MJC2 presented the SYNCHRO-NET project on behalf of the Customs Border Research Association (CBRA), who is one of the members of the Virtual Working Group on the Future of Customs.
SYNCHRO-NET focuses on applying the concepts of synchro-modality and smart steaming to global supply chain freight movements. Specifically:
- Synchro-modality: SYNCHRO-NET is developing new logistics software optimisation tools which allow end-to-end multimodal freight movements to be optimised. These synchro-modal tools enable shippers and logistics operators to not only save money but also to plan freight movements taking into account environmental impact, risk, reliability of service and duration. In essence these tools “de-stress” the supply chain.
- Smart steaming: The concept of slow steaming has been extensively studied. Smart steaming offers a way to optimise shipping services to present the right balance of services to the market based on requirements – faster services when needed but slower (and therefore much more fuel-efficient) services when appropriate. Furthermore, integration with terminal planning systems allows ships to optimise their passage dynamically. To take a simple example – if there is known congestion at the next port then there is no point in the ship going at full speed and then waiting at anchor for several days.
The presentation raised the interest of the delegates who raised the issue of the role of Customs processes in SYNCHRO-NET and other optimization packages, especially having in mind that the Customs processes will be an important deciding factor. In that context a delegate urged the WCO to closely follow the development of such packages. Other questions raised were around how security risks would be addressed along the supply chain.