Establishment of COA Work Group:
Container Track & Trace/Telematics

  • Introduction and Background
  • Establishing the Work Group and Defining the Objectives
  • First Meeting: Monday 5 November 2018 (10:00 to 13:00)
  • Agenda and Topics for Discussion
  1. Introduction and background
  • A wide range of software systems have been developed in recent years, aimed at providing solutions to shipping lines, leasing companies, depots and terminals to manage their container operations more efficiently.
  • The systems are intended for a number of different container activities, including:
  • Global tracking of containers (all types)
  • Telematics for monitoring special containers, including reefers and tanks
  • Security
  • One of the issues facing the industry is to find technology to permit the different systems to communicate with each other. The increase of partner shipping lines using the same vessel along with shipper owned container requires a level of commonality.
  • Currently, there are no ISO Work Groups focusing on communication protocols and standards for the container industry. The lack of standards could result in the delay in the introduction in systems
  • These issues were raised at the 21st COA Meeting in Singapore in June. As a result, the COA Board agreed to establish a Technical Work Group, permitting relevant stakeholders to meet in a dedicated, neutral, environment.
  • The first Meeting of the Work Group will take place from 10:00 to 13:00 on Monday 5 November 2018, as part of the 22nd COA Members Meeting.
  • This document is being circulated to relevant stakeholders to invite comments and feedback – and to suggest items for discussion on the Meeting Agenda.
  1. Establishing the Work Group and Defining the Objectives
  • One of the first WG items will be to establish its objectives. Each industry sector needs to define what problems and challenges they are facing; and to indicate their expectations – both from existing and potential new technology – as well as their vision for the future.
  • At this stage, the role of the COA is to provide a neutral platform, permitting the stakeholders to meet, discuss the issues that they are facing – and agree how to proceed.
  • Depending on how successful this is, the next stage might be to develop a standard, perhaps within the scope of ISO work group.
  • Initially, the Group will permit participants who are interested in both sectors of this industry: both global tracking of containers and telematics for reefer monitoring.
  1. First Meeting: Monday 5 November – Group Moderator and Potential Participants
  • An inaugural meeting of the WG will take place as part of the COA’s 22nd Members Meeting at the Hilton Hotel, Rotterdam on 5 November. The Meeting will take place between 10:00 and 13:00
  • The Meeting will be moderated by COA Board Member Frank Nachbar (Director, Global Container Service, Hapag-Lloyd). Support and administration work will be undertaken by the COA Secretariat.
  • All COA Members are entitled to participate in the Work Group – and will be invited to join. But it is anticipated that the key Groups will be:

– Container Shipping Lines
– Container Leasing Companies
– Tracking/Telematics Technology Suppliers and Reefer Machinery Manufacturers
– Container Repair and Storage Depots

  • Participation in the WG may in due course be extended to other sectors of the container logistics chain (eg Ports and Terminals)
  1. Agenda and Topics for Discussion
  • The final Agenda will be prepared in the light of feedback to this discussion document.
  • The provisional agenda is proposed as follows:
  • Introduction by the WG Moderator, giving an overview of the issues that will be addressed and explaining the role of the WG
  • Panel representing different sectors of the industry – giving their “vision” of what they want, how they believe that better utilisation of tracking and telematics technology could create greater efficiency in the industry
  • Presentations by two or three shipping lines giving their feedback on the introduction of Container Tracking and Reefer Telematics technology into their operations
  • Depot Management – what are the capabilities to permit better communication from the container owners to the container depot? Can new technology be provided to depot operators to improve efficiency in the depot? Will greater equipment management improve depot efficiency and reduce costs?
  • The WG will agree relevant action-items for the Group, and identify the next steps.
  1. How to participate:
  • Companies wishing to participate in the Work Group should register to attend the COA Meeting
  • To register, click HERE

For further information, please contact Patrick Hicks (


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