Press release

DCSA Publishes Standard Data Definitions to Enable Just-in-Time Port Calls

Just-in-Time Port Call programme to facilitate vessel speed optimisation and reduce CO2 emissions

Amsterdam, The Netherlands, October 20, 2020 – Digital Container Shipping Association (DCSA), a neutral, non-profit group established to further digitalisation of container shipping technology standards, in conjunction with its nine member carriers, today published standard data definitions for the port call process. This is the first publication of the DCSA Just-in-Time (JIT) Port Call programme. By moving container shipping towards a JIT port call process, DCSA port call standards will enable container ships to optimise their steaming speed, thereby lowering fuel consumption and reducing CO2 emissions. To provide a global industry framework that preserves existing investments, DCSA port call data definitions align with IMO and ITPCO[1] Just In Time (JIT) Arrival Guide[2] standards. This is one of many initiatives to be put forth by DCSA to accelerate digitalisation through a unified industry effort.

The DCSA Port Call Data Definitions can be freely downloaded from the DCSA web site. The definitions will allow carriers, ports and terminals to exchange event data in a uniform way, enabling digital planning and operational optimisation. Widespread adoption is the first step towards achieving a digital, global, transparent, just-in-time port call ecosystem.

Subsequent releases of DCSA’s JIT Port Call programme will include API definitions for automating the exchange of event data.

“Our ability to provide more innovative, efficient and sustainable operations is a strategic advantage for our port,” said Erwin Verstaelen, CDIO for Port of Antwerp. “Just-in-time port calls enabled by DCSA digital standards will play an important role in helping ensure that these attributes are a core part of our infrastructure. There are a lot of moving parts and stakeholders that need to work together to enable a JIT port call. With commitments from the world’s top carriers, DCSA’s digital standards are key to enabling this collaboration.”

“Port call optimisation will enable terminal operators to provide many benefits to their shipping customers,” said Frank Kho, CEO of TIC4.0 (Terminal Industry Committee 4.0). “With just-in-time port calls, arrival times and berth space can be optimally managed. This means capacity, equipment and staffing can be more accurately estimated and planned. We applaud DCSA’s initiative to develop standards that will enable greater port call efficiency and appreciate the opportunity to contribute to shaping them. TIC4.0 is committed to working with stakeholders, including other standards bodies such as ITPCO, to develop standards that will improve operational efficiency for terminals and other adjacent parts of the supply chain. As part of our commitment we encourage players in our industry to join and support the work.”

“The JIT port call will streamline a number of key processes for industry stakeholders, and it will also benefit the environment,” said Thomas Bagge, CEO DCSA. “Enabling a vessel to optimise its speed during the voyage to arrive just in time at the Pilot Boarding Place, when berth availability is ensured, will significantly reduce the amount of fuel consumed. Achieving this will require digital collaboration between carriers, ports and terminals. DCSA digital standards play an important role in establishing the harmonious ecosystem that will allow this level of collaboration, and today’s release is the first step towards the creation of that ecosystem.”

Refer to the Just-In-Time Port Call page for the standards documentation.

About DCSA:

Digital Container Shipping Association (DCSA) is a neutral, non-profit group founded by major ocean carriers to digitise and standardise the container shipping industry. With the mission of leading the industry towards systematic collaboration, DCSA drives initiatives to make container transportation services transparent, reliable, easy to use, secure and environmentally friendly. DCSA’s open source standards are developed based on input from DCSA member carriers, industry stakeholders and technology experts from other industries. DCSA member carriers include: MSC, Maersk, CMA CGM, Hapag-Lloyd, ONE, Evergreen, Yang Ming, HMM and ZIM. Please download DCSA standards at

[1] ITPCO, Admiralty, GS1, IHMA, IAPH (2020) Port Information Manual V1.4.4.
[2] GloMeep, IMO, UNDP, GEF, (2020) Just in Time Arrival Guide – Barriers and Potential Solutions.