The Digital Container Shipping Association (DCSA), in conjunction with its nine member carriers, published standards for the exchange of operational vessel schedules (OVS) on 7 July.
The standards can be implemented by vessel operators, as well as their Vessel Sharing Agreement (VSA) partners and operational service providers, to enable automatic sharing of schedule information. This is one of many initiatives to be put forth by DCSA to accelerate digitalization 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 will provide complete vessel schedule transparency, increasing efficiency and enabling better planning and optimisation of shipping activities.
“Operational vessel schedules are core to the functioning of the container shipping industry,” said Thomas Bagge, CEO of DCSA. “Digitizing 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.”
In addition to the OVS documents published, DCSA 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.
The DCSA Standard for Operational Vessel Schedules can be freely downloaded from the DCSA website.