The Intermodal Association of North America (IANA) and the Bureau International des Containers (BIC) are extending their collaboration on container facility identification, which began in 2021, to include geofencing. IANA will take the leadership role in collecting and reviewing geofence coordinates for North American intermodal facilities for inclusion in the global BIC Facility Code database and in the IANA Intermodal Facilities Directory.

The BIC Facility Code database is a global database of over 17,000 container facilities and provides a facility name and address, latitude/longitude point and harmonized facility code. As part of the 2021 harmonization exercise, the locations in IANA’s North American Intermodal Facility database were assigned a global BIC Facility Code, and an API synchronization was put in place.

The database is being expanded to include geofences coordinates to help support the industry’s adoption of smart containers. The methodology and recommendations for the project were developed by a global working group assembled by the United Nations Center for Trade Facilitation and Electronic Business (UN/CEFACT) and includes ocean carriers, IoT providers, and software platforms.

The objective is to provide a neutral open library of geofences linked to container handling facilities to ensure that all parties in the supply chain can reference the same geofence for a facility regardless of the provider or platform they may be using, thus improving reliability, interoperability as well as safety and security.

BIC staff will attend IANA’s Intermodal EXPO in Long Beach, September 11-13 to explain the new platform and to assist depot and terminal operators/owners in setting up geofences for their facilities.