As the experts of the week of the webinar pointed out, some major ports are embracing digitization, which allows them to exchange data with vessels.
But hundreds of ports and harbors around the world still rely on paper documents, agents and local contacts for operations, moorings and cargo transfers. These ports do not yet offer electronic alternatives, let alone data exchange with ships and maritime service providers.
However, progress has been made to encourage port authorities to improve communications and implement electronic data interchange internationally.
The IMO Facilitation Committee adopted amendments to the Facilitation Convention (FAL), from 9 to 13 May 2022, to make electronic data interchange mandatory in ports worldwide from 1 January 2024. This marks an important step in accelerating digitization in the maritime ecosystem and a real milestone in the implementation of JIT.
Public authorities must establish the information required for the arrival, stay and departure of ships in ports.
IMO members are testing a new integrated global shipping information system created to share information about these one-stop shops.
By 2024, it is planned to have a global system in place, with data exchanged between ports and to ships. But will it look like the deployment of ECDIS – multiple electronic chart display and ship information systems around the world supplied by over 30 different manufacturers with their own specific features?
If left to commercial industry, probably yes, and with errors, or lack of standardization in data dissemination.
The International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) came to the rescue. It has published the IEC 63173-2 standard for secure exchanges and communications between shore and ships, ready for the International Hydrographic Organization’s new S-100 formats for electronic charts and ship navigational information.
Ports around the world need to accelerate their digitization, set up one-stop-shops for information exchange, implement IEC 63173-2 and inform captains, owners and charterers of congestion and waiting times. Shipowners and charterers must then allow captains to reduce the speed of ships to optimize voyages and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.