New scheme enhances data sharing in logistics and transport sector

20 February 2018 5 min. read

More than twenty organisations from the logistics and transport sector in the Netherlands have joined forces and together developed a scheme for data sharing in the industry. Leveraging the new iSHARE scheme, companies with a role within the logistics chain can share data in a simple and controlled manner, paving the way for more effective supply chain collaboration. Following a local roll-out, iSHARE is set to go international. 

In the summer of 2016, public and private parties from the Dutch transport and logistics sector teamed up to jointly develop a uniform set of agreements for identity and access management between organisations, spanning identification, authentication and authorisation. The scheme delivered allows all parties in the logistics sector to share data in a simple and controlled manner – not only with direct business partners, but also with parties further down the chain. An important principle here is that every company remains the ‘owner’ of its own data, empowered to determine whether or not data is shared, with whom, and for how long. 

iSHARE – the i stands for control by the data owner and SHARE for data sharing – is an innovative solution of ‘Topsector Logistiek’, a platform supported by the Dutch government which aims at stimulating innovation and advancement in the country’s logistics and transport sector. The government established the platform in 2010, together with similar initiatives in eight other sectors – and combined they represent what the nations’ policy-makers describe as the most promising sectors for the future and areas in which the Netherlands aims at excelling in. The ‘Topsectors’ are overseen by a group of established representatives from the industry, public sector, and academic and research world. 


Improved cooperation across the value chain

iSHARE will according to its developers lead to more intensive collaboration across the entire value chain of the industry. By ramping up cooperation, transport and logistics companies can make various efficiency improvements. One benefit for example is enhanced productivity, which in itself offers many advantages, such as efficiency gains and sustainability. The Paris Climate Agreement, to which the Netherlands has committed itself, requires the Dutch logistics sector to improve its productivity improvements on CO2 emissions by a factor of six. To make this possible, it is crucial that parties in the chain work together more intensively. Another area which houses significant potential is digitisation. In order to unlock the benefits, however, the different parties will have to more effectively share their data.

The organisations that have contributed to the creation of iSHARE as a co-creation partner are 4Shipping, APM Terminals, Cargonaut, Dakosy, Customs, eHerkenning, Globis, GroentenFruit Huis, KLM Cargo, Pilotage NextPort, Portbase, Rijkswaterstaat, Ritra Cargo, Secure Logistics, SmartLoxs , Stichting Vervoeradres, TransFollow, UC Group and Value Engineer and Yellowstar. 

To facilitate iSHARE’s development process, the organ responsible for its deployment called in the help of the Dutch arm of INNOPAY. The consultancy firm has over the past years gained extensive experience with designing and developing schemes in the financial services industry, and by tapping the consulting firm, that knowledge could be leveraged to the benefit of the logistics industry. “iSHARE is in line with INNOPAY's vision of data sharing, where data is shared at the source and the data owner has control over its data at all times,” said Shikko Nijland, Managing Partner of INNOPAY.

ISHARE facilitates data sharing in the logistics sector in a simple and controlled manner. Not only with direct business partners, but also with parties further down the chain

In the past few months, the co-creation partners have jointly developed the technical, functional, operational and legal specifications of the scheme and tested them in practice through Proof-of-Concepts. Following its launch, iSHARE is now available to all parties active in  the logistics space. "The co-creation partners worked with great enthusiasm, energy and focus to develop this cornerstone of the iSHARE network which will further improve supply chain collaboration by enabling everyone to share data with everyone else,” remarked Nijland.

According to iSHARE, the scheme’s launch has generated significant interest from the industry. “A large number of parties who want to take the lead in data sharing have signed up to become launching customers,” states the organisation on its website. While the first priority of iSHARE is onboarding clients in the Netherlands, preparation has commenced for the international roll-out, which kicks-off later this year. 

Related: Digital and tech-led innovation are disrupting the logistics industry.