Latest news on global port data standards

Industry Database

Consensus has been reached on critical global data standards for port call data, with a view to allowing machines to better “understand each other" when it comes to shared port call data.

A recent meeting of the International Port Call Optimization Taskforce described this as an “important step forward towards harmonisation of port call data”.

The agreed data definition proposals for recording event data of a port call are largely based on existing International Organization for Standardization standards as well global industry-recognised data exchange protocols such as Electronic Product Code Information Services.

Port call data includes vessel-berth compatibility, (safe port) information, information related to availability of berth, fairway, nautical and vessel services, as well as event data essential for end-to-end supply chain visibility of cargo.

The participants of the taskforce also agreed there is a need to digitise, simplify and optimise the maritime industry through standardised digital data, allowing for real time updates in the port call process.

At the recent meeting, participants also created two clauses for chartering contracts to incentivise the sharing of information on ships’ arrival times and the potential ability for charterers to request — under specific circumstances — for shipowners to adjust their speed to suit arrival time. The incentive, which would use a common-use Traffic Management system, would be built around shared benefits for on-time arrival at the port prior to berthing.

BIMCO, whose commercial contracts account for 85% of seaborne world trade, is developing this angle further, and is conducting research on how to motivate the inclusion of port and hinterland operators as additional parties to such clauses in a move towards berth and equipment availability on a just-in-time basis.

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