ContainersOperationsPorts and LogisticsTech

DCSA publishes framework of just-in-time standards for main port call activities

The Digital Container Shipping Association (DCSA), a neutral, non-profit group established to further digitalisation of container shipping technology standards, in conjunction with its nine member carriers, today published interface standards and messaging application programming interface (API) specifications for all 50 event timestamps defined in its port call data definitions, which address the six main parts of a port call: berth arrival planning; pilot boarding place arrival and service planning; pilot boarding place and berth arrival execution; start cargo operations and services; services and port departure planning; and port departure execution.

The interface standards allow carriers, ports, terminals and other service providers involved in a port call to exchange event data in a uniform way, enabling automated data exchange. The complete framework of just-in-time port call standards supports digital port call planning, increased operational efficiency and optimal resource utilisation. It is the next milestone in the effort to achieve a more transparent vessel voyage ecosystem following the 2020 publication of DCSA Standards for Operational Vessel Schedules, which enable automatic sharing of schedule information between vessel operators and their partners.

“By moving container shipping towards a more efficient port call process, DCSA standards enable container ships to optimise their steaming speed, thereby lowering fuel consumption and reducing greenhouse gas emissions,” the association stated in a release.

The standards are being tested by carriers, ports and terminal operators at multiple ports around the world.

“Customers of shipping services want visibility and predictability; having a complete set of standards for port calls is an important step towards improving the efficiency and accuracy of data exchange between all parties,” said Thomas Bagge, CEO of DCSA. “The port call is the perfect way to showcase how critical it is to have an interoperable technology framework that enables seamless communication and cross-stakeholder collaboration. By adopting DCSA standards for just-in-time port calls, operational vessel schedules and track and trace, the industry will see an emerging digital ecosystem where these activities turn into collaborative, data-driven, digital processes. Carriers, ports, terminals, service providers and customers of container shipping alike will gain efficiency, cargo visibility and cost savings.”

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.
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