Category Archives: Leadership

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Online port community system ‘game-changer’ for India’s shipping industry

, has written an interesting piece about a new port communication and collaboration system that is revolutionizing how Indian p[orts operate. It’s called PC51x, and it connects port users via secure messaging to exchange paperwork, financial info, and other messages.  In trials, it reduced cost and time for interaction drastically.

And it did NOT involve blockchain. In fact, it uses only technology developed years ago and tested severely by those years of practice.  It seems that for the user it operates like one of those doctor portals we have all become accustomed to in the US; annoying, but much faster and less annoying than waiting for her to call back (!@?^%$#!).  And capable of much faster integration if those communicating have a desire to make it better and faster.

They have announced a portal type interface.  This type of function is like what we used to call ‘middleware’, connecting systems with different data specifications and requirements, and letting them work out how to use the data.  It makes a lot of sense to me.

I think any port could copy this with a little hard nose bargaining with those it collaborates with.   Getting truckers on board might be more difficult without a good look at the systems they use every day.   But for many others it makes sense.

But should the port be the driver?  I think there is potential for 3PLs to usurp the role for their cargoes.  Then we’d have to link in their systems. Hard, but not impractical, and easier than forcing all their shippers to use the port’s message portal.  Everyone would benefit.  And more players such as banks and customs could participate as well.  Better that this should be driven by a lot of smaller players (if ports can be thought of as smaller) than by a national or global standards initiative, especially one from a single source.  Let it evolve, I say.

logo  via Online port community system a ‘game-changer’ for India’s shipping industry – The Loadstar

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CMA CGM and CEVA detail tie-up

Chris Dupin has an interesting article in the most recent American Shipper.  CMA/CGM is trying to buy a majority interest in CEVA, the 3PL firm based in Switzerland.   CEVA has been the target of another buyout effort by DSV, another 3PL.  the time was certainly ripe for a consolidation in both the 3PL and the maritime transport space.  This merger or combination is another attempt to deepen the reach of a maritime company into downstream supply chain management.

Like all of these mergers, we’ll have to see if it works out, and if the combination succeeds in improving results for shippers and receivers of goods.  But for me it is  a step in the right direction for a maritime company.  If you try to tackle the downstream problems, you will start to understand how to improve and deliver more value.  Whether a purchase is the best route is an open question, but it is certainly a good try.

The article also points out that CMA/CGM is innovating in other ways now.  It has an in-house incubator, ZeBox, of small concerns that have ideas for improvements. It’s moving ahead on tracking containers and monitoring some of the risk conditions they face while traveling; and it is making some investment in bill of lading improvements through a blockchain technology project with BuyCo, another startup.  These are certainly ways to get innovators thinking about the maritime supply chain problems.  Who winds up with the rents is yet to be determined.

 

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via CMA CGM and CEVA detail their tie-up

Gartner Survey Reveals Scarcity of Current Blockchain Deployments

​Naturally CIOs are an entrenched bunch.  But the lack of use cases that actually work is definitely a barrier to experimentation, along with the inflated cost and risk of finding software engineers with the expertise.​

screenshot-www.gartner.com 2018.05.03 08-25-10  via Gartner Survey Reveals the Scarcity of Current Blockchain Deployments