International Agreement Reached on Data Standards


The Port of Rotterdam has announced that an agreement has been reached on common nautical standards for port information.

According to a statement, the global exchange of standardized nautical information is now a step closer, enabling further communications between computers.

On November 29, 2018, an international group came to an understanding regarding standardized data definitions for the global exchange of nautical information.

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This is expected to increase the efficiency of sea-going vessels and boost the maritime sector’s effort to reduce emissions.

Rotterdam has stated that “the importance of digitisation and port call efficiency is increasing every day”, with all parties agreeing that standardization is essential.

In addition to this, the port has asserted how important it is, for port call efficiency, that all business process information owners can share data.



Participants in the meeting, including the International Taskforce Port Call Optimisation, built on the results of a workshop in May 2018 by selecting the best possible definitions.

Now that all the relevant stakeholders have contributed to establishing uniform nautical standards, the next step can be taken to publish the definitions and, where necessary, to submit these to a standardization organization.

Ben van Scherpenzeel, Chairman of the International Port Call Optimisation Taskforce, said: “Uniform data definitions will enable the terminal operator to share a vessel’s berthing details with parties including the agent and the captain of the vessel due to take over that berth on the quay.

“This improves port call efficiency. Vessels no longer run the risk of berthing in the incorrect location or even with the wrong side of the vessel. Correcting such manoeuvres takes a lot of time.”

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