TIC4.0 – Interview series: Lamia Kerdjoudj, Secretary General FEPORT
1. WHAT DO YOU THINK IS THE CURRENT STATUS OF STANDARDIZATION IN THE CONTAINER TERMINAL INDUSTRY, WHAT ARE THE POINTS NOT ADDRESSED YET?
I think that standardization was lacking in the terminal industry and this is how and why TIC 4.0 came to birth. The main objective of TIC 4.0 is to bring together terminal operators, port equipment manufacturers and software suppliers to define, develop and maintain standards that enable the sector to face critical challenges like digital transformation, energy transition and the evolution towards automation. This objective will allow both operators and manufacturers to adopt a common language regarding port operations and implement Industry 4.0 models. The existence of these standards will foster an efficient adoption of the Industry 4.0 paradigm and at a lower cost, enabling operators, manufacturers and software providers to share a common understanding of the key aspects that affect the operations and logistics of port terminals.
The needs and points to be addressed are numerous particularly because we are in the middle of a transition period and embracing the fourth industrial revolution. We are “learning while walking”.
2. From your point of view, why are standards important moving forward in the 4th industrial revolution and IoT?
Without standardization, mutual understanding and dialogue between port equipment manufacturers and solution providers and their customers would have remained a non-satisfactory one essentially stimulated by offers from port equipment manufacturers while customers feel now a strong need to build interoperable systems. It is therefore very welcome that both sides agree on a common language. I think that the COVID 19 impact will also speed up the process somehow as everybody needs to be agile and resilient and better understand the pace of change that is necessary. The work that has started within TIC 4.0 working groups promises to be fruitful and constructive.
Moving into the fourth industrial revolution also means that the terminals also realize that they are more and more connected to the seaside but also the land side and that all efforts to streamline processes, standardize and have systems that exchange data with other parties of the logistics chain will provide them a competitive advantage and will allow them to perform sustainable operations too.
3. What do you expect of the work at TIC 4.0 and what was the main reason becoming a member?
FEPORT has been a supporter of the initiative since the beginning as this corresponds to our members’ priorities. Standardization implies a level of maturity among industry players which have realized that improvements and performance can also be achieved by defining common standards. A closer interaction between terminals and manufacturers with the objective of the elaboration of industry standards will favour the development of Internet of Things, Artificial Intelligence, further technological innovations in the port sector. Innovation will also be the best means to support sustainable and efficient port operations.
4. What was the most encouraging experience working in TIC 4.0 together with the members?
Attending to all TIC 4.0 meetings has proven to be very stimulating but being a privileged witness of the collective intelligence that emerged from the group of experts who sat together to organize the work was a really fantastic experience. There you see the potential of co-creation and how standardization can support this industry’s transformation in the era of the fourth industrial revolution, with all its components.
About the member/author
Lamia Kerdjoudj is the Secretary General of FEPORT – Federation of European Private Port Companies and Terminals, since 1993, FEPORT represents the interests of large variety of terminal operators and stevedoring companies performing operations and carrying out activities over 425 terminals in the seaports of the European Union. FEPORT speaks on behalf more than 1245 companies employing more than 390 000 port workers.
FEPORT’s aim is to promote the interests of its members, i.e. national associations and global multinational companies, and to maintain constant dialogue with all EU institutional and non-institutional stakeholders.