The development, demonstration and the after project robustness and operation of the “SMART-CM platform” is the major technological component of the project balanced concept for achieving efficient & secure door-to-door container chain management in the future.

The project is a response to the trade and transport industry urgent requests for achieving improved efficiency, while satisfying increased security, in global door-to-door intermodal container transport chains management.

In practical terms this could be stated as the ability for:

  • Continuous monitoring of the container and the consignment’s passageway through the whole chain with the use of interoperable, cost effective container security technologies.
  • Quick customs clearance of the containers at checking points, through technical integration of multiple technologies and provision of neutral customs related information in standardized format tailored, however, to individual customs authorities needs.
  • Easy access to services, commercial transactions and tools for total chain quality and visibility improvement with main emphasis on emergency management and minimization of costs resulting from container transport management by exception.
  • Free selection of ports, handling companies and other actors to be involved in the container intermodal transportation as a result of global industry standards implementation that will cover the technological as well as the commercial, organizational and business aspects of the trade.
  • Access and use of container transport related information from different sources (Platforms of security devices technology providers, port MIS systems, fleet cargo monitoring systems, traffic management systems etc) in a technology-agnostic way for implementing cost effective container transport chain planning and operation management.

Responding to these requirements SMART-CM concept is to develop, test & demonstrate single window interoperability architecture for container supply chain management by:

  • Making use of existing technologies.
  • Offering technological solutions for interoperable and seamless data exchange among all the parties of the supply chain regardless of the technology they are using for data capture.
  • Interfacing with existing service platforms for container transport management.
  • Defining a neutral platform mechanism and compliant applications for secure and interoperable data communications with international customs.
  • Incorporating new B2B and B2A services for adding efficiency to the chain visibility and actors cooperation.
  • Proofing innovative solutions (e.g. dynamic re-scheduling capabilities) that will enable better understanding and operation of the total container transport business.
  • Considering & analyzing standardization, market & business operation, as well as logistics issues concerning the future operation of door-to-door container chains.

The SMART-CM three-layer platform

  • Information gateway: Container status information entry point from a variety of available sources, including container security devices/e-seals, other RFID infrastructure, as well as sources such as Port MIS or fleet management systems.
  • Visibility (infrastructure): Utilizing web-based mapping software, it will provide a centralized tool for the visualization of the information of interest to logistics operators.
  • Value added services: By exploiting the information provided by the Information Gateway and the Visibility Layer additional functionality of interest to the industrial partners will be provided in this layer.

The SMART-CM platform is split into two vertical conceptual components:

  • The Neutral component collects information and generates a single verified and standardized message structure to be provided to the customs with the aim of facilitating STL implementation.
  • The Logistics Business component collects information and provides a broader range of available status information potentially suitable for applications that do not share the stringent security requirements of customs operations. It is essentially a GUI to the neutral layer. It involves user management, delta-based updates, reporting capabilities, workflow support, exception management, etc.