The war in Ukraine, caused by the aggression of the Russian Federation, led to a humanitarian catastrophe not only in Ukraine, but also provoked a global food crisis. The blockade of Ukrainian seaports and the impossibility of supplying Ukrainian grain and other agricultural products to the world market led to the risk of famine in many countries and a significant increase in world food prices. The limited capacity of existing transport corridors and the impossibility to increase it rapidly by traditional methods in a limited time frame has led to the need to find ways and approaches to improve the efficiency of the existing logistics infrastructure by simplifying procedures and digitalization.
The UN Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) initiated a project to explore the practical application of the data exchange pipeline concept to improve the efficiency of this grain export corridor using UN standards.
The study under this project is based on the results of the UN Development Account COVID-19 projects on digitization of multimodal and cross-sectoral data and document exchange, taking into account the recommendation of the 2022 UNECE Odessa Seminar to support the development of digital multimodal data and document exchange, in the context of the so called “UN Black Sea Grain Initiative” (BSGI). The BSGI allows for the exports of grain, other foodstuffs, and fertilizers to resume through a safe maritime humanitarian corridor from three key Ukrainian ports - Chornomorsk, Odesa, and Yuzhny/Pivdennyi.
The document will describe the objective situation with the requirements for documents and data necessary for the export of grain within the framework of the Black Sea Initiative, analyze the degree of use of UN/CEFACT standards at various stages of the supply chain process, identify obstacles and provide recommendations for the implementation of the key concept - digitalization of data exchange in the supply chain. The results of the study can be used both now and after the end of the war in the reconstruction of Ukraine to improve the efficiency and sustainability of agricultural trade.