CENTRO INTERNAZIONALE STUDI CONTAINERS
ANNO XXXVIII - Numero FEBBRAIO 2020
BETTER COMMUNICATION AND DATA SHARING KEY TO ESTABLISHING JIT
The maritime industry is ramping-up efforts to optimise port
calls and introduce just-in-time (JIT) shipping.
If successful, the IMO and IAPH-led initiatives could tackle two
of liner shipping's biggest challenges: improving schedule
reliability and meeting the industry's ambitious decarbonisation
For example, a major cause of potentially unnecessary emissions
and wasted fuel is the amount of time ships spend waiting for a
berth. After monitoring 200,000 ships globally, MarineTraffic
calculated the average time at anchorage was between 4% and 9% of
total call time. This time could be eliminated through better
communication and data sharing with carriers to optimise port calls,
stakeholders believe, and pilot projects are underway at the ports
of Rotterdam, Antwerp, Hamburg and Los Angeles to make JIT shipping
a reality. Ben Van Scherpenzeel, chair of the IMO's port call
optimisation taskforce, said: "Ship-shore data availability and
data sharing around port calls must be supported by robust standards
developed by robust organisations in the long run to make GHG
emissions reductions a reality.
"Shipowner-operators will simply not be able to work
optimally with different data sets amongst all the ports their
fleets call at.
"Equally, a one-size-fits-all global solution is not the
answer. The answer lies in a common port call process framework,
using existing contractual, hydrographic, and data definition
The IMO taskforce has published the JIT Arrival Guide to provide
information to ports on how to facilitate JIT shipping, including
data definitions to "allow nautical and operational systems to
speak with one another optimally."
One solution, developed at the port of Hamburg, shares data
between 300 different parties within the port community, as well as
EDI connections with preceding ports on a vessel's rotation.
"Synchronisation of nautical data with fleet control
centres means that arrival of cruise and containerships along the
berth side can be correctly scheduled and synchronised," noted
Another advantage of JIT shipping could be improved schedule
reliability and supply chain visibility.
MarineTraffic estimated over 22% of commercial vessels arrive at
their destination a day later than planned, with 15% making
intermediate stops between departure port and destination.
This creates major supply chain headaches for freight forwarders
and shippers, MarineTraffic said, because of the need to reorganise
landside transportation at the last minute.
"The problem is shippers aren't informed," said
MarineTraffic's product marketing manager Daniel Shirley. "But
the resulting disruption and costs could be reduced if notice of the
delays were received earlier."
Patrick Verhoeven, IAPH's managing director, argued JIT shipping
was no "silver-bullet", but the initiative could still
bring a range of benefits.
"Whilst it is not the ultimate game-changer, port call
optimisation definitely is one of the low-hanging fruits that will
help decarbonising the maritime sector," he said.
"Its multiple advantages include increased safety and
efficiency, so there is really no excuse for stakeholders in the
nautical chain why they should not to get involved and make it
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