BIMCO’s new clause to streamline port calls

Following its recently published Just in Time Arrival clause, BIMCO's Port Call Data Exchange clause aims to over come contractual blocks found in time and voyage charter parties that hamper operational efficiencies

BIMCO is about to release a new contract clause that will help shipowners and charterers keen to support port call optimisation. The new clause will be a complement to the recently published Just In Time Arrival clause according to Grant Hunter, BIMCO’s  head of Contracts and Clauses. This latter cause had been developed as part of BIMCO’s support for voyage and port optimisation that the IMO is promoting.

The IMO has been pushing Just in Time arrival as a way to encourage shipowners, charterers and other stakeholders to work together and sail vessels at a more optimum speed for a vessel’s likely acceptance on a berth (rather than sitting at anchor after sailing at near full speed and emitting more harmful emissions).

The rationale of port call optimisation is that if all stakeholders in a vessel’s visit into and out of a port coordinate and share information in a standardised way then the port call of that vessel can be efficient and timely resulting in huge savings in harmful emissions.


Grant Hunter 400x400
Grant Hunter, Head of Contracts and Clauses, BIMCO
Frank Olsen 400x400
Frank Olsen, CEO, Inchcape
Ben van Scherpenzeel Port of Rotterdam 400x400
Ben van Scherpenzeel, Chair, International Taskforce, Port Call Optimization

BIMCO is part of a collaboration project  known as the International Taskforce Port Call Optimization. The taskforce is a growing number of organisations that are working to develop standard communication between various stakeholders involved in a port all process. This ranges form the vessel owner, charterer and port authority to terminal operator and agents.

Ben van Scherpenzeel is chair of the International Taskforce Port Call Optimization as well as director of nautical developments, policy and plans at the Port of Rotterdam. “It helps if we can all agree in the port community to improve the same business processes” he said, pointing to the  11 ports, six major carriers and  agents, like Inchcape, who have come together to create standards that are port and trade agnostic ( so all vessel types and every ports, and includes customs and immigration etc). “Transparency is the oil in the machine,” he said.

One agencies behind the initial launch of the project is Inchcape Shipping Services which is pushing for standards in data and data sharing to enable its job in the hundreds of ports around the world where it has operations.

Inchcape CEO Frank Olsen says it is important to realise the benefits of optimisation, given how  the risks of heightened emissions of CO2 and other gases, as well as discharges and even hull fouling, are heightened if vessels are brought into a port environment and made to idle or anchor and wait. He believes that optimised port calls, something Inchcape can get involved with, is an easy win to gain reduced emissions while the industry continues to look for other long term carbonisation solutions.

But Olsen does recognise that getting all ports around the world to collaborate on standards will be difficult given the high levels of bureaucracy that some have harbours suffer from.

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