The CONTAIN Advisory Board met on 9 October in London in order to receive an update on the progress of the CONTAIN project, as well as to provide additional input and feedback to the CONTAIN consortium. More than 50 participants were in attendance with representatives from Customs, port authorities, border agencies, freight forwarders, shippers and logistics providers, and the European Commission, among others, including key members of the CONTAIN project consortium.
The agenda included a full update of the current status of the CONTAIN Project, with progress reporting, detailed descriptions of the technologies planned for the demonstration phases, and explanations of the demonstrations planning and preparations already undertaken.
The structure of the Advisory Board Meeting was designed to allow the maximum time for questions, input and feedback from the participants, with even additional opportunities for networking and side discussions to continue during the breaks. Furthermore the following elements of the CONTAIN project were highlighted during the discussions: Emerging Issues, Solutions, Technologies, and the Actual Demonstrators.
The feedback in general was quite positive, while some critical challenges do remain. Some of the points discussed among the participants, included (but were not limited to):
– Customs and border agencies need timely, accurate and full information as early as possible in order to assess risk correctly and react accordingly
– Collaborative response aspects are key to demonstrating the next generation approach to supply chain security
– Data quality is always an issue – more sources of data help to fill some blanks in this respect, but perhaps a regulatory step may be required at some point
– The decision support solution that is part of CONTAIN will augment the risk assessment decision capability of existing systems (such as in Customs)
– There has to be more collaboration between Customs and business in order to ensure that this new approach can be successful
– One of the big issues from the commercial side is not always speeding up the process, but having better predictability with respect to the different steps involved
– There is significant value in integrating the CONTRAFFIC system into the CONTAIN project (although the CONTRAFFIC analysis is not real time)
– There was also a request to get more trader and freight forwarder input to the project and as such a meeting was subsequently held with CLECAT (the European Association of Freight Forwarders) in order to get their opinion concerning the CONTAIN project
Although there were many other topics discussed during the CONTAIN Advisory Board Meeting, the key issues are noted above.
The CONTAIN consortium would be pleased to welcome additional stakeholders to the CONTAIN Advisory Board. Please send your request to join the CONTAIN AB to Mark Miller at: firstname.lastname@example.org.