DCSA Quarterly Newsletter – Issue 8

Read the eighth edition of our quarterly publication about standardisation for container shipping.


Q3 & Q4 publications

In these quarters we wrapped up 3 standards publications and dropped some new content that highlights the benefits of adoption.

Just-in-Time (JIT) Port Call API Specs

The second and third publications of our JIT Port Call Programme comprise interface standards and messaging API specifications for the complete set of 50 event timestamps defined in DCSA’s JIT port call data definitions. The framework supports digital port call planning, increased operational efficiency and optimal resource utilization, and addresses the 6 main parts of a port call:

1. Berth arrival planning
2. Pilot boarding place arrival and service planning
3. Pilot boarding place and berth arrival execution
4. Start cargo operations and services
5. Services and port departure planning
6. Port departure execution

The interface standards will allow carriers, ports, terminals, and other service providers involved in a port call to exchange event data in a uniform way, enabling automated data exchange.

DCSA Port Call Data Definitions can be freely downloaded from the DCSA website. All API definitions are available to download for free from SwaggerHub and reference implementations are posted to GitHub. Widespread adoption is the first step towards achieving a digital, global, transparent, just-in-time port call ecosystem that will ultimately lower fuel consumption and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Track & Trace (T&T) Interface Standard V2.2

Version 2.2 of the DCSA Track & Trace Interface Standard includes a new subscription capability, enhanced security and support for document events. The new DCSA Subscription Callback API allows customers (shippers/consignees) to subscribe to receive automatic updates of shipment events from carriers. In addition, security has been enhanced with subscription-ID and notification-signature headers. The release also supports a better customer experience with more efficient data inquiry and handling, including support for the following document events: Cargo Survey, Customs Inspection, Verified Gross Mass, Dangerous Goods Declaration, and Out of Gauge Declaration.

Datasheets for Track & Trace and Electronic Bill of Lading (eBL) standards-based APIs

In our ongoing push to facilitate standards adoption, we’ve created some handy and concise datasheets designed to summarise how the DCSA standards-based APIs will make your life easier and what resources are available to help you adopt the standards. Check out the Track & Trace datasheet and eBL datasheet.

Adoption news

Last year, DCSA and BIC announced their collaboration to standardise the codes used to identify facilities such as depots, container yards, M&R vendors and other supply chain container facilities. In October, MSC announced their adoption of the standardised depot codes resulting from this collaboration. All MSC depots can now be easily referenced with a standardised 9-character code, the BIC Facility Code (BFC), to improve efficiency, reduce confusion and eliminate unnecessary work.

Calling all adopters!

Don’t forget to sign up for DCSA’s free Adopter Programme to let the industry know you have adopted DCSA standards in support of interoperability. The self-certified checklist (SCC) is freely available for Track & Trace and eBL. For customers looking for standards-based solutions, you can include the SCC as evidence of compliance when issuing RFIs, RFPs or tender requests. In turn, responding vendors will be able to provide pre-filled documents demonstrating their adopter status.

Learn more about the programme by downloading the DCSA Adopter Programme Handbook.

VIDEO: How digital standards transform the customer experience

The lack of digital maturity in container shipping creates many challenges for cargo owners. For example, complex processes and a lack of data interoperability make it difficult to get visibility into the whereabouts and status of shipments along the supply chain. Booking a shipment can also be unduly complex due to disparate processes and a lack of interoperability. Very often, the information received from different channels differs about the same shipment. The COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated these challenges and created new ones.

In this video, DCSA CEO Thomas Bagge explains how digital standards will improve the customer experience as they have in other, more digitally mature industries such as banking and the airlines. Through the establishment of an interoperable technology framework, DCSA (like SWIFT in banking and IATA in the airlines) will bring more visibility, efficiency and innovation to container shipping. In addition to improving the customer experience, these advancements will also help limit the impact of supply chain disruption in the future.