The future of digitalised moving

Alvaro Stein is the CEO of Decapack in Chile and the chairman of the Data Solutions Task Force under the International Association of Movers (IAM).  In that role he is focussed on facilitating the seamless exchange of data within the mobility industry.  In this article, he explains the ONE Record Standard, how it can help and why you should get involved.

In the complex and fragmented world of moving, challenges such as repetitive data entry, cumbersome coordination through endless emails and calls, and frequent data inaccuracies drain time, increase costs, and undermine service quality. Escalating demands for compliance, robust cybersecurity, and urgent sustainability initiatives compound these challenges.

The Coalition for Reimagined Mobility recently published a report titled ‘Solving the Global Supply Chain Crisis with Data Sharing.‘ Operating within the transit and transportation sub-sector, distinct from the relocation mobility industry, the report’s findings also apply to global supply chains at large. It reveals that potential gains from data sharing could cut global freight costs by over six percent, unlocking more than half a trillion dollars in savings. Additionally, the Coalition estimates that such increased freight efficiency could reduce emissions by a staggering 22%!

Therefore, data sharing has a triple positive impact: it reduces inefficiencies, enhances customer service, and significantly cuts emissions, making it the greatest opportunity in the moving industry’s digitalization journey. With the massive potential benefits and availability of technology for safe, real-time data exchange, one might wonder what stands in the way of this transformative change.

During my tenure as CEO of Decapack, I witnessed firsthand the challenges and inefficiencies our industry faces due to fragmented and outdated data-sharing practices. Now, as the Chair of the IAM’s Data Solutions Taskforce, I am part of a committed team advocating for and implementing innovative solutions like the ONE Record standard to address these issues.

Challenges with current data sharing

Several barriers, both human and structural, hinder progress toward an interconnected digital future:

  • Industry Fragmentation: Sharing data with one partner is feasible but scaling this to dozens of ad-hoc integrations across an entire supply chain, each with its proprietary system, becomes unsustainable. The cost and complexity of managing these peer-to-peer integrations grow exponentially.
  • Digital Maturity Disparities: Many companies lack the expertise, infrastructure, or budget to effectively manage data interoperability. At best, those utilising third-party move management systems must rely on their tech vendors for integration. At worst, they are left with manual updates and data entry across multiple systems.
  • Lack of Unified Data Standards: The absence of unified standards makes integration setups lengthy and costly, exacerbating integration issues. Even with unified standards in place, companies may still face significant challenges due to varying implementation practices, legacy system compatibility, and the continuous evolution of technology.
  • Centralised Data Hubs: Traditional methods to share data within a network often depend on centralised hubs. This setup requires companies to send data through third-party systems, raising trust concerns and adding layers of privacy and security risks.
  • Collaboration and Trust: Competitive fears and uncertainty about what data should be shared and who has access to it often inhibit the collaborative efforts essential for adopting a shared standard.

These challenges are not unique to movers but pervasive across all global supply chain organisations – fortunately, the emergence of the ONE Record standard promises to resolve these challenges comprehensively. By offering a unified approach to data sharing, ONE Record enhances security, efficiency, and collaboration, directly tackling fragmentation issues, digital maturity disparities, and the need for neutral data protection frameworks.

Enter ONE Record

The ONE Record standard, developed by the International Air Transport Association (IATA), represents a significant evolution in data sharing across the logistics industry. It moves away from traditional centralised data hubs, where all data must pass through a single point, introducing a decentralised method where each piece of data remains within its owner’s control and only links to the data shared with others. This approach enhances both security and accessibility.

The following is a very loose, high-level overview of ONE Record focusing on the main principles, which is not intended to be taken as a formal part of the standard. I encourage you to contact the International Association of Movers (IAM) for further details or visit the extensive documentation available on the IATA’s ONE Record website. While the following avoids deep technical descriptions, a basic understanding of concepts such as data integration and API usage will be beneficial going forward.

On-demand data access

Unlike traditional methods that require sending complete data files (such as XML) to other parties or central hubs, ONE Record enables each piece of data to stay within its owner’s system and creates a unique URL, i.e., a unique web address, that is shared with partners. This method ensures that data is available on-demand to authorised partners only, eliminating unnecessary data duplication and minimising the risk of breaches. It simplifies data sharing through standard web protocols, ensuring the underlying data remains secure and under the owner’s control.

ONE Record Standard components

The standard is built on three foundational pillars:

  • Data Model: Establishes a uniform vocabulary and structure for information across the industry.
  • Standardised APIs: A set of rules that allow different software programs to communicate with each other more efficiently, making it easier to retrieve and update data across different systems.
  • Robust Security Protocols: advanced security measures designed to protect data from unauthorised access and cyber threats, ensuring that all data exchanges are secure.

The ONE Record Standard server

The “ONE Record Standard Server” integrates the three key components – data model, Standardized APIs, and Robust Security Protocols – into a single specification. Deployable within each participant’s infrastructure, whether on-premises, hosted, or cloud-based, this server functions as a middleware layer that seamlessly integrates with existing systems. It allows companies to maintain their current IT setups without extensive modifications, minimising operational disruptions and facilitating a smooth transition to enhanced data-sharing capabilities.

The ONE Record standard and Server Specification are ready for implementation. Now, it’s up to you, and IAM is prepared to help.

IAM’s role in the adoption of ONE Record

As ONE Record is a standard requiring the installation of a specific piece of IT infrastructure, the ONE Record Server, IAM does not operate any part of the system itself. However, IAM’s role is pivotal in ensuring members can participate and reap the benefits of seamless data sharing through the following key areas:

  • Governance of ONE Record for Moving: IAM ensures that the standard’s expansion for moving services meets the unique needs of its members. This involves tailoring the data model to the specifics of moving services, defining participation rules, and managing digital identities.
  • Promotion, Training, and Support: IAM increases members’ awareness and understanding through seminars, informational campaigns, and training materials. It ensures members have the resources and assistance to implement the standard effectively.
  • Pilot Programs and Case Studies: IAM coordinates and facilitates pilot programs, enabling members to test and experience the benefits of ONE Record in a controlled environment. Sharing these pilots’ case studies and success stories helps demystify the technology and demonstrates its value in real-world scenarios.
  • Collaboration Facilitation: IAM acts as a mediator to foster collaboration among moving companies, technology providers, and other stakeholders in the logistics chain. By facilitating partnerships, IAM helps overcome the collaboration hurdles that often impede the adoption of new technologies.

Now it’s your move

The Data Solutions Taskforce invites you to embark on this collective journey towards digitalization. Only by working together can the industry unlock the full potential of the ONE Record Standard and seize the greatest opportunities in our industry’s digital evolution.

In a recent interview for The Mover magazine, Alvaro explained that it is his aim to set up a pilot programme involving a limited number of movers.  The system is already being used by IATA but a pilot will allow the system to be tested in a moving environment.  He is looking for companies to join that pilot.  There will be no direct cost however companies will need to allocate around one week of experienced IT support to the project.  Although the benefits will be limited in the early stages, as more companies come on stream the use of ONE Record has the potential to revolutionise the way in which movers communicate between themselves and the various agencies it employs during a relocation.  Anyone interested in finding out more should contact him at or Morgana Somers at

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