THE Digital Container Shipping Association’s standards for IoT containers have just been released, the first of their kind in the shipping industry.

DCSA is a neutral, non-profit group founded by major ocean carriers to digitise and standardise the container shipping industry. With the mission of leading the industry towards systematic collaboration, DCSA drives initiatives to make container transportation services transparent, reliable, easy to use, secure and environmentally friendly.

The new IoT container standard focuses on ensuring agreement within the industry on the standardised methods for communications of IoT devices on containers. This includes gateway communications to wireless vessel container monitoring systems along with land-based and local area networks to interface with the devices as they retrieve valuable cargo and operational data from refrigerated, tank and other types of containers.

The standards can be implemented by vessel operators and owners as well as ports, terminals, container yards, inland logistics providers and other third parties to ensure interoperability between smart container solutions at the radio interface level.

The DCSA IoT Standard for Gateway Connectivity Interfaces, which can be freely downloaded from the DCSA website, includes radio standards for gateways on vessel, on land, at event locations and in handheld devices. These DCSA IoT standards provide an initial set of connectivity recommendations that are vendor and platform agnostic to reduce investment risk, increase operational efficiency and enable innovation.

The new standards are the first of three planned IoT standards releases addressing the connectivity requirements for reefer and dry containers, as well as the RFID registration of these containers. Future releases will focus on data structure and handling, physical device specifications as well as security and access management.


Supplier of supply chain visibility equipment for the cold chain, Globe Tracker, has confirmed that it IoT container technology is fully compliant with the new standards.

 “All shipping lines, leasing companies and logistics operators can now select our IoT devices with confidence that they are industry approved,” says Don Miller, vice president, global sales and marketing at Globe Tracker.

“The new IoT container standards are setting the bar for the requirements for smart container device communication on land and sea, and it will take some time for all vendors to be compliant with these new standards,” he said.

DCSA’s open source standards are developed based on input from DCSA member carriers, industry stakeholders and technology experts from other industries. DCSA member carriers include: MSC, Maersk, CMA CGM, Hapag-Lloyd, ONE, Evergreen, Yang Ming, HMM and ZIM.