The Smart Freight Project - Victoria

The Port of Melbourne is Australia’s largest port for containerised and general cargo handling approximately 40% of the nation’s cargo.  The Port of Melbourne supply chain involves 3200 ships from over 40 shipping lines.  Nearly 2M containers and 50M tonnes of bulk cargo transiting the wharves of two stevedores, serviced by three train operators and 250 trucking companies.  This trade generates an average of 80,000 shipping transactions per day between the involved parties.

The supply chain is characterised by a few large freight forwarders and transport operators accounting for nearly half of the container moves through the port, and a large number of small to medium enterprises (SMEs) accommodating the balance.  It was identified that the ICT systems supporting the participants in the supply chain cater for the large organisations but are less useful to the smaller companies due to the cost of developing a capability to effectively use the services (subscription costs, inadequate infrastructure etc.).

This lead to the development of manual links between supply chain participants affecting the reliability and performance of carriers, shippers and terminal operators. Increasingly the lack of effective information sharing among stakeholders created bottlenecks and unnecessary delays in the efficient movement of freight.  These inefficiencies increase supply chain costs which directly impact the economy of Victoria.  It is anticipated that these inefficiencies will be amplified as more security and other regulation is imposed on supply chain participants.

Following initial 14 day strategic planning review, project ICA was retained to complete a second project which was to  undertake a Business Requirements Analysis for the Smart Freight Single Windows (SFSW) project.

The SFSW initiative was therefore funded to develop the ICT support for the participants in the Port of Melbourne supply chain by:

  • Developing appropriate sub-systems to automate procedures and improve interoperability between parties in the port of Melbourne’s supply chain.
  • Providing easy and equitable access to trade and transport systems to move cargo from exporter to port and port to importer.
  • Promoting new ICT solutions to supply chain impediments, particularly where they assist the optimisation of public infrastructure.
  • Providing appropriate governance to the trading environment through the endorsement of open standards and the support of industry regulatory bodies.
  • Addressing the need for appropriate security and protection of critical infrastructure.

The recommended Smart Freight development activity was aligned with industry direction and supported the growth in the 3PL (third party logistics) sector as more service providers enter into partnerships with their clients to manage and control strategic, tactical and operational elements of their businesses. With more importers and exporters engaging these organisations, demand for services such as those that the Single Window platform could provide would only increase.

ICA was then involved in the complete program encompassing the following activity:

Enterprise Model of the Port Community

Recently the SmartFreight project team realised that the Single Window made a significant affect on the operational and communicative aspects of the Port and its supply chain. It determined that a new and updated view of the operational and communication processes was required and so commissioned ICA to redraw the original Information Map using modern computer tools and validate the updated map with various industry representatives.

Ownership & Funding Study

This project under the Smart Freight initiative investigated and documented  a funding and ownership model for developing the Single Window platform as the vehicle for government engagement with the industry:

Initial Project Plan and Functional Requirements Specification

ICA was retained on Project 5 to develop an initial project plan for the delivery of the Smart Freight project. This activity sought to provide a high-level description of the work involved in managing the activities that will deliver the projects that comprise the Single Window program.  

The Functional Requirements Specification defined a subset of the SFSW system functions to be deployed in the Pilot system.  The Pilot project was defined to allow Smart Freight to assess the interest in, and acceptance of, the SFSW concept within the supply chain community.

The output of this activity was a spreadsheet indicating the estimated cost of the various elements that comprise the pilot system.

Single Window Technical Specification

ICA was then retained to produce a document providing an outline specification for an initial deployment of the Single Window to test the viability and user acceptance of the concept.  
The Single Window Pilot provided the following facilities:

  • Directory of participants
  • Ship arrival and departure information
  • Hazardous cargo submission and distribution..
  • Berth services booking
  • Container status.

The pilot system aimed to be basic in its operation in order to limit the development time and the impact on source systems.

The Technical Specification was used to guide the procurement process identifying the preferred deployment option.  

Preparation of Tender Documentation and Deployment Program

As the next step ICA was retained to develop request for tender documentation which was used to solicit interest, from experienced organisations, in building/operating a pilot system to achieve a range of critical success factors.
ICA also participated, in conjunction with other parties, to undertake an evaluation of tender respondents and shortlist proposed suppliers

Project Governance

ICA then participated in the deployment program whereby the selected supplier deployed their solution to meet the functional definition as documented earlier. One of  the ICA Partners was Chairman of the Project Governance committee to ensure the chosen vendor (EDS in conjunction with the Port of Valencia) met the budget timescale and budget.