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Collaborative Information Services for Container Management

Final Report Summary - COMCIS (Collaborative Information Services for Container Management)

Executive Summary:
The vision of COMCIS is to deliver a proof of concept of how individual existing e-Freight solutions resulting from previous EU projects (and commercial developments) can be integrated as a set of collaborative information services that is feasible (technically and economically) for commercial deployment.

The project has proved through operational demonstrations how existing systems can be brought into a setting (an ‘ecosystem’) in which they exchange data. Services have run in a fully operational mode and on large scale for the industry to be able to validate the practical use of it as part of an operational business process.

We have demonstrated this on existing cargo flows and logistics chains from MSC (Mediterranean Shipping Company), ECT (Europe Container Terminals) and DHL (the world's leading logistics company) through European sea ports #1 and #2 (Antwerp and Rotterdam) and into the hinterland that is positioned within the most densely populated part of Europe with the highest concentration of purchasing power.

The exploitation potential of the COMCIS solutions has been a key requirement. The project looked into the business model, how public and private actors can cooperate; and how exploitation is feasible if individual services collaborate which is not always possible in isolation. The focus has been on larger industrial parties but the commercial viability is also valuable if it is oriented to smaller companies as well.

Project Context and Objectives:
COMCIS is a collaborative project between multiple transport and logistics actors that generates situational awareness along global supply chains in support of enhanced logistics services.
Imagine that you’re waiting to handle or receive a container of high-value cargo. It’s critical that it be delivered efficiently, on time and intact. But how can you find out what is happening to your container during its long journey? With 90% of world trade being transported by sea it has never been more important to make cargo-related data flow as freely as the physical cargo itself. COMCIS delivers awareness throughout global supply chains to solve problems of data fragmentation, delay, and inconsistency. Using data drawn from the entire supply chain, COMCIS provides accurate, comprehensive logistics information.
You can find out about problems sooner and adjust your plans proactively, minimising the impact of deviations or other exceptions and maximising commercial opportunities. COMCIS supplies business tools that can eliminate uncertainties and raise efficiency, especially when sensitive cargo is involved. COMCIS demonstrates “Collaborative Information Services for Container Management” and ensures that such services can be used in real-world operations.

This project is about interoperability between systems, systems that have been developed in previous EU projects as well as in commercial undertakings. COMCIS shows how the following systems can be integrated: Logit 4SEE® (from Freightwise e.a.) Smart-CM Neutral Layer and ICS-SEAP (from Smart-CM), SICIS (from Integrity), Port Community Systems, Global Logistics Network (from Descartes), Freight Forwarding Systems (from DHL) – as well as the interoperability layer from e-Freight.
Based on this interoperable set of systems, the user is offered with information that provides him with logistics chains more reliability. The COMCIS concept is characterised by ts most essential parts:
1. User: COMCIS targets shippers, beneficial cargo owners, LSPs as well as customs authorities.
2. Data aggregation: COMCIS unlocks valuable information that is available somewhere throughout the logistics chain. There are many data sources available, and on the market we see the development in which data are being aggregated in multiple ways: Data related to container security devices (Smart-CM Neutral Layer), data within a port community (Port Community System), data from an LSP’s extended network of transport service providers and users, etc. Some of them have been resulting from specific EU development projects, but others exist in the marketplace already. COMCIS demonstrates how these data sources can be combined, but also how they can support each other.
3. Consolidated information: In order to support decision processes in the logistics chain COMCIS combines data sources and consolidate that to valuable information. Here we use the approach that has been developed earlier in a.o. the Freightwise project, in which a web portal was developed that provides planning and visibility capabilities within the logistics chain based on planning data (available services, shipment orders, etc.) as well as status data (positions of load units, movements of transport means, loaded goods reports, etc.).
4. Processes: Interoperability between systems is only useful if it leads to improved processes. COMCIS puts a focus on better integration of customs processes, better interfaces between sea and hinterland, as well as better control on the hinterland part of the logistics chain which is often the largest cause of variability.
5. Standards framework: For communication between abovementioned systems, COMCIS makes use of the Common Framework that is being developed in a cooperation between EU projects (Freightwise, e-Freight, Smart-CM, Integrity, Euridice, etc.) as well as industry driven initiatives like the Logistics Interoperability Model (LIM) by GS-1.
COMCIS shows how an open marketplace can benefit if data sources would be widely available, to be used by value added services according to a standardized interface. A first attempt was made in the area of container status information through the Smart-CM neutral layer.

Main objectives:

Objective 1: Integrate processes

COMCIS wants to Demonstrate end-to-end transport chains from start to end, whereby there is more flexibility on the exact hinterland operations finally chosen to reach the final destination. By integrating the information from the various legs (services) we create optimal visibility, alignment between subsequent legs, pro-active rescheduling and personalized event management.

Objective 2: Exchange data according to the Common Framework

COMCIS wants to use a number of conceptual results that have been integrated in the so-called Common Framework. COMCIS makes use of connectors that translate a variety of message types that are part of existing standards to the messages within the Common Framework. Such connectors make use of the ontological approach in the e-Freight project through which a systematic mapping onto the Common Framework message formats can be defined and executed.

Objective 3: Integrate compliance & customs facilitation

COMCIS aims to use consignment information from shipper and forwarder in order to capture more reliable cargo details that support the risk assessment process by customs.

Objective 4: Show how existing systems collaborate

COMCIS wants to create interoperability between ICT systems that have originated from past projects (Smart-CM, Integrity, Freightwise) and show how the Common Framework ensures this interoperability.

Use of systems and standards from previous projects are:

- From Smart CM:
• The Smart-CM neutral layer is used to provide a single window to container security information
• The ICS-SEAP commercial platform is used to provide carriers and forwarders a single window for lodging ICS ENS information, even if they need to report to multiple member states

• Data from the SICIS platform which provides container terminal status messages as well as updates from connected shipping lines

• Logit 4SEE®, a proactive & multi-modal freight planning & visibility platform

- From e-FREIGHT:
• The interoperability layer provides the domain knowledge in the form of reference models (reference data, process models and semantic descriptions) from which standard messages for data exchange between logistics stakeholders have been derived

• The aspect of intelligent cargo is demonstrated through the use of container security devices (CSDs)

Objective 5: Show feasible exploitation scenarios

COMCIS want to develop viable business cases that focusing on the exploitation of the integrated solutions.

Project Results:
3 Description of the main S&T results/foregrounds
3.1 Introduction
The COMCIS projects aims to integrate the results of several previous EU-projects and to demonstrate the commercial opportunity of the result. Within the project two business cases were carried out to assess the commercial and operational opportunities, as well as several technical / R&D work packages to integrate the various tools.

Based on this work, this exploitation plan outlines the possible exploitation strategies for these tools.

Or, in other words, as stated in the DoW: “… a plan for how, and under which conditions, the results of the project can be deployed on the market.”

As part of the development of the exploitation plan, several actions were taken to stimulate the commercial deployment and to assess possible options. These include sessions between Descartes, Logit Systems and the industrial users to assess and align the business model, reflecting elements of the business model (taking into account remarks made by the High Level Group) and sessions between Inlecom and Belgium customs to assess the future viability and exploitability of the Next Generation Single Window.

3.2 Generic value propositions
The figure below provides an overview of COMCIS’ three-layered architecture.

Figure 1 Three-layered architecture

Each layer provides a very specific value proposition. From the bottom to the top these are the following:
• The data aggregation layer provides data coming from multiple data points, through one access point. It is a ‘one stop shop’ for a certain type of data. Examples include:
o Operational data from terminals. For example: the SICIS system and the Hutchinson Data Network provide terminal milestones of all Hutchinson terminals. By connecting once to this platform, all data can be accessed.
o Cargo summary data. For example: with ICS-SEAP cargo data of multiple carriers can be exchanged and filed to customs.
o Ocean carrier data. For example: through the Global Logistics Network, data can be accessed of many different carriers, through one access point. Similarly, AIS data of multiple providers can be exchanged (either through GLN or other data aggregation services).
• The data standardization layer provides a standardized access to this data. Using adapters, it transforms different data formats into standardized messages.
o The Common Framework is the standardized message format provided through the COMCIS project.
o Through the Smart-CM Neutral Layer and the SDMF-structure data of different container security devices is merged into one standardized structure.
o The Common Reporting Scheme provides a more integrated and standardized approach for declarations to governmental agencies, as part of the Next Generation Single Window.
• Finally, the data consolidation layer provides integrated overviews of data. It intelligently combines data, often coming from different sources, and provides the user with the required insight in the logistics process. This allows the user to respond to changes happening in the logistic chain and become more situational aware. Examples include:
o Customs dashboards as provided for the Next Generation Single Window and through the GLN.
o The synchromodal dashboard, combining data of terminal and hinterland operations.
3.3 COMCIS solutions: integrated value propositions, different building blocks

We distinguish between:
• COMCIS tools: these provide one or more generic value propositions.
• COMCIS solutions: an integrated set of one or more tools and/or 3rd party systems, providing a tailored solutions for a specific (group of) organization(s).

Different organizations have different needs, requiring different solutions. The exploitation strategy therefore focuses on the exploitation of the set of tools provided in the COMCIS project. See also paragraph 3.4.

Within the operational and R&D tracks it was shown how the tools can effectively work together in an integrated COMCIS solution.
3.4 COMCIS tools
All solution providers in the COMCIS project were to provide – confidentially – their business model. These models show how they expect to further exploit the specific tools and services they provide as part of the COMCIS project.

• Logit Systems provides solutions for supply chain execution, freight management and asset utilisation in shipping & rail. The company combines advanced logistics management concepts combined with practical solutions for freight & transport management – advanced optimization combined with execution of lean logistics processes. Logit Systems provides the Logit 4SEE® data consolidation environment.

• Descartes aims to enable logistics-intensive organizations to save money by improving the productivity and performance of their operations. They focus on bringing together shippers, transportation carriers, forwarders and government agencies and other logistics intermediaries, and encourage them to work together to create standardized business. The company provides the Descartes Global Logistics Network, an international platform for data exchange between organizations in the logistic sector. Within COMCIS this platform is used for data standardization and aggregation. Use cases include the exchange of data of container security devices (neutral layer), customs filings (ICS-filer) and the sharing of operational data between shippers, carriers, container terminals and hinterland operations.

• Inlecom is an R&D focused company. It combines expertise in three areas, including strategic management, software engineering and transport solutions. The company has developed the kBOS knowledge management platform ( which provides organisational, business and information modelling tools. The company also uses the zAppDev model driven environment for application integration and development. Within COMCIS Inlecom is involved in the R&D track focused at the Next Generation Single Window for customs. This covers both data consolidation and data standardization.

As a result four business model canvases were produced, one for Inlecom and Logit Systems, two for Descartes (since they provide two key value propositions). As indicated, these business models are confidential.

The table below shows an overview of the technology providers, their tools and how they relate to the generic value propositions in COMCIS.

Data consolidation Data standardization Data aggregation
Logit Systems Logit 4SEE® x x (x)
Descartes GLN (generic) (x) x x
ICS (specific) x x
Inlecom Next Generation Single Window x x
Table 1 Tool providers in COMCIS

3.5 COMCIS solutions
Using the tools described in the previous paragraphs, integrated solutions were provided for the two business cases and the R&D track.

Within terminal operator ECT, three solutions were defined:
1. The Synchromodal Dashboard
This dashboard combines data coming from different sources (carriers, terminal operations, hinterland operations, customs) into one dashboard. It helps to assists planners of ECT’s European Gateway Services subsidiary making connections between Rotterdam and hinterland terminals. The dashboard alerts the planners when deviations occur (e.g. no customs release, vessel delayed). The synchromodal dashboard is implemented using the Logit 4SEE® application for data consolidation and data standardization. Data aggregation takes place through different sources, including ECT’s data backbone environment, the EGS planning environment and data coming from carriers.
2. The Extended Line Release
In order to shift the commercial release from the deepsea terminal to the hinterland terminal, allowing ‘pushing’ of containers to the hinterland, data is required from carriers and hinterland operations. As part of COMCIS, a data aggregation and consolidation solution is defined, allowing the integration of this data.
3. The Unloading Predictor Data service
By integrating carrier data, operational data and planning data, an improved estimate can be made of the time of unloading of a certain container. Using this estimate, a more efficient hinterland process can be planned. The Unloading Predictor Data service integrates the required data and calculates the Estimated Time of Unloading. It is envisioned to use this new information as a data point to be shared using a data aggregation environment.

DHL Global Forwarding developed together with Logit Systems the solution „Ocean View“, which supports fully door to door visibility for Ocean Freight shipments and creates situational awareness. The dashboard consolidates multiple external and internal sources, applies defined business rules and compares the planed shipment with the as is situation to display conclusions.

In order to create full door to door visibility DGF implemented Ocean View into a control tower for one of DGF large customers for a testing period of one year. Ocean view is fed directly through Logis Ocean, the operational system with internal shipment data and several external sources. The data will be combined, defined business rules apply and as a result conclusions will be displayed. A comparison of planned execution plans and as is situation points out changes of the shipments and shows possible critical situations. The control tower uses this information to either intervener or to define next steps. A good functional information flow between all parties is expected. The customer will receive user rights to monitor its own critical shipments.

For customs, the ENS Dashboard implemented within NGSW provides an integrated / single view of the ENS data delivered both from the forwarder as well as the Carrier (with vessel related information from the carriers by the Descartes filing solution), and significantly improves decision making Risk Management assessment capacity. This capacity is further enhanced by enrichment of the available ENS data with linkage/visibility to the related CSD alerts and AEO status information via automated extraction of this information from the AEO public online database.

3.6 Focus for the exploitation plan
As can be seen in the previous paragraph, the different tools provided in COMCIS are always used in combination with each other.
• In the operational business cases they have to be integrated with existing systems.
• For some tools organizations sometimes choose to use 3rd party solutions, not part of the COMCIS project.
• Some tool providers can provide overlapping functionality and compete with one another.
• Most tools cover multiple value propositions.

This leads to two important remarks:
• For the exploitation plan we focus on the generic value propositions.
• There is no such thing as a ‘generic business model for COMCIS’ as there is not ‘one COMCIS solution for all’, in practice combinations will have to be made depending on the specific customer needs for integrated solutions.

Tool suppliers conclude that currently there is an open ecosystem of tool-vendors. Often they collaborate to provide integrated functionality, sometimes they compete. Very often they have to integrate with 3rd party systems. Whatever the case, COMCIS provides the interoperability to connect the different tools and systems.

3.7 Exploitation models
We further focus on the exploitation models for the three generic value propositions (data aggregation, data standardization and data consolidation).

First of all we provide an integrated overview of possible options for the exploitation model, based on the (confidential) business models of the participating tool suppliers. Secondly, we split these in more specific exploitation models for each value proposition in COMCIS.

All tool suppliers were asked to fill out an Osterwalder Canvas for their tool/business. In this paragraph we provide a generalized overview of the responses.
3.7.1 Customer segments
Customer segments were defined in different ways:
• Type of business
o Freight forwarders
o Authorities, particularly customs
o Shipping lines / carriers
o Terminal operators
o Shippers
• Size
o Large companies
o SMEs
• Location
o Business communities, e.g. port communities
o Global operations
o Local operations (one point), e.g. a terminal or warehouse
3.7.2 Channels/relationships
The following channels and types of relationships were defined:

• In-depth development and customer understanding
In these cases a tailored solution is developed for a specific organizations. This requires a very good understanding of the customers’ business and detailed requirements. Typically this type of relation is long-lasting.

• Online service or platform
In this case the service is offered through an online platform. The service is highly standardized, with limited options for customization. Connecting to the service is easy and straightforward, requiring little implementation effort. The customer can subscribe to the solution and pays per transaction or pays a monthly/yearly fee to use the service.

• Combination, through communities
In this case the system is tailored to the needs of an entire community, e.g. a port community or a business community. In these cases, a solutions is developed using the requirements of the community as a whole. After this initial customization the service is offered to the community as a whole as a standardized service. Tool suppliers consider this as a particularly attractive option to approach SMEs.

Chapter contains a more detailed reflection on the ‘Role of port communities'.

• Through governmental organizations
For some offerings, it is likely that they will be offered through governmental organizations. In this case the government is the single customer and businesses connect to the solution. This could be the case in ‘single window’-type solutions or governmental dashboards.
3.7.3 Key partnerships/resources
Several key partnerships and resources where mentioned:
• Providers of commercial visibility platforms for data aggregation, especially for data consolidation services.
• Large organizations to drive innovation and act as a first mover.
• Governments to act as a first mover for requiring data sharing in a community.

3.7.4 Revenue streams
Different revenue models were mentioned:
• Per transaction fee: the customer needs to pay a fee per transaction (e.g. per container).
• Subscription based: the customer needs to pay a monthly or yearly subscription.
• License based model: the customer needs to buy a license, valid for a certain period.
• One-time implementation fee: the customer needs to pay a certain amount of money for consulting and implementation services regarding the tool.

In many cases these revenue streams are combined, e.g. requiring a fee upfront and a fee per transaction. Most organizations strive towards a model with recurring fees.

3.7.5 Cost structure
The typical costs involved include:
• ‘Manpower’ for consulting, implementation and customer support.
• The underlying technology platform (e.g. a development environment)
• Upkeep of a hosting environment / infrastructure

3.8 Integrated exploitation model
For each service and the corresponding value proposition (see previous chapter) we now can define a ‘typical’ exploitation model. This is again based on the confidential exploitation models of the various tool suppliers and experience gained through discussions with the industrial partners, their business cases and feedback from the high level group.

For each of the exploitation models a typical business model is provided, based on Osterwalder Canvas. For each topic a canvas is show with a more detailed description afterwards. Yellow notes indicate a regular topic for a certain element in the canvas, red notes indicate a risky or dangerous option, green notes indicate a particular opportunity.

3.8.1 Data aggregation
The figure below shows the typical exploitation model for data aggregation:

Figure 2 Exploitation model for data aggregation
Value proposition
The value proposition, as indicated in the previous chapter is:
• Access to all information, coming from multiple data points or data providers.
• Having a one stop shop: one access point or connection to get data from multiple providers. This reduces the need for technical integration with a large number of data providers.

Key activities
In general, the provider has two key activities:
• Providing technical integration with a large number of data providers, whereby each data provider might use different protocols or standards. On the other hand the provider needs to provide integration with its customers (users of the data). Very often, this interface is standardized.
• Customer support is required for setting-up the aggregate data feed. Partly this is technical by nature, partly more business-oriented.
o Technical oriented support refers to technical integration efforts.
o Business-oriented support relates to defining access rules to data and reach agreements between organizations for data sharing.

Key resources
For a service to be successful a large number of data points is required – the data aggregator needs to have access data. The larger the number of data points, the more useful the service will be for customers and the bigger the target audience. An example is the Descartes GLN that already supports thousands of data points.

There is also a drawback here:
• Sometimes data is considered to be more or less ‘public’. An example is AIS data, received by antenna’s positioned near the shore. In this case it is easy to provide this data to others.
• In other cases, the provider of the data needs to specify which users may receive the data. An example of this is carrier or shipment data. As indicated in the high level group, having standardized contracts or models specifying when data can be released can be beneficial. Otherwise, the technical barrier might be low, but the organizational barrier very high (having to ask hundreds of data suppliers for permission to add an extra customer to the service).

Key partnerships
Since having a large amount of data is crucial for data aggregation solutions, data providers are key partnerships. Having a good working relationship might benefit the operation of the service. The data aggregator might get a role as ‘matchmaker’, connecting possible data suppliers with data users through their platform, using standardized contracts or models and standardized technology.

Customer relationships and channels
Data aggregation is very often provided through an online platform or service that the customer can subscribe to. The data aggregator has little involvement in the final use of the data (compared to e.g. the data consolidator). Very often, there is some self-service involved, where customers can set certain (technical or operational) parameters of the service.

Customer segments
Two key customer segments are:
• Large organizations: these organizations do not want to have the technical and organization burden to integrate with a large number of other organizations. They do not want to invest in the platforms and supporting structures required. A data aggregator can fulfil this role instead.
o Large organizations might also provide an opportunity for the data aggregator, when the large organizations require its suppliers to share data through the data aggregator’s service.
o If the amount of transactions is very high, the typical per-transaction-fee might not be sustainable. Large customers might bargain for reduced rates or fixed rates.
• SMEs: Small and medium sized enterprises do not have the means to set-up B2B data exchange and aggregation. The data aggregator can provide a role here, with a low entry barrier and attractive pricing model (per transaction).

Business communities, e.g. port communities, might also be a customer segment. On one hand, they might be an opportunity for data aggregators (e.g. sharing data in a port). On the other hand, business communities can be important competitors, providing their own platforms or systems. That is way business communities are marked red in the canvas.

Cost structure
Costs are incurred for consulting and implementation services, as well as for technology maintenance.

Sometimes, organizations are willing to buy data from other providers. This is a risky business (therefor indicated red in the canvas). It is very difficult to assess the value of data. And if the data aggregator can buy it, probably its customers can buy it as well. In this case, the data aggregator can become obsolete.

Revenue streams
Data aggregation providers typically charge for subscriptions or a per transaction fee. As indicated, large organizations might bargain for discounts or fixed rates.

Revenue might also be generated from actually selling data. However, very often the sharing of data will be based on mutual benefit between the supplier of the data and the user. In these cases they agree to share data with closed purses. In this case, the data aggregator might be in a difficult position if his business model is based on selling the data and not just merely the provider of the required technical infrastructure.

3.8.2 Data standardization
The figure below shows the exploitation model for data standardization:

Figure 3 Exploitation model for data standardization
Value proposition
The value proposition for data standardization – as such – is a difficult one. Within COMCIS there is no organization solely exploiting data standardization. It is always exploited in combination with either data aggregation or data consolidation.

As part of this, the data standardizer:
• Transforms data in the right format.
• Provides standardized formats for data exchange.

Key activities
The key activity for the data standardizer is transforming data from one format to the other, using an infrastructure of adapters and semantic models.

Key resources
A key resource for the data standardizer is a framework for adapters and data conversion (e.g. mapping tools).

Key partnerships
In order to operate, the data standardizer requires extensive links with standardization bodies and good knowledge of frequently used 3rd party data formats. Together with a framework for data conversion, they provide the tools required for implementation projects.

Customer relationships and channels
The data standardizer has to implement standards in non-standardized (legacy) environments. In order to do this he does implementation projects with its customers. He needs to have a good understanding and analysis of the data formats in use by its customers. Therefor these projects not only require technical, but also consulting and design skills.

Having implemented a solution, the data standardizer either leaves or has a longer relationship for the maintenance of data transformations and standards.

The data standardizer is directly engaged with its’ customers. It does not use other specific channels or platforms to execute its services.

Customer segments
Data standardization is a critical issue for large organization and business community platforms. They both require an inventory of standards and connections and are willing to invest in setting-up the required connections. Very often, they implement it in their own systems and services. In some cases, data standardization is implemented on the platform of a data aggregator.

SMEs represent a difficult market for data standardizers (therefore indicated red in the canvas). They typically do not have the means to invest in data standardization and rely on the standard functionality provided by their IT environments.

Cost structure
The data standardizer has to employ consultants and maintain its technology base (adapters, model converters, etc.).

Revenue streams
In most cases the data standardizer gets paid on a per-project basis for the consulting and implementation services.

In some situation, especially when combined with data aggregation, a per transaction model is used. This might be an attractive model (therefore indicated green in the canvas) since it provides recurring revenues. In most cases it is difficult to implement this: either the amount of transactions is too low to cover the costs or the end-user is not willing to pay on a per transaction basis.

3.8.3 Data consolidation
The figure below shows the exploitation model for data consolidation:

Figure 4 Exploitation model for data consolidation
Value proposition
The value proposition of data consolidation focuses at providing an integrated overview of data. This overview is not static, it also provides real insight in the process based on an analysis of the data. In some cases it uses algorithms to intelligently combine data from different sources, handling possible conflicting data and drawing conclusions from different data sources.

Key activities
To implement data consolidation an in-depth knowledge of the customer’s business is required. Apart from implementation, a lot of emphasis is put on analysis and design.

Key resources
The provider of a data consolidation tool needs the following key resources:
• A technical platform for visibility to graphically visualize data (e.g. a dashboard).
• Algorithms to analyse data and take decisions, e.g. on data quality and exceptions.

Furthermore, it helps to have access to data itself. In this case, the provider has a basic set of data to start from when implementing a solution for a customer.

Key partnerships
Providers of data aggregation services are a key partnership, since they can supply data to be used in the consolidation environment.

But the most essential partnership is with the customer. This is essential to develop the right algorithms and methodologies to be used in the data consolidation environment. Without this partnership, the data consolidation tool provider has to compete with generic IT-vendors, that can provide similar functionality with generic tools.

Customer relationships and channels
Providers of data consolidation tools will typically have a long lasting relationship with their customer, starting with an initial pilot project and improving the data consolidation environment as new requirements come along. In this way, the supplier gets a good understanding of the customer’s business.

There are three possible channels:
• Direct – a customer-specific implementation of a product.
• Through a community – generic tools to be used by all members of a business community.
• As an online service (platform). This is a difficult channel (indicated in red). It is easy to serve smaller companies with an online platform and a standardized offering, but the possibility of customization is lower. As data consolidation providers excel when having tailor-made algorithms and logic in place, this might not seem the most suited channel/proposition. However, it is a trade-off between costs and flexibility.

Customer segments
Three possible segments are identified:
• Large organizations
• Business communities
• Governmental bodies

Governmental bodies can sometimes be a dangerous market (indicated in red in the canvas), since they are limited in number. Data consolidation services are only interesting here if they can provide very specific functionality government is willing to pay for (e.g. the next generation single window).

Cost structure
The cost structure focuses on consultancy, implementation costs and the maintenance of the underlying technical platform.

Revenue streams
Revenue comes from license and implementation fees. A per transaction model (e.g. for each container tracked in the platform; indicated in red in the canvas) is also possible, but there is the risk of the revenue not being enough to cover the costs required for setting up a tailor-made solution.

Potential Impact:
4 COMCIS exploitation results
4.1 Introduction
In this chapter we provide an overview of the expected use of the COMCIS results by the various partners. We distinguish between:
• The users of COMCIS solutions that participated in the project (DHL, ECT and Belgium customs). Will they continue to use the results of COMCIS?
• The providers of COMCIS solutions (Logit Systems, Inlecom and Descartes). How did their exploitation strategy improve for the tools implemented in the COMCIS project?
4.2 Users of COMCIS solutions
4.2.1 DHL
The aim for DHL is to have full shipment visibility and create situational awareness.

The outcome of COMCIS helps to provide an improved data set to the customers for reporting purposes. Consolidation of existing business information and releasing it in good quality at the right time to the right person in charge. Continuous development of supply chain processes, especially in terms of operational processes and expected time of arrival and reliability. The benefit should be more efficiency and as an effect lower operating costs.

Future use of the solution provided by COMCIS is considered as part of the ongoing development of DHL OceanView.

At the time of issueing this final report, DHL is in the process of rolling out OceanView in its global forwarding business.
4.2.2 ECT
The developments in COMCIS relate to key strategic activities within ECT:
• The development of European Gateway Services: activities focused at improving links with hinterland terminals. The aim is to create a network of logistic services between the various terminals of ECT providing customers with hinterland access to deep-sea operations from Rotterdam and vice versa.
• Improved data exchange and information sharing. With electronic data exchange, a new app and the e-services portal ECT is improving data exchange with customers and other organizations requiring data on terminal operations.

Within COMCIS three topics were identified. All topics have shown interesting operational (KPI) improvements. The further development, beyond the scope of COMCIS, has already been started as part of the further development of European Gateway Service.

More specifically:
• The Unloading Predictor Data service: this data service will be operationally implemented in the near future in the company wide data backbone. First of all it will service internal purposes and the EGS-service. The future use of the service as part of the (external) e-services strategy is also considered.
• The Synchromodal Dashboard is currently being evaluated. The dashboard provides the type of insight required for a more efficient operational planning of hinterland links, required to grow the EGS business. A full operational deployment using the tool provided in COMCIS (Logit 4SEE®) is considered one of the possible options.
• For the Extended Line Release an architecture for internal deployment was set-up. Discussions have taken place with a number of carriers to assess their willingness to support this type of service. These talks proved to be promising. Nevertheless, considerable changes are required in the information exchange within ECT to support the required comprehensive release management. Operational implementation can therefore only be considered in the medium to long term.

At the time of issueing this final report, ECT is in the process of implementing a synchromodal optimization platform that incorporates many of the ideas and concepts trialed in COMCIS.

4.2.3 Belgium customs
Belgium customs stated a number of requirements and has indicated whether COMCIS has met these requirements in the Customs-R&D-track. Based on this, they provided the following statements:

1. Ability for Customs to view the ENS data from the forwarder as well as the carrier.
The legislation places responsibility for the submission of the ENS data on the carrier. Requesting an ENS also from the forwarder creates burdens on business, which would need to be justified.

The purpose of the Comcis project was to further refine what was developed under the Smart-CM project (and other FP7 projects). Following up the developments of the new customs legislation-the “Union Customs Code” (UCC) - BE customs wanted to test the possibilities for dual filing (as the new legislation goes in that direction) as we do not dispose of the financial means to provide this service ourselves. From our view the new legislation offers the possibility for dual filing, how this will be put into practice will depend on the implementing and delegated acts that will be elaborated for the basic legislation (UCC). The last thing BE customs wants is to put extra burdens on the private sector, let that be clear. However in COMCIS we were in a testing and development environment so we had more freedom to gain experience in that domain.

Within COMCIS it was demonstrated how the freight forwarder can automatically file the ICS from a technical perspective, without manually collecting data from the carrier, but using the automatic enrichment with vessel sailing schedule information. Envisaged advantages for the freight forwarder and its customers are for example additional trade facilitations (e.g. pre-release and green lane).

2. Enrichment of the available ENS data with linkage/visability to related CSD alerts.
For maritime container traffic the ENS has to be submitted 24 hours before departure. Customs in the country of import needs to complete its risk analysis within 24 hours of receipt of this data, i.e. before loading. Explanation is necessary, therefore, to justify how CSD alerts can be part of the relevant ENS risk analysis for Customs.

As said in the previous answer, BE Customs started COMCIS with the experience of Smart-CM in mind. In Smart-CM we started with the concept of “green lanes” in which we would test certified goods flows from as early as possible in the supply chain. This means that we started to track and trace the containers even before “24h before loading” with CSD’s. Again we were in a testing environment so with the alerts we got we could feed our risk management and organise controls if necessary way on beforehand (to have minimal impact on the goodsflow).

The CSD information allows Customs to monitor the integrity of the container after the risk analysis has been done based on the content of the container, in COMCIS based on more accurate forwarder house bill of lading data (compared to the master bill of lading information from the carrier) showing the original shipper and ultimate consignee, allowing AEO checks on this information. This can lead to potential advantages such as pre-release in the actual country if import when the goods arrive in EU, which is in case of deep sea container transport much later than the actual ICS risk analysis. Secondly in some cases CSD alerts such as breaches can already be received before the ENS declaration which allows that this can be taken into account for the risk analysis.

3. AEO status information via automated extraction of this information from the AEO public online database.
It needs to be clarified in the text that this in fact relates to the Belgium AEO database (which is mandatory), not to that for the EU (which is not mandatory).

The purpose of integrating an AEO database (in this case the publicly available EU database) was to test if it was possible to integrate this kind of data into the platform and taking into account this “positive” data in the risk analysis. We knew that the EU AEO database was not mandatory but still it gave the opportunity to include information of a database with information on the operator. We could also have taken the BE AEO database but then we would limit ourselves to BE operators only. And that would have narrowed the scope to much.

4. Within COMCIS Belgium Customs wanted to demonstrate the concept of granting green lane benefits to trade lanes that are not composed entirely out of AEO companies and do not use CSDs. There is a need to explain and justify how this would work, together with results obtained within COMCIS.

The abovementioned concept was proposed in the beginning of the project for further research. However it proved to be very difficult to create green lanes without AEO’s or the use of CSD’s. For green lanes we need the guarantee that the integrity of the goods is kept along the trip: this is very difficult to realise in practice if the operators are non AEO’s and when no CSD’s are used. For that reason we did not elaborate further that path.

5. How will Belgium Customs proceed with the new arrangements after the end of COMCIS?
For BE customs, exploitation of the COMCIS NGSW will have indirect effects on Customs’ risk assessment performance. The use of the freight forwarder ICS (SEAP) filing solution and the NGSW allows economic operators to make a dual filing (by the carrier and the forwarder) in preparing the lodging of the entry summary declaration. Hereby the information of the ENS will be of a better quality compared to the current situation. This makes customs’ risk analysis and assessment of a shipment more precise. This will result in a faster clearance of reliable shipments (of AEO companies) or appropriate actions in case of a treat.

After the end of COMCIS the “extended gate concept” (container traffic between seaport and inland terminal) that was investigated will certainly be implemented further as we looked if it was legally possible. How it will work in practice needs to be further developed after COMCIS.

4.3 Suppliers of COMCIS tools
The various suppliers of COMCIS tools were asked how the activities in the project affected their exploitation strategies.
4.3.1 Logit Systems

Which generic value proposition (data consolidation, data standardization, data aggregation) was affected most?
Logit Systems focuses mostly on data consolidation with their Logit 4SEE® services platform.

How did COMCIS have an impact?
A key value proposition proved to be the 'one stop shop' for situational awareness information: Data consolidation + data aggregation. COMCIS led to enhanced features that make it applicable in a wider range of situations, and with considerably increased added value. Being more mature than at the start of the project, Logit 4SEE® is provided as a SaaS (Software-as-a-Service), and deployment is fairly easy.
Are there any aspects intensely modified or influenced by the COMCIS solutions?
COMCIS helped to make more clear how and under which conditions the market accepts the business proposition offered by Logit Systems, and what are the features that fulfil market requirements.

4.3.2 Descartes
Which generic value proposition (data consolidation, data standardization, data aggregation) was affected most?
As part of COMCIS the different propositions for data aggregation, offered by Descartes, were evaluated with DHL, ECT and Belgian customs. Within the project, the focus for Descartes was on data aggregation.

How did COMCIS have an impact?
The proposition as such was not directly impacted. Clearly identified however was the necessity to have an integrated solution - and possibly: and integrated value proposition - combining data aggregations, standardization and consolidation. Descartes contributed to this as a data aggregator.
Are there any aspects intensely modified or influenced by the COMCIS solutions?
COMCIS showed the importance of an open ecosystem of interoperable tool providers. Interoperability is not only required on the technical level, but also on the level of compatible business models.
4.3.3 Inlecom

Which generic value proposition (data consolidation, data standardization, data aggregation) was affected most?
The focus of Inlecom, within the R&D-track, was mainly on data standardization and data consolidation. Data standardization was ensured through the establishment of an enriched CRS-message covering all new needs and data consolidation through the Next Generation Single Window Dashboard and other views that cover potential needs. Furthermore, both Dashboard and alternative views are fully customizable to handle new sources as well as new required outputs.
How did COMCIS have an impact?
The Next Generation Single Window Dashboard provides a new value proposition enhanced through the project, via better access to knowledge repositories and domain expects. In addition, Data Consolidation is a dimension of wider interest, and the effort invested not only improves the utilization of resources, but also builds-up competences to support strategic goals.

Are there any aspects intensely modified or influenced by the COMCIS solutions?
As part of the R&D-track in COMCIS, the technical feasibility has been demonstrated. However, further research is required in the commercial feasibility of the solution (who will buy it? What kind of offering is possible?). As far as the Data Standardization, COMSIS revalidated the need for a live Common Reporting Schema, evolving to accommodate new business areas and needs.

List of Websites:
5 The project public website
The COMCIS public website address is Here relevant information such as project highlights, case studies, logo’s and contact details can be found.