First iSHARE Authorisation Registry now up and running

Poort8 has become the first iSHARE partner operating a reliable and fully functioning authorisation registry. This registry plays a crucial role in facilitating the secure and controlled sharing of data, even between parties that don’t know one another. The next step is to identify concrete applications. “We can now start generating real value with iSHARE.”

Logistics companies can now share data in a fast, secure and controlled manner, including with previously unknown parties in the supply chain. The final missing link – the authorisation registry – became available at the start of this year, and the honour of being the first goes to Poort8. “Companies could already use iSHARE to exchange data with known parties, but an authorisation registry is essential in order to do the same with unknown parties,” comments Willem Maagdenberg, who co-founded Poort8 together with Norbert Lardinois.

Providing access rights

Companies with relevant data use an authorisation registry to stipulate which parties are allowed access to which data. For example, a freight forwarder can give a carrier the right to access data belonging to Europe Container Terminals (ECT) relating to a container’s estimated time of arrival (ETA). The same freight forwarder can give the customs office the right to access data relating not only to the ETA but also to the value of the cargo.

When the carrier or the customs office logs on to ECT’s system, the system will automatically check the authorisation registry to verify that they do indeed have the relevant data access rights. “And if the carrier outsources the container transport to a charter, the carrier can delegate the data rights to that charter,” states Maagdenberg.

Strict requirements

All in all, it took Poort8 around 18 months to receive official approval as an authorisation registry. Because the registry plays such a crucial role, iSHARE imposes strict requirements – and not only in terms of the technical aspects. “Running an authorisation registry is a serious undertaking and it’s not something you can do as a side project,” says Lardinois.

Poort8 put the necessary procedures – covering matters such as back-ups, updates and communication with users – in place to safeguard the quality, continuity and security and to eliminate risks. Lardinois: “We need to be able to guarantee the continuity of this service, and that’s one of the reasons we’ve had to alter the nature of our company as a legal entity. We’re now working on this full-time with a team of five people.”

Official implementation partner too

Besides being an authorisation registry, Poort8 is now officially an implementation partner too, even though that was not originally part of the plan for Maagdenberg and Lardinois. “However, we’ve gained lots of valuable knowledge since applying to become an authorisation registry,” adds Maagdenberg. “We’ve talked to lots of different companies about the possibilities of iSHARE and have repeatedly had to explain what the scheme entails. So we’ve already helped numerous organisations to get to grips with iSHARE, and we’re happy to formalise that role as an implementation partner.”

Mainport Traffic Monitor

There are already a couple of initiatives in the logistics sector that could greatly benefit from the added value of an authorisation registry. As one example, Maagdenberg mentions the Rotterdam Mainport Traffic Monitor: a platform that gives companies located in and around the port insight into the real-time traffic situation, as well as into the current position and expected arrival time of trucks. 

Companies could use that information to improve their logistics planning, but first it must be clear which information those companies are – or are not – authorised to receive. Poort8 is currently engaged in talks with the platform about how it could fulfil that role. 

Stimulating e-CMR adoption

Besides that, Poort8 believes it could help to stimulate the adoption of the digital waybill (e-CMR). Carriers can use an authorisation registry to share the data from the waybill with relevant parties without having to keep asking for permission. “That will speed up the exchange of information. We won’t see the full advantages of the e-CMR until the information flows through the chain faster and sooner than the goods themselves. Moreover, various solutions have already been developed for working with e-CMRs. Those solutions have to be able to communicate with one another, and an authorisation registry can play a part in that too,” continues Maagdenberg.

Concrete business cases

The five-strong team at Poort8 intends to take its discussions with companies a step further over the coming months. “Now that the authorisation registry is up and running, we can focus on establishing concrete business cases. In conjunction with Secure Logistics as the identity provider, all the elements are in place and we can start using iSHARE to generate real value for logistics companies,” says Lardinois.

Maagdenberg agrees, adding: “To accelerate adoption, we’re offering free use of the authorization registry in this first year. We extend an open invitation to companies to come and discover the added value of iSHARE for themselves.”