Broader support base for common nautical standards

Agreement on common definitions for nautical port information enables communications between computers.

The global exchange of standardised nautical information is now a step closer. An international group reached agreement in Rotterdam today regarding standardised data definitions for the global exchange of nautical information. This means that the next steps can be taken in making more efficient use of sea-going vessels and in reducing emissions.

The number of participating organisations from market parties and maritime organisations was greater than ever before. The importance of digitisation and port call efficiency is increasing every day, and everyone understands that standardisation is essential for this. It is particularly important for port call efficiency that all business process information owners can share data.

Participants, 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 relevant stakeholders have contributed to establishing global uniform nautical standards, the next step can be taken from functional to data definitions. Put simply: functional definitions ensure that people in the maritime industry understand each other. Data definitions enable machines to communicate with each other.

‘Take the quay planning of sea-going vessels, for instance’, stated Ben van Scherpenzeel, Chairman of the International Port Call Optimisation Taskforce. ‘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.’

The next step is to publish the definitions and, where necessary, to submit these to a standardisation organisation.


Pronto is a new application that shipping companies, agents, terminals and other service providers can use to optimally plan, execute and monitor all activities during a port call. This includes pilotage, terminal use and bunker services.

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