Ship data sharing project takes ‘major step’ forward

The Sea Traffic Management project’s standard port call message format will allow for just in time arrival of ships at ports and swift berthing. Credit: SOUTHERN CROSS MARITIME

The EU-funded Sea Traffic Management (STM) project to exchange real-time data to ships, ports and service providers around the globe has developed a standard port call message format.

Described as a “major step forward” for the project, PortCDM can provide all necessary information about route planning and time stamps for estimated time of arrival and departure in one standard format. The STM project said it will enable the “the coordination of stakeholder activities associated with port calls”.

Secretary of the PortCDM Council, Michael Bergmann, told SAS that the main goal of the standard is improve the efficiency of port calls and allow for just in time arrival of ships at ports and swift berthing. “This will reduce waiting time at anchorage, and as such reduces risk of collisions while on anchor or while transiting from anchorage to port,” he explained, adding “When fully implemented PortCDM will also reduce port congestion, further decreasing the risk of collision.”

In the ongoing STM Validation Project (read more on p24), the PortCDM concept will be tested and validated in 13 ports throughout Europe.

The standardisation of the Port Call Message Format has pushed it from a project standard to an IALA S-211 standard in line with the Common Maritime Data Structure.

“When the Port Call Message Format is adopted by [international technical association] IALA and then referenced by the IEC [International Electrotechnical Commission] this aspect of STM will be moved [from] project development, validation and project work into the maritime reality, without project limitations,” said Bergmann.

Meanwhile, STM has also launched the Baltic Navigational Warning Service for navigational warnings, which can be sent directly to the ECDIS on board with digital communication machine to machine. STM said, “The new service allows warnings to be sent only to those affected and to be deleted when no longer relevant creating a greater accuracy, relevance and less administrative burden leading to increased safety at sea.”

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