ABIT (Advisory Body of Information Technology) Chair Anne Sandretto, assisted by Verena Schaer (FIATA) & speakers Arnaud Le Hors (IBM) Jaco Voorspuij (GS1) sharing ideas in Delhi

FIATA Introduction

Every year FIATA (International Federation of Freight Forwarders Associations) organizes the FIATA World Congress, in one of its four geographical regions (Africa / Middle East, America, Asia / Pacific, or Europe). First organized in 1926, the FIATA World Congress brings together representatives and decision-makers of the logistics sector. In 2018, the event was held in Delhi, with the theme “The Future Starts Here”.

The ABIT 2018 Session

On September 28, my colleagues Arnaud Le Hors from IBM, Jaco Voorspuij from GS1, and I, presented at the ABIT (Advisory Body of Information Technology) session. ABIT works with UN/CEFACT, ISO and other technology standard setting organizations to ensure that technology used throughout the logistics industry is taken into consideration when new standards are proposed and implemented. Here is the agenda for the 2018 ABIT session:

  • 1. Opening of the Meeting and welcome by the Chairwoman, Anne Sandretto
  • 2. Competition and Compliance Statement
  • 3. Approval of the Past Meeting Minutes (Doc. ABIT019 on FDDS)
  • 4. Presentation by Arnaud Le Hors, Senior Technical Staff Member, Web & Blockchain Open Technologies at IBM – Topic: Blockchain Explained: How Blockchain will fundamentally change the way we do business – Slides
  • 5. Presentation by Susan Malaika, Senior Technical Staff at IBM – Open tech for AI & Data – Topic: AI Today and Tomorrow: How AI will fundamentally change the way we do business – Slides
  • 6. Presentation by Jaco Voorspuij, Senior Manager Transport and Logistics at GS1 Global Office – Topic: Blockchain and Artificial Intelligence work best when leveraging common global standards – Slides
  • 7. Panel Discussion with Arnaud Le Hors, Susan Malaika and Jaco Voorspuij moderated by the ABIT Chairperson, Anne Sandretto
  • 8. Any other business
  • 9. Closing of the Meeting and outlook on the next meeting at the FIATA Session 2019 in Zurich, Switzerland.

FIATA Observations

Through networking with the diverse attendees from many regions, and visiting the expo, it became clear that there are enormous tech opportunities because the logistics and freight-forwarders (including ports, airports etc) are digitizing their systems and embarking on technologies like blockchain & AI.

It appears that semantic PDF might be a useful concept for the freight-forwarders – as a way to help automating data extraction from documents. If the documents are varied structurally then this data capture solution might be appropriate.

There are training opportunities too to educate the freight-forwarders communities on global standards, processes, and tech. You can see information about Fiata Vocational Training here: https://fiata.com/about-fiata/organisation/abvt.html

The FIATA congress used a phone app to get questions & moderate them from the very large audiences. I’m surprised that I have not seen such an app used at technology conferences.

We had great feedback from the ABIT audience on Blockchain, AI & Standards session – Thank you so much Anne for inviting us and for enabling us to engage with such a wonderful community.

Kudos to Arnaud Le Hors
FIATA World Congress 2018 in Delhi

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