Data Classification Schema’ for reefer containers, with the benefits to owners as follows

  • It means that the device is “decoupled” from the container investment
  • Container owners can make independent decisions on devices
  • Data that owners introduce into their systems will follow a common structure and rules
  • Higher data integrity and compliance – regardless of device
  • Standard data set and unified definitions/properties
  • Removes barriers to develop app’s with 3rd party data
  • Minimize impact on IT teams: single data model