Progress made on standardisation of port call data

Progress made on standardisation of port call data
Per Setterberg, STM, Ben van Scherpenzeel, International Taskforce Port Call Optimisation, Thomas Christensen, SMART Navigation, and Todd Schuett, SESAME2

An industry workshop to discuss global data standards (GDS) for port call data has highlighted support from industry members that standardisation is essential for meeting emissions reduction targets and optimising shipping.

Standardisation of port call data, including vessel-berth compatibility information, and information related to availability of berth, fairway, nautical and vessel services, would enable machines to understand one another. This would bring existing international industry standards together, allowing for quick endorsement and implementation.

Captain Ben van Scherpenzeel, chairman, International Taskforce Port Call Optimization, said that all participants agreed that there is a need to digitise, simplify and optimise the maritime industry, to meet current challenges like reducing emissions of shipping. Only moving forward together with a robust set of globally agreed port call standards will assist all parties to invest into solutions.

Captain Andreas van der Wurff, Maersk Line, agreed that the use of agreed global standards is essential for optimising the port call process and will enhance collaboration between the key stakeholders in a port environment.

Per Setterberg, project manager, STM Validation Project said that digital standards are a pre-requisite, but commercial contracts might be a hindrance to more efficient operations. That is why it is so important that BIMCO could present another step forward at the workshop – the STM clause for standard contracts that can be used to split benefits of just-in-time arrivals. 85 per cent of world trade is using BIMCO standard contracts.

80 delegates from ports, suppliers of navigation systems and terminal operating systems, and representatives of international maritime organisations attended the workshop, which was only the second of its kind in a 5,000-year-old industry.

The workshop concluded that the next step forward is to carry out a GAP analysis which proposed standards are not yet maintained by ISO.  The workshop also highlighted the importance of having sufficient guidance for ports and terminals on how to apply these standards and simply realising the standards is not enough.