Results of the field trial to visualize international logistics
As announced in a press release on December 9, 2008, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) conducted a field trial of electronic tags in the marine transport route between Japan and the Netherlands for three months from December 10, 2008. METI has been working on these electronic tags in cooperation with Japanese logistics and IT companies, with a view to proposing international standards for them.
The trial has yielded satisfactory results, including success in
(i) demonstrating the automatic recognition of the cargo shipment status in international logistics
(ii) enabling participating companies to share cargo shipment information from origin to destination by using common shipment identification numbers.
Outline of the trial
Through collaboration among shippers, receivers, logistics companies, and the customs authorities, this field trial ran for about three months, from December 2008 to February 2009. A total of 39 containers (1,922 pallets) of cargo to which various types of electronic tags were affixed according to the type of packing were tracked from a warehouse in Japan to that in the Netherlands along the actual shipping route (see reference). The entire process of reading electronic tags and storing shipment information in the database was automatically performed using stationary readers.
In this trial, common shipment identification numbers were used to connect business transaction information with shipment information obtained from the electronic tags attached to shipments or shipping containers, thus enabling all parties in the supply chain to share shipment information. The trial demonstrated that this scheme can significantly improve the spectrum and preciseness of the visualization of international cargo shipment.
With regard to the active tag for which specifications have been studied through this three-year program, the results of studies have been summarized as user requirements and submitted to EPCglobal, an international standards organization, to be reflected in its discussion for standardization.
If these technologies become commercially available, parties involved in international logistics will be able to share information, creating the possibility of flexible logistics that can promptly meet changes in supply and demand and of more efficient customs procedures. METI will continue to forge ahead with these efforts.
Outline of the Field Trial to Visualize International Logistics
In this program, electronic tags suited for different types of packing (containers, pallets, cartons, etc.) are affixed to shipments moving along the actual marine transport route between Japan (Tokyo) and the Netherlands (Amsterdam) in order to automatically obtain information to visualize shipments and share it with parties concerned.
The active tags validated in this trial are those operating in the 433 MHz band, a spectrum widely used for international shipments in the world and assigned only for this purpose in Japan. Regarding passive tags, the reading accuracy of the same tag is verified in both Japan (952-954 MHz) and the EU (865-868 MHz) for the purpose of examining broad applicability to international logistics.
- Visualization of the type of packing and the shipping status not only in the originating and destination warehouses under the own responsibility, but also at specific points in between them (visualization of intermediate stock)
- Stronger coordination between physical distribution information in the database and commercial distribution information being kept track of by the corporate system
- Promotion of shipment information sharing among supply chain partners and improvements in the accuracy of SCM planning through the identification and incorporation of disparities between planned and actual events
- Increased convenience to priority shippers and receivers
- Secretariat: Monohakobi Technology Institute, Nomura Research Institute, Ltd., EPCglobal, GS1 Japan
- Shipper: Canon Inc.
- International logistics companies: MISC (Japan) Ltd. (MISC BHD), Nippon Express Co., Ltd, Mitsui-Soko Co., Ltd., NYK Tokyo Container Terminal, CERES Paragon Terminals B.V.
- System construction: NEC Corp., GS1 Germany, Allumis, Vue Technology, Inc., IBM Japan, Ltd.
- Readers provided by: NTT, Mitsubishi Electric Corp., Mighty Card Corp., Marubeni Corp.
- Electronic tags provided by: NTT, Mitsubishi Electric Corp., Toppan Forms Co., Ltd., Toppan Printing Co., Ltd., Sato Corp., NXP Semiconductors Japan Ltd., Alien Technology Corp., UPM Raflatac, Secura Shield, Toray International, Inc.
Japan (Canon warehouse --> Port of Tokyo) - Netherlands (Port of Amsterdam --> Canon warehouse)
From December 10, 2008, to February 26, 2009
April 27, 2009
Division in Charge
Distribution and Logistics Systems Policy Office, Commerce and Distribution Policy Group