1. What do you think is the current status of standardization in the container terminal industry, what are the points not addressed yet?
Process, operation, and information standardization are still in their earlier stages within our industry. These circumstances reveal the current port landscape of operation methods becoming complicated due to fine-tuning to meet their unique objectives. Therefore, developing a standard language to become applicable for all customers pose a challenge for equipment and software manufacturers. Furthermore, it is more difficult for customers to innovate and expand their technology capabilities in the future without encountering any potential system integration issues or incurring fees due to high system customization requirements and constantly “re-inventing” interfaces. As a result, standardization will fortify communication and collaboration between customer and solution provider by driving synchronized understanding in information data exchange, evolving the global supply chain.
With concerted efforts in establishing a common set of standards to facilitate advancements in all aspects technologically and operationally, TIC 4.0 and iTerminals have already contributed significant strides in closing the existing gap between where we want to be and where we are currently. By addressing prevalent issues within the industry and promoting high collaboration amongst all peers, establishing an agreed methodology and language to communicate develops a strong foundation that readily accepts technological advancements.
2. From your point of view, why are standards important moving forward in the 4th industrial revolution and IoT?
In a world constant of rapid technological advancements, achieving standardization is crucial to maintaining consistency in operations and performance. Reinforcing a common language and methodology protects operational performance from information and communication discrepancies. IT infrastructures prevalent vary according to several factors that span from size to software and equipment provider, allowing boundless approaches to implement. Without standardization, these IT infrastructures vary too much that it can create incompatibility between systems, and hence, IoT or any technologies in that matter are not supported or implementation is costly and time consuming.
IoT and other emerging technologies emerging in this 4th industrial revolution require massive computing power to process and interpret the mass amounts of data collected. Artificial Intelligence (AI) and any other technological advancements yet to come forth in the market further reinforces the significance of standardization, as it is not possible to develop reliable decisions if data does not follow protocol when gathering, processing, and maintaining. Therefore, standardization plays a crucial role in digital transformations as they serve to facilitate automation, AI, and other future innovations.
Establishing a standardized framework for systems to follow increases the integrity and accuracy of the solutions provided by IoT into business intelligence, inherently improving operational efficiency. Saying this, it also creates new opportunity for smaller parties in our industry to participate in the digitization because they would not need to develop things themselves, which they often cannot. Adhering to an agreed set of standards builds a strong foundation for system interoperability and determines the degree of digital transformation efficiency.
3. What do you expect of the work at TIC 4.0 and what was the main reason becoming a member?
Operators intending to undertake a digital transformation can only cultivate the full benefits of the innovative technologies if there is preexisting standardization embedded in their processes and operations. I hope that TIC 4.0’s mission resonates with more industry players, growing a community that elaborates on existing industry issues, develops and enforces a shared understanding of ´language, methods and standards to counteract these challenges. TIC 4.0 is a multidisciplinary group of companies and individuals passionate about improving our overall industry. Sharing these views and passion, we became a member to reduce the technological divide and strengthen relationships with operators through defining standards that encourage operational visibility and innovation acceptance.
4. What was the most encouraging experience working in TIC 4.0 together with the members?
Connecting and collaborating with industry peers has been the utmost pleasure of working in the TIC 4.0 association. As someone passionate about the industry and its future, it is fulfilling to participate in TIC 4.0 as its objectives and mission mirror RBS’ vision. Moreover, everyone’s proactive approach to fulfilling these goals that ensure the digital transformation is possible with the correct starting blocks will secure a sustainable future for ports and terminals. These collective efforts from multidisciplinary members placing forth their ideas and defining the standards make me hopeful for our industry’s future.
About the member/author:
Harry Nguyen is the Chief Executive Officer and Founder of Realtime Business Solutions Pty. Ltd (also known as RBS), a company specializing in the development of software applications for the Container Handling Industry. Harry formed RBS in 1991 and has been developing and implementing his Terminal Operating Systems (TOS) for three decades, continually researching and developing the TOS to its fullest potential to include Automation, Optimization, and AI modules. RBS has implemented its TOS in 36 terminals and is considered the most advanced, cutting-edge TOS in the Container Terminal Industry. RBS is a founding member of TIC 4.0 and is represented by Norbert Klettner and Harry Nguyen as a member of TIC 4.0.
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