Common Framework for Freight Information Exchange


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p1022Common Framework for Freight Information Exchange



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Common Framework for Freight Information Exchange (Informative Note)

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Project Leadership




Project LeadMichael Onder


EditorAudun Vennesland, Jan Tore Pedersen, Andy Schoka, Kerri Ahn

Heads of Delegation


Projects in CEFACT that are exploratory in nature, resulting in a paper, do not require the support of 3 Heads of Delegation.


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Executive Summary

Project purpose

This project’s purpose is to determine whether a common framework for freight information exchange needs to be developed as a UNECE Recommendation in order to support interoperability of cross border freight information among supply chain partners throughout the world. Freight logistics, which involves several different modes of transport, depends on precise real-time communication between supply chain partners as well as within their internal operations. This is a globally dynamic and competitive domain in which customers in the public and private sector demand short windows for delivery of goods. Electronic information exchange is essential for interoperability between organizational and information systems, based on semantic and technical interoperability.

Project scope

The scope of this project is to study requirements for freight information exchange across the international supply chain as well as reviewing existing frameworks in view of confirming or invalidating the need for a UNECE Recommendation on the subject. The scope of this project will include the elements of study needed to establish an acceptable method of interoperability that can allow existing communities across the freight information chain to interoperate with one another. The end result is to identify a possible architecture that will allow seamless information flows between all supply chain partners from Consignor to Consignee. Any partner engaged in sharing data related to a shipment or a consignment can be viewed as interacting on an equal basis regardless of whether commercial or regulatory. There are several initiatives already underway in UN/CEFACT that fall within this scope and give impetus to an interoperability methodology proposed in this project. One of those is the The Trade Facilitation Implementation Guide, which is a tool for simplifying cross-border trade. The Guide has many, if not all, the elements needed for cross border trading but when digging down through the Business Domains and the Approaches and Methodologies Domains it stops within E-business solutions at the aspects covered. Some of these are “electronic exchange of documents and information for cross border trade transactions, including use of standards for document simplification, data harmonization, and inter-operability between businesses, government agencies and other relevant trade partners”. Although these areas of importance are mentioned there are no standard methodologies or processes mentioned that a trader could use. Thus a more complete Guide would include the tools for implementation which, now, are not available on a standardized basis in the world. The methodology proposed in this paper would make The Trade Facilitation Implementation Guide more complete and avoid further fragmentation of communities dealing with electronic exchange of documents and information for cross border trade transactions. Also related to this Common Framework is the Single Window interoperability concept. This is a significant UN/CEFACT initiative that would profit from an interoperability methodology for allowing seamless communication between supply chain partners. The new Recommendation 36 on Single Window Interoperability will cover the mechanism required for the interconnectivity of two or more Single Window facilities. This recommendation also addresses the need for cross-border trade information exchange which requires the exchange of data/information beyond the national Single Window, i.e. across the border. These UN/CEFACT initiatives along with North American, European and Asian initiatives are expected to form a working base for this project.

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