Worldwide there are approximately 3,000 merchant ports and the work of the Harbour Master can vary widely from country to country and from port to port even within the same country.
Following a successful Industry Input Workshop in May 2018, on 29 November the second Industry Input Workshop was held to discuss and agree on global data standards (GDS) for port call data, allowing machines to understand each other. E.g. to connect the berth planning of the terminal to the navigation information of the ship. Earlier, in September 2017, the United Kingdom Hydrographic Office [UKHO] and the International Harbour Masters Association [IHMA] released an intermediate publication for the functional definitions for port call data, allowing humans to understand each other.
The scope of port call data includes vessel – berth compatibility (safe port) information, and information related to availability of berth, fairway, nautical and vessel services, with the aim to bring existing international industry standards together, allowing for quick endorsement and implementation.
Some 80 attendees attended the workshop representing shipping, ports, suppliers of navigation systems and terminal operating systems as well as representatives of relevant international maritime organizations. This workshop was only the second of its kind in a 5,000-year-old industry.
For port call optimization it’s fundamental to have standardized digital data available, allowing for real time updates in the port call process. Therefore, it’s imperative to agree on global digital data standards first.
The need for port call optimization is increasing day by day, especially with the commitment of the IMO to reduce emissions caused by shipping with 50% by 2050. Many articles in various maritime industry magazines have already pleaded for international standards – and now we can see the first tangible results.
Captain Ben van Scherpenzeel, Chairman of the International Taskforce Port Call Optimization: all participants agreed that there is a need to digitize, simplify and optimize 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: the use of agreed global standards is essential for optimizing the port call process and will enhance collaboration between the key stakeholders in a port environment.
Per Setterberg, STM Validation Project Manager: 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% of world trade is using BIMCO standard contracts.
EHMC, UKHO, GS1, International Taskforce Port Call Optimization, STM, SMART and SESAME organized the first workshop on 24 May 2018, to demonstrate the different initiatives are moving towards the same solution. It was attended by more than 50 people. The first findings identified the need to spend more time to investigate the currently available options for e.g. identifiers of berths and terminals. Action items were addressed by two small expert sessions. In the 29 November workshop the wider industry stakeholders validated and endorsed the outcome of these expert sessions.
Concrete outcomes of the workshop:
There was little discussion about the proposed standards as most of them are based on existing ISO or branch standards. Importance of ISO standards is that they’re well maintained by a robust organization. Next step forward is to carry out a GAP analysis which proposed standards are not yet maintained by ISO. Another step forward is to realize that having standards only is not sufficient; guidance is needed for ports and terminals how to apply the standards.
Discussion was held regarding standard API’s – allowing platforms to connect to one another. Not a concrete outcome yet, but setting the scene of what the ambition of the marine industry should be.
Results will be available in 2 weeks’ time on www.portcalloptimization.org
Emerging maritime challenges were at the forefront of discussions at the 11th ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) Inter-Sessional Meeting (ISM) on Maritime Security held in Da Nang, Viet Nam, on 14-15 March. Participants had the opportunity to exchange views on regional maritime issues, review progress of their maritime security work plan, and discuss proposed activities over the coming year.
IMO took the opportunity to update ARF members on IMO’s work in Asia and told senior maritime officials of potential future technical cooperation projects in the region. IMO also talked about improving the implementation, among ASEAN members, of maritime security measures, including the International Ship and Port Facility Security Code (ISPS).
It was reported by IMO on 13 March that a new set of publicly-available guidelines for monitoring plastics and microplastics in the oceans will help harmonize how scientists and others assess the scale of the marine plastic litter problem.
These guidelines* for the monitoring and assessment of plastic litter and microplastics in the ocean have been published by the Joint Group of Experts on the Scientific Aspects of Marine Environmental Protection (GESAMP), a body that advises the United Nations system on the scientific aspects of marine environmental protection.
Guidelines cover what to sample, how to sample it and how to record and assess plastics in the oceans and on the shoreline, including establishing baseline surveys. They include recommendations, advice and practical guidance, for establishing programmes to monitor and assess the distribution and abundance of plastic litter, also referred to as plastic debris, in the ocean.