The Digital Container Shipping Association (DCSA) has published standards for the digital exchange of operational vessel schedules (OVS), which can be implemented by vessel operators, their vessel sharing agreement (VSA) partners and operational service providers, to enable automatic sharing of service automation.
The neutral, non-profit group, which features nine member carriers, is looking to accelerate digitalisaion of container shipping technology standards through a unified industry effort.
With the new standards in place, carriers can digitally publish their schedules, and their partners and operational service providers can subscribe to the carrier’s feed to automatically receive updates, or retrieve updates as needed.
This is meant to provide complete vessel schedule transparency, increasing efficiency and enabling better planning and optimisation of shipping activities.
Yu Kurimoto, managing director, corporate and innovation for ONE (Ocean Network Express), said: “ONE emerged from the legacy of three Japanese liner companies, who historically prided themselves on high service quality and process excellence.
“From this cherished history we formed our current core values of quality, reliability, innovation and customer satisfaction. Furthering these values in the modern era requires greater transparency and interoperability among industry participants. OVS is a perfect example of an area in which digitalisation would provide these benefits.”
The OVS standard publication comprises several documents including the DCSA Industry Blueprint 2.0 with OVS schedule definitions and an updated glossary of terms, the DCSA Information Model 2.0 and the DCSA Data Interface Standards for OVS 1.0 and associated Reading Guides.
In addition to these documents, the association has published OVS API definitions on the SwaggerHub open source API development platform, where future enhancements will also be published. Carriers can use the definitions to rapidly implement DCSA standard-compliant APIs for OVS.
Thomas Bagge, CEO of DCSA, stated: “Operational vessel schedules are core to the functioning of the container shipping industry. Digitising them is necessary if we want build a higher degree of effectiveness and efficiency into the fabric of container shipping processes, and this release is an important step in that direction.
“Once implemented, our OVS standards will, for example, enable a port operator to optimise their operational activities in accordance with the exact arrival time and departure date of a vessel. Ultimately, the more transparency and efficiency we build into these fundamental processes the more each stakeholder will be able to trust and benefit in terms of lower costs, increased productivity, greater innovation, a better customer experience, and less impact on the environment.”
DCSA member carriers include MSC, Maersk, CMA CGM, Hapag-Lloyd, ONE, Evergreen, Yang Ming, HMM and ZIM.