IMO to promote just-in-time shipping with new digitisation deal

Aerial view cargo ship terminal, Unloading crane of cargo ship terminal, Aerial view industrial port with containers and container ship.

The IMO has struck an agreement with the World Customs Organisation (WCO), the UN Economic Commission for Europe and the International Standards Organisation (ICO) to accelerate the rate of digitisation in the maritime industry.

In a statement, the IMO said the deal paves the way for updating the IMO Reference Data Model and for its further development towards harmonization of data standards.

This includes exchanging operational data that could help facilitate just-in-time operation of ships and develop the IMO Reference Data Model, a key element of the organisation’s digitisation initiative.

This in turn is in line with the FAL Convention, the IMO’s 1967 treaty designed to promote standardisation and collaboration across the maritime industry.

The new agreement will specifically support the transmission, receipt, and response of information required for the arrival, stay, and departure of ships, persons, and cargo via electronic data exchange.

Being enacted within the FAL Convention’s framework, it will ensure interoperability between the respective standards of each organization. 

As mentioned above, a key goal of the data agreement will be to promote just-in-time shipping.

Just-in-time shipping is an operation which allows ships to be optimised to the point where they arrive at their destination port when their berth is ready for them, thereby saving energy and cutting costs and emissions. 

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