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Student Project
To identify the issues in maritime logistics and using RFID as a
conceptual solution
Submitted by

Pooja Anil-Kumar
Matriculation number: 47266

Supervisor: Dipl.-Ing. Susanne Kellberger, Fraunhofer CML
Examiner: Prof. Dr. Carlos Jahn, Fraunhofer CML

Hamburg, XX August, 2014

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Abstract
Improving efficiency and effectiveness in maritime logistics to create value is the goal of
maritime operators. The existing scenario is where information is exchanged between the
maritime operators based on manual updating and handling of information. Implementing
technologies such as RFID, where the cargo finds the efficient way throughout the maritime
supply chain, will enable seamless interconnectivity between the operators and activities in the
intermodal freight system.
This project consists of theoretical and empirical sections. The theoretical section reviews the
work of maritime logistics and its operators (especially, information based and inter-
organizational relationship perspectives). The theoretical analysis clarifies the strategic
objective of maritime actors, and highlights the information shared and its value to maritime
logistics. Based on the literature analysis of maritime and information management, the
empirical work was undertaken to examine the qualitative approach. Interpretations are made
on implementing RFID in maritime logistics and used in models (i.e., House of quality,
Technology alignment and Business canvas model) which are simple tools used for analysis and
futurology. The empirical findings indicate that maritime actors can acquire better information
quality using RFID, and how RFID may support and enable strong collaboration with its
information quality providing effective maritime activities
This project work presented hereafter provides a meaningful insight for researchers, managers
and maritime stakeholders into effective information management of a maritime system in the
context of inter-organizational relationship. However, this project has not examined the way to
acquire and apply information using RFID and focuses solely on a qualitative approach. It is
recommended that a quantitative approach to delve deeper with RFID and information
management is necessary to view it as a global supply chain strategy.


III

Acknowledgement
It has been a long journey for me to undertake the challenges of completing this project work. I
feel blessed and particularly indebted to my supervisor Dipl.-Ing. Susanne Kellberger for her
excellent guidance throughout and great efforts to explain things in clear and simple terms,
helped me overcome a lot of obstacles. I would have been lost without her tremendous
patience in correcting every report I submitted to her. Her kind supervision allowed me to
encompass both my short-term goals and a lesson for my lifetime to be more organized and
focused in my work. It has indeed been a great honor to work with such a strongly committed
mentor.
Im privileged to have had the support from Prof. Dr. Carlos Jahn for making it possible for me
to conduct this work. His dedication, talent and support will inspire a lot of aspires to work in
the field of maritime logistics. I am sure this is not an end for my research work and only a
starting point for me in my long journey.
Finally, I would like to thank all of the people who provided me with the moral support during
the course. Special thanks to my mom for her support, patience and understanding.










IV

Contents
Abstract ........................................................................................................................................... II
Acknowledgement ......................................................................................................................... III
List of Figures ................................................................................................................................. VI
List of Tables .................................................................................................................................. VI
Glossary ......................................................................................................................................... VII
1. Introduction ......................................................................................................................... 1
1.1 Background ....................................................................................................................... 1
1.2 Objectives ......................................................................................................................... 2
1.3 Research question ............................................................................................................ 3
1.4 Research scope ................................................................................................................. 3
1.5 Research methodology .................................................................................................... 4
1.6 Structure of the project .................................................................................................... 4
2. Maritime logistics and operations ....................................................................................... 6
2.1.1. Introduction .................................................................................................................. 6
2.1.2. Definition of maritime logistics .................................................................................... 6
2.1.3. Key activities ................................................................................................................. 7
2.1.4. Processes .................................................................................................................... 10
2.1.5. Maritime logistics value .............................................................................................. 12
3. Review of information management ................................................................................. 13
3.1. Definition ........................................................................................................................ 13
3.2. Evaluating information exchange .................................................................................. 14
3.2.1. Information organization and storage .................................................................... 16
3.2.2. Information management for maritime logistics value ............................................. 18
V

4. Analysis .............................................................................................................................. 20
4.1. Qualitative method for analyzing ................................................................................... 20
4.2. Challenges in Maritime Logistics Industry ..................................................................... 21
4.3. RFID as a conceptual solution24
4.4. Competencies of RFID using IE tools .............................................................................. 29
4.4.1. House of Quality- To determine customer needs and RFID capabilities ..... 29
4.4.2. Technology alignment ................................................................................................ 30
4.4.3. Business Product Canvas ............................................................................................ 34
4.5. Summary ........................................................................................................................ 37
5. Conclusion .......................................................................................................................... 38
6. Limitations and contributions ............................................................................................ 38
7. Future research .................................................................................................................. 39
8. Bibliography ....................................................................................................................... 40
9. Appendix ............................................................................................................................ 45








VI

List of Figures
Figure 1: Project structure .............................................................................................................. 5
Figure 2 Main processes at container terminal .............................................................................. 9
Figure 3: Representation for flow of containers........................................................................... 11
Figure 4: Sources of information .................................................................................................. 20
Figure 6: Information sharing in intermodal transport ................................................................ 26
Figure 7: House of Quality for IQ with RFID .................................................................................. 30
Figure 8: Technology alignment diagram ..................................................................................... 34
Figure 9: Business Canvas ............................................................................................................. 37






List of Tables
Table 1Key supportive activities of maritime logistics ................................................................... 9
Table 2Measurement of Efficiency and Effectiveness in Transport Logistics .............................. 13
Source: Compiled by Author Table 3 Overview of ML information exchanged .......................... 16
Table 4: Significance of information exchange ............................................................................. 19
Table 5: The significance of Information Quality using RFID ........................................................ 28



VII

Glossary

IQ

Information Quality

IQM

Information Quality Management

RFID

Radio Frequency Identification

ML

SL

Maritime Logistics

Shipping line

MLS

Maritime Logistics System

TEU

TO

FF
Twenty-foot Equivalent Unit

Terminal operation

Freight forwarder







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1. Introduction
1.1 Background
Logistics is the key element for the development of any organization. Maritime Companies
today are involved in continuously changing behavior in order to suit to global market
requirements. Due to the dynamic and interconnected changing market, there is a strong need
for companies to be more flexible and responsive. Due to the standpoint of companies in being
more effective and efficient, the merchandise have to be distributed in the right quantity at the
right place and at the right time, in order to minimize system wide costs while satisfying service
level requirement. The same is valid for information in logistics processes considering
information as a good to be transported itself. There is a strong need to integrate the huge
quantity of information collected and provide the right quality information at all ends.

Also,
lately the emphases to share information between many stakeholders have become more
prominent. A single portal delivering the information on all sides has been proven prominent by
a lot of studies (Gunasekaran & E.W.T.Ngai, 2003). The enormous data collected at the different
activity stations in maritime industries, be it truck appointment, container details, ship
movement or port authority has to be managed well. This data management and information
retrieval is getting more cumbersome and complex with increasing trade .The right technology
as per the needs and standards of the company has to be adapted such that it increases the
richness of communication between the firm and the customer.
Technology-enabled solutions have become an integral part of supply chain management. As
the competition has intensified, organized players have adopted latest technologies to improve
efficiency. Some of these include tracking, networking, truck appointment systems, container
monitoring etc. With each having its own beneficial, usage limits, cost and activities involved,
the logistics companies have to carefully decide upon the technology it is moving to, based on
its strategic priorities and efficiency it can achieve. One such technology is usage of RFID tags.
They provide information on the products and its travel through the supply chain. They also act
as data storage units. Compared to conventional technologies such as barcode, the volume of
storable data can be bigger, the storage itself is safer, the data access is simplified through
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automating and some transponders are rewritable.

An example for this would be using RFID
technology in access control system of container terminal. In this way can one decrease the
workload in the gate of the container terminal and improve the efficiency in receiving the
container.

(Hu, Voss, & Shi, 2011)Several advantages of RFID-generated information are such as
process efficiency, higher transparency and security and less media breaks. Furthermore, it
increases available data quality, improves protection against counterfeiting quality
management, traceability and process knowledge as a result of higher visibility/transparency.
(Glover & Bhatt, 2006)
According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, annually uncountable cargo theft takes place,
which raises the demand for machine to machine technology. Another example of technology
usage would be cargo- tracking and the usage of e-seals, which plays a role in making container
transport more secure. This can be done by attaching a transmitting device to cargo so as to
track and monitor cargo all through its journey, using wireless communications. This is highly
useful because any interference with the security device would send a security signal to the
operator. Before selecting a technology for an organization, long term benefit of all parties on
the chain of co-operation and information sharing is to be considered.
1.2 Objectives
The objective of this project is to understand maritime environment and challenges today, and
the future directions of information management in maritime logistics. The project aims to
express the information management system, the value of information, and the issues which
hinder the performance of the maritime logistics system.
RFID is the focused technology in this project work as a conceptual solution to improve the
performance. The research questions are answered by conducting a literature review and then
through empirical investigation. The latter part of investigation involves analysing RFID as a
solution to the issues in maritime environment. The varied sources for this project work
complement to contribute how the information system could be improved in the future.

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1.3 Research question
Strategic management scholars define information management as a process of information
acquisition and application. Thus, when discussing the way to adapt information management
strategy to a maritime business organisation, one should examine what information will
maritime operators acquire and how the acquired information can improve maritime logistics
value (i.e., the application performance of information). Information quality has a huge impact
on the performance and currently there are a lot of issues in the system due to unstructured
and not standardized circulation of information. In this regards, this study examines how
implementing RFID could improve the information quality and thereby improving the maritime
logistics system. The research question is deduced from this as follows
What are the challenges in maritime logistics? How could RFID benefit in overcoming these
challenges?
The research question is formulated in order to explore the possibilities and future of RFID in
maritime logistics. The application performance of the acquired information through RFID
would be examined by answering the research question. The relevant implication would then
be discussed.
1.4 Research scope
This research is primarily concerned with challenges in maritime logistics. Maritime logistics
involves operations such as shipping, Terminal operations and freight forwarding. The
information in these operations today is manually updated. Thus, the analysis in this study is
how the maritime logistics could be improved in future with implementing technology like RFID.
Implementing RFID is among the conceptual solutions to solve the issues and improve the
efficiency of maritime logistics. Thus, the empirical investigation which is targeted at delivering
better quality of information may derive meaningful strategic implications in maritime logistics
research.
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1.5 Research methodology
A literature review of the work of maritime logistics and information management is initially
performed in order to identify the relevant streams of the research issue of this study. The
theoretical review clarifies the objectives of the maritime actors, and conceptually outlines the
maritime process and what information the maritime operators acquire. This work eventually
leads to identifying the issues in maritime environment at present. The study later shifts to the
development of a conceptual framework that shows the positive relation between the sources
of information acquisition, information assimilated and maritime logistics, and the role of co-
operative relationship in acquiring information with the help of RFID.
To empirically investigate the proposed conceptual relationship, this project adapts a
qualitative approach to solve the research question. Based on the information collected,
interpretations are made which is then used in IE tools House of Quality tool to understand
the customer desires and RFID capabilities along with the degree of interaction between the
functionalities of RFID. Technology alignment is a very simple tool which addresses how the
needs are being solved with technology (i.e., RFID). The source of information here are from
three sources. (1. Participant observation 2. Unstructured interview 3. Previous research
Journals,books and papers). The validity and reliability of the information from interview is
then diagnosed by the expert panel.
A questionnaire for the interview is based on the operationalization, issues and future of RFID
in maritime logistics information management. Based on the information collected, an
assessment is made which is then used in House of Quality, which is in turn used in Technology
alignment tool. The conceptual relationships are examined by analysing the results from the
tool and the implications are finally discussed in the last parts of the thesis.
1.6 Structure of the project
This project consists of six chapters consisting of a background explanation, overview over
research objective and method, a literature review over maritime logistics processes and
information handling and management, Analysing RFID as a conceptual solution to maritime
and a conclusion part. A diagram representing the structure of the project is shown in figure 1.
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Chapter 1, Introduction presents the background of the project followed by describing
objectives of the study, research questions and methodology.
Chapter 2 begins with literature review involves defining maritime, maritime logistics processes
along with a simple flow chart The various activities of ML, strategic implications and the value
of maritime.
Chapter 3 is also literature survey but mainly concentrated on information management in
maritime logistics. The information collected, handling and organization are the key sections
here. It further discusses how this information is important in creating value to ML.
Chapter 4 involves with the analysis of RFID in maritime logistics and also briefing on the
various application areas in maritime and the latter part which involves qualitative approach for
analysis. Unstructured interview is placed in a group to gather information. This information is
being graded and later used on IE tools- House of Quality and Technology alignment tool. With
the help of these tools, a platform is created for discussion and understand the interaction
among the functionalities. The results are interpreted.

Figure 1: Project structure
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The chapters 4,5 & 6 are meant for marking the end of this project with a summarised view and
conclusion. Finally, these chapters discusses the contributions and limitations and gives
directions for future research. The references for this whole project is under the Bibliography
chapter no. 8.
2. Maritime logistics and operations
2.1.1. Introduction

Maritime logistics has grown to be one of the most important mode of transportation due to its
ability to carry bulky items that no other transportation could offer. Every year millions of
containers are being shipped globally. Ships can carry everything oil, frozen food, clothing,
heavy electronic goods, automobile etc. The current state-of-art maritime transportation can
carry roughly about 12,000 containers in a single vessel. The logistics process achieves higher
performance through excellence in the maritime transport system, which is itself aimed by
connecting world-wide distributed transportation linkages between a consigner and a
consignee (Huybrechts, Meermans, Van De Voorde, & Van Hooydonk, 2002). Thus, maritime
logistics is considered as a strategically significant component of the logistics integration
system.
2.1.2. Definition of maritime logistics
In order to assure agile and flexible moving of cargoes, companies in logistics are required to
offer additional logistics activities. Through these efforts, global logistics managers have
identified that if maritime transportation is not well inter-linked with other entities of the
supply chain, or if it cannot cope with the logistics demands placed upon the system, it will
become a bottleneck which interrupts the smooth flow of goods and information in the logistics
flows. The possible problems with poor practice of maritime transportation have highlighted a
significant need for maritime transportation to be well integrated in the entire logistics system
while in the meantime, the effectively integrated maritime transportations, which performs a
wider range of logistical activities and fosters quicker service. This creates a high logistical value
in the system. In this regard, maritime transportation is considered a systematic element in the
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global logistics integration structure. (mason & lalwani, 2004) As a result of this, emerged the
concept of maritime logistics with a view that concerns maritime transportation. Thu, the
concept of maritime logistics should be defined from the definition of the logistics concept
view.
Maritime logistics is referred to as a process of planning, execution and managing the
movement of goods and information which are involved in the ocean carriage. As an integrated
part of the logistics process, a maritime logistics system is required to achieve the goal of the
entire logistics system. Therefore, maritime logistics value is reflected in how well maritime
operators can provide efficient and effective service for the smooth flow of logistics.
Maritime logistics involves not only the activities involved in maritime transportation, for
example, shipping, sea voyage, loading and unloading cargoes etc., but the scope of maritime
logistics involves other logistics services as well. The key activities are described in the next
section.
2.1.3. Key activities
Maritime logistics consists of the following three key divisions of maritime transportation:
shipping, terminal operations, freight forwarding. Table 1 summarizes the key activities and
supportive logistics functions of maritime logistics.
Shipping
Shipping the goods of shipper from one port to another is the major focus of the shipping
system. Shipping also provides additional activities to support the logistics flow such as
inbound/outbound bill of landing, container tracking, and intermodal services (Lin & Tsai, 2014)
(The World Shipping Council , 2014) (Szpak & Tapamo, 2010). Transshipment, is mainly driven
by the motive to reduce transportation cost: shippers strive to increase economies of scale,
building larger container ships for long haul routes, and demanding terminals and facilities to
be able to handle these large ships. The resulting system is commonly known as hub and spoke
where in deep sea container ships operate among a limited number of transshipment terminals
(hubs) and smaller ships link the hubs with other ports (spokes). In this case, many of the
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intermodal issues typical of import/export terminals are concentrated to the terminal
operations.
Freight forwarding
Sometimes, there is a need to arrange the complex process of international freights between
two ports. During such times, a third party participates (e.g., freight forwarders) play an
important role in order to arrange the freight. Some of the activities performed by these third
party on behalf of the shippers are manage booking vessels, prepare for requisite documents
for ocean carriage, and manage documents for customs clearance or insurance requirements.
They also arrange logistics services, e.g. pick and packing, warehousing, inventory management.
Well-ordered and accurate documentation is a requirement in international trade for freight
forwarder to acquire a successful export order and payment for delivery. (Trip & Bontekoning,
2002; Ran, 2008; WANG, YIN, & DUAN, 2008; and Kabakchiev, et al., 2011 )
Shipping Freight Forward Terminal Operation

Main Function
Cargo movement from
one port to another
Define transport demand;
vehicle booking (incl.
vessel); Transport
planning; Prepare and
manage for ocean
carriage on behalf of
shipper
Loading/Unloading
cargoes; connection to
inland transportation and
Carrier; storage, Traffic
management
Supportive
Logistics
Activities
Documentation
relating sea trade,
container tracking;
Intermodal service;
Warehousing and
distribution; Pick and
packing; Inventory
management.
Distribution and
warehousing network;
Quality check; Testing;
Assembly; Repairing and
Inland connection
References Lin & Tsai, 2014;
Szpak & Tapamo,
Trip & Bontekoning, 2002;
Ran, 2008;
Gibbs, Rigot-Muller;
Mangan, & Lalwani, 2013;
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2010;
The World Shipping
and Council , 2014

WANG, YIN, & DUAN,
2008; and
Kabakchiev, et al., 2011

Coppolino, DAntonio
Formicola, Oliviero, &
Romano, 2011;
Ducruet, Rozenblat, &
Zaidi, 2008
Alderton, 1999
Source: Compiled from various sources.
Table 1Key supportive activities of maritime logistics
Terminal operation
Ports are traditionally known for berthing or anchoring ships and allowing for the transfer of
good from ship to land or ship to ship. They are the interface between sea and land, and areas
consisting of port functions. (Alderton, 1999)

Figure 2 Main processes at container terminal
The typical processes of a container terminal is illustrated in Figure 2 and refer to the flow of
import containers; all the processes can be performed in the reverse order, when export
containers are loaded onto a vessel. Container terminals main operation involve berth and
crane allocation and scheduling which is for loading/unloading cargo. To get a smooth and
quick way for movement of goods, port operations are involved in several other logistics
functions , e.g. storage and packing, warehousing, traffic management and forecast (Gibbs,
Rigot-Muller; Mangan, & Lalwani, 2013; Coppolino, DAntonio Formicola, Oliviero, & Romano,
2011; Ducruet, Rozenblat, & Zaidi, 2008).
As we could see, maritime logistics are involved in sea transportation service as well as other
additional logistics services, e.g., distribution planning, order processing, customer service and
so on. Those additional services are a major part of cargo movement to destination, and
therefore the performance of maritime logistics may affect the performance of cargo
Vessel
arrival
loading/unl
oading
Transfer Storage Transfer
Pick-
up/delivery
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movement. Successful management of maritime logistics may help to improve the effectiveness
of movement of cargo and as well as logistics management.
2.1.4. Processes
The concept of maritime logistics and its key activities have been identified in the previous
section. Figure 3 is the representation of the process of maritime logistics system. The model is
built on understanding the supply chain of maritime logistics system, which starts from the
manufacturer and terminates at final consumer.
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Figure 3: Representation for flow of containers
Shipping line is an information intensive service as described in previous sections. It links buyers
to sellers, creating economic value by effectively delivering products to customers. Maritime
logistics play an important role in delivering high quality customer service and its performance
has its linkage with manufacturers/suppliers performance. (Sharma, Scholar, & Sahay, 2004)
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As represented in the diagram, successful shipment of the containers in maritime logistics is a
result from the successive processing. Customers of the ML may be primarily considered to be
shippers who use shipping and freight forwarding service, and the shipping lines which are
customers of port operators. Maritime logistics service is an integrated logistics system with all
the entities being interrelated. A delay in shipping or cargo movement may cause serious
problems, not only with processing other successive work but also with delivering goods on
time to the final consumer. The value creation of this process is explained in the next section.
2.1.5. Maritime logistics value
Although firm provide differentiated products or services, if it does not satisfy customer, the
goods or services may not be valuable. This section discusses the maritime logistics value from
the firms (i.e., a service providers) point of view as the extent how well the maritime logistics
system responds to the customer demands through successfully managing the flow of goods
and services in maritime logistics. To meet the customer expectation, maritime logistics value in
reflected in the efficiency and effectiveness of service they provide (Lai, Ngai, & Cheng, 2002).
Being drawn from (Lai, Ngai, & Cheng, 2002) as shown in Table 2, this study shows two major
indicators in assessing transport logistics which can also be compared with maritime logistics
value: reduction of lead time and cost and improvement in service quality. The first criterion is
concerned with efficiency related items, while the others are effectiveness related components
of maritime logistics value. This project work is focused at showing how these factors could be
enhanced by improved information management.


Processes Measurement criteria

Performance Indicators
Efficiency related
(Internal)
Cost

Total logistics management costs
Productivity
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Return processing cost
Assets Cash-to-cash cycle time
Inventory days of supply
Effectiveness related
(External)
Reliability

Delivery performance
Order fulfillment performance
Flexibility and Responsiveness Response time
Production flexibility
Source: (Lai, Ngai, & Cheng, 2002)
Table 2 Measurement of Efficiency and Effectiveness in Transport Logistics

Since it is a very broad area for strategic implication, this project focuses only to increase the
effectiveness of the maritime logistics system through information management. Hence, the
next chapter consists of a literature review of information management in maritime logistics.






3. Review of information management
3.1. Definition
Information is necessary in day to day activities at every step in order to make decisions.
Without facts in a logistics firm, would lead to high level of unreliable decisions. The data is
bought into the use by collecting, storing, analyzing and reporting the information to the
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appropriate level. These whole world of activities is grouped to be called Information System
where the data is being converted to information and is transmitted throughout the system.
(Juran, Gryna, & Frank, 1988) The quality of information provided from the information system
is a crucial point in a logistics firm. Huge volumes of data is being stored every day at the data
warehouses. The data in the system is collected from various sources and attaining direct
access to the right data defines the quality of information or Information Quality (IQ). The
Quality information id being targeted at services where there is a need in order to achieve
higher efficiency at the work activities. (Leea, Strong, Kahn, & Wang, 1999)
The loss attained due to providing unreliable and unrealistic data might act as an added
disadvantage to the company. Hence, the quality information has to be managed in order to
deliver the right information to the right person at the right time. This Information Quality
Management has to be incorporated within the whole system as the number of functional
decision makers at involved at various stages and during different times. The management of
information is best implemented when the top management has established a set of data
policy in every system.
3.2. Evaluating information exchange
Information management is a set of processes transferring data and information into positive
value on organizational performance. The processes to make an information valuable include
information creation, acquisition, organization, application, sharing and replenishment. (Knapp,
1998).Maritime logistics system as mentioned earlier involves a lot of actors and activities. The
interconnectivity and the information exchanged is a collaborative process. The transfer of
information from one actor to another is what makes the logistics system effective.
Table 3 is created adapting from Figure 2, table 1 and 2 based on understanding and analysis.
The table shows information exchange among the main actors (i.e., Freight forwarder,
Transportation Company, Terminal operator and carrier).
Actor 1 Actor 2 Information
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Freight
forwarder
Transportation
company
Activate transport product; Manage transport status; Monitor
transport items; Track and trace transport ; Schedule for
pickup/delivery; cargo details (e.g. size and type); shipment
tracking; customs brokerage; container storage and stacking ;
container tracking information; Manage transport information
exchange ; Market information; Manage contract ; Transport
booking; Manage long term demand ; Transport demand and
preference; Execution plan; Itinerary
Transportation
company
Terminal
operator
Container storage and stowage; Cargo details(e.g. size and
type); container tracking information; Manage transport
information exchange; transport status; Monitor transport
items;
Terminal
operator
Carrier Transport activation; Port-of-call ; Transshipment; Custom
clearance documents (e.g. bill of landing, invoices etc.);
requisite documents for ocean carriage (e.g. insurance
agreement); loading/unloading schedule; sea schedule ;
Container tracking information; cargo details (e.g. size and
type); Sea traffic
Carrier Transportation
company
Transport and container tracking information; cargo details
(e.g. size and type); Manage transport status;
Terminal
operator
Freight
forwarder
Cargo movement; Cargo details (e.g. size and type);
Documents relating sea trade; ship route plan; Transport
booking; Port-of-call; transport status; Monitor transport
items; Track and trace transport; Vessel status; Customs
brokerage
Freight
forwarder
Carrier Activate transport product; Manage transport status; Monitor
transport items; Track and trace transport; Manage transport
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information exchange ; Market information; Manage contract
; Transport booking; Port-of-call; cargo details (e.g. size and
type); cargo route plan; regular schedules of sails for maritime
carriage; Custom clearance documents (e.g. bill of landing,
invoices etc.); requisite documents for ocean carriage (e.g.
insurance agreement); Manage long term demand ; Transport
demand and preference; Execution plan; Itinerary
Source: Compiled by Author
Table 3 Overview of ML information exchanged
Table 3 shown above gives an overview on some of the key information being exchanged
among the main actors of the maritime freight. Information in maritime logistics today is
updated and handled manually using unique reference number for identification. The table
shown above restricts itself to the logistics section and does not involve coast/border security,
government laws or environment impact details. In the next section is discussed how this
information is stored and how the information system is organized to deliver us quality
information.
3.2.1. Information organization and storage
The biggest flaw in information sharing system in ML is the situation where it is difficult and
time consuming to communicate real time information to the stakeholders. The existing
problems in providing a well-functioning system for procedural information sharing and thereby
also efficient information exchange, have led to situation where information are not stored
coherently in the system. A situation to a large extent can be attributed to the fact that a
problem may arise when a new information on the cargo has to be entered to make them easily
accessible via search engine in EDI. This do also correspond to the recommendations in choos
framework where it is described that, it is important to organize information in ways enabling
information retrieval and sharing. (Choo, 2002)
It is also observed that due to lack of standardized methods for storing and coding accurate and
reliable information makes it further difficult for maritime operators to acquire information
from the system. This is also due to the fact that many of the maritime documents are paper
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work and not electronic. According to Korfhage 1997, the form of stored information is an
essential for users ease of later acquiring it.
If the ML system information is stored and organized in a more systemized and unified way, it
will also be easier for the ML actors to retrieve past information. An important factor in
achieving a coordinated information management process is that the current method for
information organization and storage in the system is poorly communicated throughout the
organization and providing the essential real-time information is a hard task.
Moreover, based on the current understanding ML, it has shown that the current information
management system fails in meeting several of the requirements set up by JISC, Information
management:
1. The current information system does not meet all internal business needs.
The stored information as understood by observing the system is often incomplete,
unorganized and not updated. Thus, the stakeholders cannot find the information required
to fulfill their specific needs. In turn, this leads to difficulties in obtaining standardized and
efficient organizational coordination and leads to bottlenecks in processes.

2. The current information systems do not enable the content of the information to be
accessed, use and reuse in a controlled and efficient manner.
This is due to the uncoordinated way of storing and organizing information in the system.
The case is maybe because most of the details is manually updated using a reference
number and there is a lack in having a standardized process. This makes it quite difficult to
control.

3. The current information systems is not kept and maintained in the most economical way.
The organization contains too many outdated documents and has insufficient information
intermediaries. This is causing the stakeholders to retrieve information via a much difficult
process. This eventually results in a low efficient and low performance system with a high
cost-benefit ratio.
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Analyzing the difficulties in information exchange in ML, a necessary step to bring better
coordination among the stakeholders is vital. This step should manage the distribution of
information and also serve a guideline for how to store and organize information in the system.
The value of having IQM in maritime logistics is explained in the following 2.2.4 section.
3.2.2. Information management for maritime logistics value
The cores of ML value are operational efficiency and service effectiveness. Maritime operators
operate in highly unpredictable environment. The increase in customer demands, global
expansion of port operators and shipping lines and intense competition are some of the
examples of problems faced in the ML today. Under these circumstances, ML actors are forced
to play a significant part as a logistics component. Based on the information they receive, they
should make decisions are strategically important in long term and as well as suits the present
needs and thereby improve ML value. The significance of having information exchange over
time is shown in Table 4. For integration of logistics information, it is needed to understand the
demands in the value chain, consider the relevant impact in making their own strategies, so
that the integration can realize collaboration and win-win for all stakeholders in the supply
chain. (Wu, 2012)

Short term

Medium term

Long term

Decision making
perspective
- Operational level
(Scheduling, routing,
transfer and
managing cargo etc.)
- Forecast
- Regulatory
decisions
- Control business
- Improved customer
service
- Business structure
reorganization
strategy
development
19

Strategic and
tactic
perspective


- Integrating regional
logistics resource
information
- Accountability
(roles and
responsibility)
- Advanced
management
concept
- Flexible and
effective
integration of firms
Source: Compiled by Author
Table 4: Significance of information exchange

As it was briefly suggested during in the above description, an effective data capturing and
information sharing platform would offer a useful strategic solution to maritime operations. By
collecting valuable information from their suppliers, customers, business partners and other
maritime stakeholders can mitigate the uncertainty of the business environment. This may
allow maritime operators to respond quicker to customer demands. Having the right
information at the right time and right place may promote more responsive and flexible
services (Naim, Potter, Mason, & Bateman, 2006). The importance of information sharing
strategy for maritime logistics can also be justified on the type of industries: i.e. good dominant
industry and service dominant industry. In a good dominant industry generally, value is created
from tangible goods which are produced by the manufacturing processes. Thus, the tangible
asset makes up a significant portion of the firms value. On the contrary, in a service dominant
industry, the organizational capability of the usage if resources or goods is the core for value
creation. Therefore, such industries are often invisible and are intellectual capital-intensive
(Vagro, Maglio, & Akaka, 2008). Whereas in a service dominant industry, a firm must combine
and harmonize all of its resources and operations in order to crate higher value (Vagro, Maglio,
& Akaka, 2008). Such activities can be accelerated by effective information management. ML is
characterized as service dominant industry, since it provides its customers with transport
related intangible services such as moving, handling and storing cargoes and does not involve in
producing the goods.
20

The demands from customers on high level of efficient logistics integration may force maritime
operators to capture and share information with each other. In this way, making better
utilization of information support the requirements of maritime operators and with using a
technological platform can enhance the performance of the whole system. The next small
section will explain the concept of ICT (i.e., RFID) in information management.

4. Analysis
4.1. Qualitative method for analyzing
The methodology used is as mentioned in section 1.5. To conduct an analysis on the qualitative
view, it is necessary to have an analytical process that suits the stated research question. This
study is purely based on addressing the issues related to information management in maritime
logistics in order to enhance its performance by using RFID. After a broad literature review on
maritime process and the understanding the information management in current environment,
the research gap is identified.
The sources of data collected in this project work can be classified as shown in Figure 4 below.

Figure 4: Sources of information
Secondary
source

Previous
research
including books,
journals,
proceedings etc.
Primary
source

-Unstructured
interview

-Participant
observation
21

The interview conducted with a few experts is recorded and attached as a CD at the end of this
report. (CD not yet burnt) The interviews are unstructured and face-to-face aimed at grabbing
the expert observations on issues and needs in maritime environment. The interview questions
mainly focuses on capturing the challenges of maritime logistics which could be overcome in
future. Aware of RFID, the interview is also aimed at capturing the view of experts on how they
consider RFID in maritime.
The interviews were helpful in gathering all the issues in maritime logistics clubbed together
with the participant observation by the author. The following section 4.2 addresses these issues
that has to be tackled to improve the efficiency of maritime logistics in the future.
4.2. Challenges in Maritime Logistics Industry
The information collected from the sources addresses the issues in maritime logistics. These
issues have been grouped into five divisions to understand the issue areas better.
1. Effective shipping
The competition and containerization of goods has affected shipping lines to grow to large
vessels that can accommodate as many containers as possible. Accommodating large number
of vessels has a competitive edge of economies of scale and offers shippers/freight forwarders
who wants to ship a large volume from one place in a single shipment and need not have to
make arrangements on planning multiple times. The huge vessels today carry about 10000 TEU
in general. However, these huge vessels have a disadvantage that they cannot be stopped quite
frequently and hence the division of cargo has to be made when stopped at important ports.
The two important issues to be raised here is-
The large vessel is supposed to carry as many containers as it can in order to achieve
economies of scale
The smaller ships which carries the containers from the bigger vessel to its destination
port has to be managed (along with required terminal facility at the destination port)

2. Integration of transport modes
22

The efficient movement of international freight with door-to-door service normally undergoes
two or more modes of transportation. Maritime transportation is an intermediary part of this
whole system with only the responsibility of ocean carriage of goods. This however connects
with the other transportation modes such as road, rail, air, or sea. The important concern here
is to get all the other modes of transportation to coordinate. Also, to ensure the delay between
the connection and intimating upon the arrival/departure time. It is extremely important and
complex to integrate the transport modes as a single system to get an efficient and better
system. The issues here are
A need for a well-coordinate system to connect all the maritime operators
A single powerful central database system
3. Safety of cargo
Maritime environment fight to provide safety of containers, along the entire network of
transportation. There is a critical issue of security breach at the checkpoints. For example, once
the container is sealed the content is visible only at the destination point with related container
load plans and other documents. This lack of verification is supporting security breaches to
disposition /misplaces goods. The containers do not carry any information and face many
security challenges and also due to the involvement of intermodal transports with multiple
stops and checkpoints. Along with this, there is a desire to get information on the status of the
containers so as to prepare the supporting activities once it reaches a node. This information is
requires reliable information exchange to enhance security of the cargo movement. This need
could be summarized as-
Containers must carry cargo details
Tracking of goods to understand status of cargo

4. Improvise terminal operations
Shipping lines have long routes carry cargo all over the world. The terminals are made a
compulsion to invest huge amount on their ICT systems for communication in order to handle
the vast data being collected. The terminals are operated better with a better coordinated
23

system which is lacking in the existing system where the updating is manually done with a
unique serial number.
Before the vessel arrives, the schedule and work order has to be determined for
loading/unloading the cargo. The terminal planner also issues work schedules on Cranes,
forklifts, Transportation Company etc. for movement inside terminal and also in/out of
terminal. Another issue here is that, these activities here are pre-planned and there is a chance
of delay/early arrival of the vessel or equipment or transport vehicles. This creates bottleneck
in the operations and due to lack in real-time information to re-plan. Therefore, the key issues
here are
A system to collect and handle vast data and retrieve quick information
Lack in real-time information creates ineffective resource utilization

5. Globalization of operation standard for information sharing
This is more likely seen as a strategy and not as a challenge. The maritime players see having a
globally used operating standard as a means to expand their business and stretch their routes.
Such expansion enables the maritime logistics firms to broaden their business scope and also
uplifts their brand image giving a competitive edge in the market. Hence, the issue here can be
summarized as
To have a global standard system to gather information
To create a better brand name in the market
After a clear understanding of the current challenges in maritime environment, the next step is
to propose a solution to these issues. . Due to the ever increasing competition and challenging
issues there is a strong need of information technology in maritime to support efficient
operation of transportation systems and to face these challenges. In this project work
24

4.3. RFID as a conceptual solution (Incomplete)
Technologys Next big thing, RFID is a rapidly emerging technology as viewed by many of
them. (Hildner, 2006) Because of its capability to detect, identify and track, possible RFID
technology applications flourish.
RFID is more like an advanced version of barcode that identifies and tracks objects using radio
signals. RFID can identify tagged items anywhere within the range of its receivers. RFID relies
upon the data storage devices called RFID tags. These tags store data on tiny silicon chips and
can be attached anywhere. Tags can be either passive (requires no internal power source) or
active (requires a power source like a battery, allowing the tag to communicate with the reader
with greater range).
In this project, RFID is examined whether it is a key to enrich the performance of Information
Management (i.e., organization and exchange) in ML.
As adapted from Foss (2008), cargo with RFID tags should have the following properties in MLS:
Carrying crucial information about the cargo, such as unique identity number, cargo
details and characteristics (e.g. dangerous goods) and origin-destination data.
Record information on activities that may have impact on the goods itself (e.g. delays)
Trigger actions on activities that have exceeded predefined limits, for example by
sending alarm in case the location of the goods is not in line with planned route data
Easily accessible tracing and tracking of goods for actors involved in the ML value chain
Providing information to the control systems and thereby manage the transport of the
cargo, by giving priority to certain types of goods in weak parts of the transport systems
(e.g. road and rail).
Improving communication (Insert Pic)


25

Easy to transfer information about early arrivals or delays. This can be done
automatically when the RFID tag is read and will be either time based or activity based.
Capture and forward information regarding containers details and its status. For
dangerous or short life goods, there is a possibility to have internal sensors which is
connected to RFID. This facilitates the tags to forward the status to the shipper.
Informing terminals when the containers leaves the terminal. This enables the
successive terminals to prepare for the unloading process when the ocean carrier
arrives.
The early arrival/ delay information received at the FFs end will help to plan
adjustments with the transportation companies

Terminal operations





Improving global standards
An intelligent tag like RFID on a container will be an important object in the information system
as it carries that is vital for several of the roles in the ML system. Via the access points of the
system such as roadside equipment or terminal gate, the information carried by the RFID tag on
the load unit is communicated to the involved roles. In the same way, the involved roles are
able to write information (using RFID tag writer functionality) and in that respect the tag
becomes an important hub in the interconnected IT systems.
26

Freight
Forwarder
Terminal
Operator
Shipping
Line
Final
consumer
Access
point
Container
Access point
with RFID tag
Source: Author
Figure 5: Information sharing in intermodal transport
According to Foss 2010, the interface between the access points and the tag has to be
standardized. Even if different IT system is operated by the different roles are not interoperable
on functional and technical level, the interface related to the intelligent tag enables the
different IT systems to become interoperable concerning the information exchanged via the
intelligent tag. This serves as one the biggest advantage of moving to RFID. A simple
representation of this is shown in Figure 4.
For logistics actors the use of intelligent tags (or intelligent goods) would be of high importance
as it would facilitate a much better tool for extract information from the highly strong database
server RFID information quality features to maritime logistics





27


Information zone

References
Real time information
(Siror, Guangun, Kaifang, Huanye, & Dong,
2010) (Kim & Hong, 2010) (Park, Choi, & Nam,
2006)
Secure transfer of information
(So, CISSP, CISA, PMP, & John J. Liu, 2006)
(Chen, Yang, & Yang, 2011)
Information visibility (Veronneaz & Roy, 2009)
Automated message transfer
(Wong, Lai, & Teo, 2009) (Cepolina & Ghiara,
2013)
Standard process system
(YIN, WANG, & Zhang, 2007) (YIN, WANG, &
Zhang, 2007) (Cepolina & Ghiara, 2013)
Automated data entry/ data capture
(Wang, Caron, Vanthienen, Huang, & Guo, 2014)
(Wong, Lai, & Teo, 2009)
Stores cargo details
(YIN, WANG, & Zhang, 2007) (Lun, Wong, Lai, &
Cheng, 2008 )
28

Tracking and tracing
(IreneV.Farquhar, 2011) (Siror, Huanye, & Dong,
RFID based model for an intelligent port , 2011)
(Lun, Wong, Lai, & Cheng, 2008 )
Wireless network (Park, Choi, & Nam, 2006)
In conjunction with smart apps
(Siror, Huanye, & Dong, RFID based model for
an intelligent port , 2011)
Varied frequency and read range (Park, Choi, & Nam, 2006)
Trigger actions alarming, scheduling
(IreneV.Farquhar, 2011) (Siror, Huanye, & Dong,
RFID based model for an intelligent port , 2011)
Comparatively expensive
(Tsai & Huang, Cost-Benefit Analysis of
Implementing RFID System in Port of Kaohsiung,
2012) (Veronneaz & Roy, 2009)
Decision support system (Ngai, et al., 2011)

Table 5: The significance of Information Quality using RFID

From table 5, the following information about how RFID influences information quality in ML
can be derived.
29

4.4. Competencies of RFID using IE tools
Futurology (also called future studies or futurism) is the study of possibility and probability of a
certain technology/product in the future. The tools in futurology makes a good roadmap
depending on the features and functions to the future systematically.
Futurology tools are used in this project work to get a clear roadmap for RFID usage in maritime
logistics. When a good roadmap is created, it should help us achieve the following:
Focus on the right functionalities of RFID that could be used in ML
Derives timely planning of further actions
Customer value is clearly identified
Involves in continuous value creation to the market
A motivation to innovate

Since, RFID in logistics is yet to make its mark, a basic overview of how the technology will be
viewed is addressed here using two futurology tools- House of quality and Technology
alignment tool.
4.4.1. House of Quality- To determine customer needs and RFID
capabilities

30


Figure 6: House of Quality for IQ with RFID
4.4.2. Technology alignment
It is a simple futurology useful to provide a platform for analysis and a presentation tool. This
tool is used to align the marketing needs to the technology features. The tool here is being
customized to adapt it to maritime logistics.
31

The highlight of the tool is to sync the features that RFID offers and communicated to what the
customer expects. The top 4 messages on either side (Customer and RFID) will be collected and
matched. The unmatched expectations will be highlighted whose implications will be further
analyzed.
Methodology for Technology alignment
Collect the top marketing messages/customer needs
o What benefits are essential?
o Which all needs are addressed?
o What are the expectations with implementing a new technology?
Collect the top features that RFID offers to ML
o What new features in RFID to ML?
o What issues will this advancement solve?
To analyze the relation between RFID features and customer needs
o Will advancing to RFID deliver particular needs?
o Does customer needs relate directly to RFID features?
Identify the out-of-context items and discuss among the ML pioneers
o Highlight the improvements (if any)by implementing RFID in ML
o If important customer needs arent met, discuss its impact
Process
Information in maritime logistics has been captured earlier in Table 3 and the significance of the
exchanged information is mentioned in Table 4. Derived from these, the top related issues are
put forward and group the customer/market needs into 4 groups as follows
32



Now, from table (MISSING) we can derive the next box which highlights what RFID offers to ML.
The linkage between these are later described.

The third step in technology alignment process is to provide the linkage. i.e., if RFID is able to
address the requirements of customers. The following challenges are first being explained and
the link diagram is shown later on.
Customer needs and expectations
To improve information quality and coordination between the actors in
the maritime network
Provide real-time information exchange as to plan actions
Security issues
Improve efficiency in terminal operations
Automation of manual checkpoints to reduce human errors
RFID features
Real time information
Accurancy and tranparency
AUtomated data capture and transfer
Information storage and reducd duplication
Tracking and tracing if goods
33

The dependencies among the actors for the information is at high level as shown in Table 3.
(RFID table) When RFID tags are fixed to the containers, the ML actors get to access the RFID
tags and the following can be derived:
Easy to transfer information about early arrivals or delays. This can be done
automatically when the RFID tag is read and will be either time based or activity based.
Terminal operations can be we well maintained and structured. The sensors that read
RFID tags could automatically register the arrival of containers along with their
locations. This will result in an efficient and effective handling of containers.
Capture and forward information regarding containers details and its status. For
dangerous or short life goods, there is a possibility to have internal sensors which is
connected to RFID. This facilitates the tags to forward the status to the shipper.
Informing terminals when the containers leaves the terminal. This enables the
successive terminals to prepare for the unloading process when the ocean carrier
arrives.
The early arrival/ delay information received at the FFs end will help to plan
adjustments with the transportation companies
Since the manual effort ( mails, calls, paper or data entry) is reduced because of the
RFID tags being sensed at the access points, human error is reduced to a large extent
RFID tags can act as interoperable information systems which provide a secure
exchange of information
Writing information on RFID functionality is the core to the IT interconnected system in
maritime logistics
Effective internal handling (arrival until it is dispatched) of containers because of the
tracking feature of RFID
Installing more RFID tag readers throughout the process system will generate automatic
controlling the container and status query.
Monitoring the whole process chain from manufacturing until it reaches the end
consumer is a much efficient management chain
34

Based on the summarization above, the technology alignment diagram is deduced in figure 5 .








Figure 7: Technology alignment diagram

The technology alignment diagram clearly shows all the customer needs are being related and
solved by the functionalities of RFID. These are however according to the general analysis
conducted by the author. The next tool is at the business level, envisioning the future of RFID.
4.4.3. Business Product Canvas
After the technology alignment, the roadmap to RFID and how it matches the needs of the
current ML is illustrated. The next step would be to make the market get attracted to RFID and
highlight why and what it does. Business canvas is a tool to communicate the key facts to a
product/technology (in this case, RFID) to align the market to focus clearly on what is needed. It
conveys the key facts on the product for communication to the stakeholders to understand
what theyve been investing into.
Procedure
Envision the Product
Identify the key users, key resources, key activities and channels
Identify the unique features of this particular technology
35

Identify what makes this solution unique? How it solves the problem?
Why is it better for the users?
These messages are communicated by developing a schematic presentations in boxes are
shown in Figure 6. Every division has a unique message that it is clearly distinguished for user to
present. In this project, RFID is addressed in the Business Product Canvas for the market.
36




37


Figure 8: Business Canvas

4.5. Summary







38

5. Conclusion
RFID in maritime logistics will enable a seamless collaboration between the actors and activities
in the intermodal international freight system. This project work gives an overview how
containers with RFID tags may support the transportation chain to improve collaboration and
contributes to maritime logistics value. Every actor in maritime logistics network has his/her
responsible role because the network is interconnected and often many others rely on each
others information.
RFID in maritime logistics improve the following;
Improved collaboration between the actors in the logistics network
Reliable and accurate information for preplanning and decision making
Effective container transfer in the chain( esp. terminal operations)
Seamless interconnection among the actors and activity in the entire network

6. Limitations and contributions








39

7. Future research
The current project work may contribute to the development of further research topics in the
following aspects.
This project has analyzed the effectiveness of maritime logistics based on the
information acquired by the maritime operators. The current work focuses only on the
information acquired by the inter-organizational and other information acquired by
external sources. Thereby, future research could involve information acquisition within
the organizational structure.
This work analyzed how RFID created positive effect of information acquisition and
sharing on maritime logistics value, but does not explain how it is implemented and
neither on the cost benefits. Future research can be transferred on the ways and type
of implementation and how the company can achieve economic benefits with it
Thirdly, this study focuses only on RFID. A careful research on other technologies which
could be adapted in maritime logistics would be very beneficial in making a comparison
and developing strategies for maritime. Further research can narrow down the
customer needs and try other technology which does not have a large influence on
organization.
This work is focused only on the qualitative methods, i.e., Quality house, technology
alignment and business canvas, when examining the proposed relationships. Although,
such work may contribute to the development of information management strategies, a
quantitative research method can be used for testing the proposal statistically.
Future work can also involve evaluating cloud computing in maritime logistics. Due to
low maintenance and capital investment, cloud computing has its advantages compared
to RFID. A comparison between cloud and RFID will be beneficial in evaluating solution
for future.

Future research on the similar baseline with concrete data will help contribute
immensely to derive the conclusion and to develop strategies for the future.
40

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9. Appendix