IMO calls for port call data exchange standards in Just In Time Arrival Guide


The International Maritime Organization (IMO) has published a new Just In Time (JIT) Arrival Guide, highlighting the need for harmonised standards in data exchange between stakeholders involved in the port call process to optimise efficiency and reduce carbon emissions.

The Guide considers how the exchange of the key information and data that is required for JIT Arrivals can be improved, and aligns with recent developments from IMO's Expert Group of Data Harmonization (EGDH), which agreed to include new operational data elements in the IMO Reference Data Model relating to the concept of Just In Time Arrival. The additional dataset is expected to be approved shortly by IMO's Facilitation Committee.

This is seen by the Organization as an important step towards facilitating the implementation of the JIT concept and will allow for digital exchange of data between ports and ships in line with resolution MEPC.323(74), which invites Member States to encourage cooperation between the shipping and port sectors to contribute to reducing GHG emissions.

Expanding JIT operations is recognised as an important element in reducing shipping's carbon footprint by optimising vessels' speed so that they arrive 'just in time'. The concept is based on the ship maintaining an optimal operating speed to arrive at the Pilot Boarding Place when availability of a berth, fairway and nautical services (such as pilots, tugs, and linesmen) is assured.

JIT Arrivals also contribute to reduced time at anchorage and reduced congestion in the port area. IMO notes that ships spend up to 9% of their time waiting at anchorage based on current estimates, time that could be reduced through the implementation of JIT Arrivals.

The Guide has been developed by the Global Industry Alliance to support low carbon shipping (Low Carbon GIA), based on research and discussion amongst its membership, and documents the findings of a series of industry roundtables which brought together nearly 50 companies and organisations that are key stakeholders in the port call process.

IMO envisions that the document could be used as a toolkit by stakeholders including shipowners, ship operators, charterers, ship agents, shipbrokers, port authorities, terminals, and vessel service providers.

While the Guide is aimed at all shipping segments, IMO suggests that JIT Arrivals could be most quickly implemented by the container segment, where there are fewer contractual barriers and vessels often run on more predictable schedules with shorter port to port distances.

The Just In Time Arrival Guide can be downloaded for free here.

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