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International Association of Ports and Harbors

International Association of Ports and Harbors

Just-In-Time (JIT) Arrival guide submitted to the IMO as information paper to support IMO resolution that calls on cooperation between ports and shipping on the reduction of GHG emissions from ships

With multiple pilot and roll out projects underway at leading world cargo ports such as Rotterdam, Antwerp, Hamburg and Los Angeles to optimize vessel port calls , the need for a standardised approach to data availability and sharing with ships calling at these ports is growing.

Captain Ben Van Scherpenzeel, Chair of Taskforce Port Call Optimization commented : "Ship-shore data availability and data sharing around port calls must be supported by robust standards developed by robust organizations in the long run to make GHG emissions reductions a reality. Ship owner-operators will simply not be able to work optimally with different data sets amongst all the ports their fleets call at. Equally, a one-size-fits- all global solution is not the answer. The answer lies in a common port call process framework, using existing contractual, hydrographic, and data definition standards."

Emissions impact - vessel waiting times at anchorage

During the latest Taskforce meeting, one of the industry's leading AIS vessel tracking solutions provider MarineTraffic provided some sobering data. Now capable of measuring the entire port call process of different vessel types at berth level, they calculated time at anchorage outside ports around the globe of the 200,000 vessels they track averaging between just under 4% and over 9% of average call time.

Unifying an industry approach that connects ship with shore

The just-in-time (JIT) Arrival Guide, an initiative up until now of the Global Industry Alliance to support low carbon shipping*, has just been submitted as an information paper for the next meeting of the IMO Maritime Environment Protection Committee (MEPC 75) at the end of March.

The purpose of this JIT Arrival Guide is to provide information to ports on how to facilitate JIT Arrival of ships – with a view to reducing GHG emissions by optimising the port call process. It also corresponds with the four action lines of the IMO Resolution submitted last year on cooperation between ports and shipping on reduction of GHG emissions from ships. The resolution has been co-sponsored by a number of member governments, various shipping industry associations as well as the World Wildlife Fund.

The JIT Arrival Guide also follows the recent publication last year of the latest version of the Taskforce's Port Information Manual. The manual, developed over a five-year period by shipowners, ports, and other industry players in theTaskforce, is designed for application in all ports. It includes data definitions sourced from existing standards within the shipping and supply chain industry to allow nautical and operational systems to speak with one another optimally.

From theory into practice - ports and terminals making concerted efforts to optimise port calls in practice

At the recent Taskforce meeting in Rotterdam, several existing port call optimization solutions either in pilot phase or in full operation were showcased. One such solution has been developed by the Hamburg Vessel Coordination Center. It is built on an existing platform which shares data between 300 different parties in the port community. This also including EDI links with ports such as Rotterdam where the approaching vessel made its previous call. Synchronisation of nautical data with fleet support/control centers means that arrival of cruise and container ships along the berth side can be correctly scheduled and synchronised.

These kind of solutions are not being piloted in isolation. Other ports such as Algeciras, Houston and Felixstowe use the PortXchange solution, whilst a liquid bulk terminal is trialling the Qronoport system elsewhere in Antwerp.

UNCTAD Report highlights and lowlights digitalising the Port Call Process

In early February, UNCTAD, which is the main U.N. body dealing with trade, investment and development issues released its own report on this pressing issue with the support on an industry level. These include Port CDM who were the architects behind the STM validation project, Intelligent Cargo Systems, the global data standards provider GS1, BIMCO, MSC, the Republic of Korea's Smart Navigation Project and global intelligence provider IHS Markit.

The paper, entitled Digitalizing the Port Call Process, identifies the principal tensions and opportunities arising that are impacting the inevitable and ongoing digitalization process that is underway in the maritime sector. It makes no bones about the main challenge : "One of the dilemmas with digitalization, standardization and data sharing in the port operations environment is the absence of over-arching bodies like the IMO that can strongly influence standardization. Tension also exists between catering for local requirements and sensitivities including existing infrastructure to overcome, and at the same time being able to enable those involved to connect and be connected to the world."

Patrick Verhoeven, IAPH's Managing Director commented : "Whilst it is not the ultimate game-changer, Port Call Optimisation definitely is one of the low-hanging fruits that will help decarbonising the maritime sector. Its multiple advantages include increased safety and efficiency, so there is really no excuse for stakeholders in the nautical chain why they should not to get involved and make it happen."

Note : During the upcoming IAPH 2020 World Ports Conference in Antwerp next month, the panel session “From Concept to Reality: How Ports Are Taking the Lead in Data Exchange for Port Call Optimisation” will combine both Energy Transition and Data Collaboration Streams in one single session.

About IAPH (

Founded in 1955, the International Association of Ports and Harbors (IAPH) is a non-profit-making global alliance of 170 ports and 140 port-related organisations covering 90 countries. Its member ports handle more than 60 percent of global maritime trade and around 80 percent of world container traffic. IAPH has consultative NGO status with several United Nations agencies. In 2018, IAPH established the World Ports Sustainability Program (WPSP). Guided by the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals, it aims to unite sustainability efforts of ports worldwide, encouraging international cooperation between all partners involved in the maritime supply chain. WPSP ( covers five main areas of collaboration: energy transition, resilient infrastructure, safety and security, community outreach and governance.

* Until now, the Global Industry Alliance has operated under the IMO GloMEEP programme, and is connected to the work of the International Task Force Port Call Optimisation. Moving ahead, further work on port call optimization will become part of the IMO's GreenVoyage-2050 project in collaboration with the Government of Norway.

The IAPH World Ports Sustainability Program (WPSP) announces a total of 45 eligible projects submitted as candidates for the WPSP 2020 Awards.

These have been submitted by IAPH members, and will now be carefully analysed and ranked by the selected jury members representing the maritime industry, who will define the three best scoring projects per category.

IAPH Managing Director Patrick Verhoeven commented: "We are delighted again to have so many innovative and diverse projects added to the WPSP portfolio. As we envisioned when we launched the Program, we now have the most coherent and up-to-date global database of port-related projects on sustainable development. The practical examples given by each project can serve as inspiration for ports seeking to integrate the UN Sustainability Development Goals into their strategy and day-to-day business."

The emerging total of 18 shortlisted projects (three for each of the six categories) selected by the jury will then be presented for online public voting, whose votes will contribute to 30% of the overall evaluation. Voting will open on the WPSP website from 17 February to 2 March.

The six winners (one for each thematic category) will then be announced during the World Ports Conference Gala Dinner, held in Antwerp, on 18 March 2020.

For further information on the IAPH World Ports Sustainability Program database of projects and the World Ports Sustainability Awards, please contact:

Dr. Antonis Michail - Technical Director, World Ports Sustainability Program

Email :

For press enquiries and more information about the IAPH World Ports Sustainability Program, please contact :

Victor Shieh - Communications Partner, World Ports Sustainability Program

Email :

Navigating a Changing Climate (NaCC) partnership established by PIANC to close survey on extreme weather events in mid-December. Full results to be released at the #IAPH2020 World Ports Conference in Antwerp in March

Navigating a Changing Climate (NaCC) partnership established by PIANC to close survey on extreme weather events in mid-December. Full results to be released at the #IAPH2020 World Ports Conference in Antwerp in March

Ports covering every major ocean as well as inland ports and waterways have confirmed the increase in frequency and severity of extreme weather events and the serious impact these have had on infrastructure and operations.

The survey has been organised by the International Association of Ports and Harbors (IAPH) on behalf of the partners of the Navigating a Changing Climate (NaCC) initiative. It has been developed to gather aggregate, high-level data on costs and consequences of extreme weather events. These cover not only damage, clean-up and additional maintenance costs, but also the consequences of closures, downtime and delays. The survey also considers wider issues, for example the role of warning systems and contingency plans.

Jan Brooke, PIANC lead coordinator of the survey commented : "Last year, the NaCC partners identified that a lack of data on the consequences of inaction is a potential barrier to justifying investment in improving climate-resilience. So we devised this survey in order to gauge just how much impact extreme weather and oceanographic events are having on ports around the world."

Early indicators confirm scientific results on weather events' frequency and severity

Early responses from over fifty ports of varying sizes located around the world already confirm the impact of the increase in extreme events on port infrastructure and operational downtime. Nearly two thirds so far have reported downtimes of between one six-hour shift and seventy two hours. More than half of respondents consider the effects of these extreme-weather induced closures and downtime to be ‘significant' or 'critical’. In addition, more than one in five respondents reported clean-up, damage repair and extra maintenance costs of between USD 100,000 and USD 10,000,000.

"The frequency increase in extreme weather events in the past four decades is irrevocable." comments Dr. Antonis Michail, Technical Director of the IAPH World Ports Sustainability Program.

The recent Bio Science journal article published by eminent scientists (William J Ripple et al) and quoted in The Guardian include indicators* which document these changing patterns since 1979. 

"The survey not only serves as a study in emerging patterns of extreme weather and oceanographic events," adds Dr. Michail. "It also deals with the question about how ports can step up their plans to minimise the impact of these events, and how ports can share their experience on how to cope in the aftermath of a specific event. As a partner project of the World Ports Sustainability Program, our next step is to ensure these results are widely disseminated amongst our membership, and the port community in general."

Jan Brooke will be presenting the full results of the survey on Wednesday 18th March, 2020, during the Risk and Reputation stream of the #IAPH2020 World Ports Conference in Antwerp.

The survey remains open for all ports until 20th December. Results will be used in an aggregate format only; individual port or waterway data will be kept strictly confidential.

About IAPH (

Founded in 1955, the International Association of Ports and Harbors (IAPH) is a non-profit-making global alliance of 170 ports and 140 port-related organisations covering 90 countries. Its member ports handle more than 60 percent of global maritime trade and around 80 percent of world container traffic. IAPH has consultative NGO status with several United Nations agencies. In 2018, IAPH established the World Ports Sustainability Program (WPSP). Guided by the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals, it aims to unite sustainability efforts of ports worldwide, encouraging international cooperation between all partners involved in the maritime supply chain. WPSP ( covers five main areas of collaboration: energy transition, resilient infrastructure, safety and security, community outreach and governance.

Contact :

Victor Shieh

Communications Partner, World Ports Sustainability Program (WPSP)

Email :

Tel : + 32 473 980 855

* © The Author(s) 2019. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the American Institute of Biological Sciences. Reprinted in The Guardian.



About IAPH

IAPH is the International Association of Ports and Harbors, they have members in 90 countries around the world. IAPH members are primarily port authorities or port-related businesses.


IAPH’s objectives

IAPH aims to:

  • Strengthen relationships among the member ports by facilitating interaction, dialogue, problem-solving and formulation of best practices
  • Leverage member expertise through strong technical committees and programs that create platforms focused on resolving complex port and maritime industry concerns and building greater efficiency and sustainability for ports worldwide
  • Promote and demonstrate IAPH members’ leadership and commitment to a cleaner, safer and more environmentally sustainable industry for the benefit of the global community
  • Proactively coordinate with other international maritime and related organisations (such as IMO, UNCTAD, WCO, PIANC, etc.) and advocate for global solutions to issues that impact IAPH members


IAPH’s aspirations for Navigating a Changing Climate

IAPH has joined the PIANC-led environment initiative Navigating a Changing Climate as a partner to raise awareness about the challenges posed by climate change at a global level. IAPH’s commitment to combating climate change is never new, as demonstrated by its environmental initiative “World Ports Climate Initiative” launched in 2008. Its major pillars are Environmental Ship Index (ESI), Onshore Power Supply and Carbon Footprinting.

IAPH and organiser IHS Markit bring industry experts together to hold an interactive panel discussion on 10th September

With several industry projects gaining traction on the optimization of vessel port calls, the International Association of Ports and Harbors has taken the initiative to bring industry partners together to discuss a common way forward.

IAPH Managing Director Patrick Verhoeven commented: "Port Call Optimization is a subject which is receiving increasingly more attention by ports and the shipping industry in general. The recent positive outputs from the GEF-UNDP-IMO project on Global Maritime Energy Efficiency Partnerships (GloMEEP) and the IMO MEPC.323(74) resolution on cooperation between the port and shipping sectors to contribute to reducing greenhouse gas emissions from ships are proof of that. It is therefore important that all stakeholders contribute with their say on the subject as this initiative gains momentum."

Interactive Panel discussion during London International Shipping Week

To facilitate this process, IAPH and IHS Maritime & Trade have organised an interactive panel discussion which will take place on 10th September at the London Marriott Grosvenor Square, Mayfair, London during London International Shipping Week. Speakers will include the Chairman of the International Taskforce, IHS Maritime and Trade expert on port productivity and a Technical Officer of the IMO's Marine Division.

Members of the Port Roundtable will also be in attendance to provide their contributions to the discussion. These include representatives of the world's leading associations for the world port and shipping communities : the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS), the Federation of National Associations of Ship Brokers and Agents (FONASBA), the International Maritime Pilots’ Association (IMPA), the International Harbour Masters' Association (IHMA) and the International Cargo Handling Coordination Association (ICHCA).

International Taskforce Port Call Optimization [ITPCO] - the next step

IAPH, through its World Ports Sustainability Program, is an endorser of the International Taskforce Port Call Optimization [ITPCO]. Industry partners have been working together since 2014 to gain a common understanding on the minimum set of data and the correct standards for a vessel port call. This collaboration is culminating in a clearly identified trade and port agnostic business process with a well-defined minimum scope of data required for all trades and all ports.

Following its latest meeting in June of this year , ITPCO now intends to support ports by consolidating its work on the scope as well as commercial and legal aspects of data, functional definitions and data definitions.

Captain Ben van Scherpenzeel, Chairman of ITPCO commented :

“The fundamentals for port call optimisation have now been established by our partners based on solid foundations of existing international legislation and industry precedence. The next step is to ensure implementation within an existing regulatory framework."

Ultimately the initiative aims to improve vessel turnaround time at ports everywhere, which can potentially reduce greenhouse gas emissions in and around coastal areas, reduce bunkers and also improve efficiencies on the landside leg of the chain for cargo and passengers. IAPH will play a key role in ensuring that port authorities gear up for this initiative through training coordination, best practice and knowledge sharing.

About IAPH (

Founded in 1955, the International Association of Ports and Harbors (IAPH) is a non-profit-making global alliance of 170 ports and 140 port-related organizations covering 90 countries. Its member ports handle more than 60 percent of global maritime trade and around 80 percent of world container traffic. IAPH has consultative NGO status with several United Nations agencies. In 2018, IAPH established the World Ports Sustainability Program (WPSP). Guided by the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals, it aims to unite sustainability efforts of ports worldwide, encouraging international cooperation between all partners involved in the maritime supply chain. WPSP ( covers five main areas of collaboration: energy transition, resilient infrastructure, safety and security, community outreach and governance.

Contact :

Victor Shieh Communications Partner, World Ports Sustainability Program (WPSP) Email : Tel : + 32 473 980 855


Ahead of the IAPH World Ports Conference in Guangzhou, the jury have worked through a long list of innovative projects to reach three finalists

The IMO’s 2050 target for greenhouse gas reductions heralds the start of a structured approach towards capping harmful emissions that will ensure a very necessary adjustment to shipping's status as the world’s 6th largest emitter, were it to be a country. With UNCTAD’s Review of Maritime Transport predicting compound annual growth of 3.8 % for seaborne trade between 2018 and 2023, the port industry must act.

There are many interesting examples of energy transition in IAPH member ports, many of which are striving towards CO2-neutrality in the long term to help achieving global climate goals. Ports are more frequently using renewable energy sources such as wind, solar and tidal power. They are also setting up possibilities for vessels to be refueled using alternatives to Heavy Fuel Oil such as LNG, methanol, and hydrogen.

There are a growing number of initiatives in the field of the ‘circular economy’, whereby port authorities work together with their industrial clusters to generate their own energy and give new economic purpose to waste products; one example is waste water being used to cool industrial installations, which can be deployed for urban heating purposes.

Port of Amsterdam – Integrated Green Energy Solutions (IGES)

Another example in this arena includes the construction of a plant in the Port of Amsterdam which transforms plastic to diesel, with the aim of processing 35,000 tons of plastic into 30 million litres of fuel annually. This would result in a reduction of approximately 57,270 tons of CO2 emissions, as the fuel produced emits 80% less CO2 compared to regular diesel.

Port of Antwerp – Hydroturbine

The Port of Antwerp has successfully tested the prototype model of a 3-bladed vertical axe water-turbine mounted in existing infrastructure of a lock on its left bank which produced far more wattage using tidal waters than anticipated. So it is continuing to explore using a further four within the vicinity of its other main locks by means of 3D design, Virtual Reality and computed fluid dynamics.

Ports of Stockholm – carbon footprint, energy optimization and sustainability reporting

As an early adopter, Port of Stockholm has taken significant strides toward its ambition to reduce its own total emissions by 50% between 2005 and 2025. It has done so by offering port fee reductions to ships with reduced NOx emissions and above-standard GHG footprints such as LNG-powered vessels, offering onshore power supply at several quays, changing truck fuel composition, installing LED lighting as well as energy monitoring meters for vessels and buildings.

To see all six categories and finalists in each , check out our competition area here.

For those who would like to vote (maximum one session to vote for up to all six categories), please click here.

Contact details for the IAPH World Ports Sustainability Awards:

Antonis Michail, Technical Director – World Ports Sustainability Program

email : 

Wednesday, 19 December 2018 17:08

Port call optimization takes another step forward

Consensus reached on global data standards for port call data

Working group composed of ports, shipowners, technology providers, leading engine and automation manufacturers work with the International Taskforce, GS1, UKHO, EHMC, STM Validation project, SMART and SESAME to "allow machines to understand each other" in terms of shared port call data; BIMCO studies adoption of an STM clause that will split the benefits of a vessel just-in-time arrival.

Antwerp, 19th December 2018

In an important step forward towards harmonisation of port call data, participants in only the second ever industry-wide global workshop of its kind achieved initial consensus on data definition proposals used for recording event data of a port call, largely based on existing ISO standards as well as EPCIS, which is also an ISO standard.

Some 80 attendees attended the workshop representing shipping, ports, suppliers of navigation, terminal operating and blockchain systems as well as representatives of relevant international maritime organizations.

The scope of port call data includes vessel – berth compatibility, (safe port) information, and information related to availability of berth, fairway, nautical and vessel services. It also contemplates event data essential for end-to-end supply chain visibility of cargo.

"The Port Call process has been defined after four years of work by the industry-wide Port Call Optimization Taskforce" comments Captain Ben Van Scherpenzeel who hosted the meeting in Rotterdam on 29th November. "As a next step, all participants agreed today that there is a need to digitise, simplify and optimise our maritime industry by having standardised digital data available, allowing for real time updates in the port call process. By moving forward together with a robust set of globally-agreed port call data standards, we can assist all parties in investing into solutions"

Endorsement by both industry players and regulatory bodies alike

The view was echoed by both Wärtsilä and Kongsberg, both of whom who have invested into engine and automation technological innovations in both the Sea Traffic Management (STM) validation real time data exchange and SESAME e-navigation projects respectively and who were, in the words of the Kongsberg attendee "looking for a return on these investments"

The initiative was also endorsed by attending members of the IMO, verifying the project's relevance in achieving the IMO’s Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPCs) target to reduce at least 50% greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from the global shipping sector by 2050, compared to 2008.

A step forward to incentivise charterers and shipowners to aim at just-in-time arrivals

BIMCO, whose commercial contracts account for 85% of seaborne world trade, made an important contribution to the workshop. Participants were introduced to two clauses being created to incentivise the sharing of information regarding the vessels arrival time and the potential ability for charterers to request - under specific circumstances - for shipowners to adjust their speed to suit arrival time. This incentive, which would use a common-use Traffic Management System, would be built around shared benefits for on-time arrival at the port prior to berthing. Further work is being conducted by BIMCO to motivate the inclusion of port and hinterland operators as additional parties to such clauses, to move towards berth and equipment availability on a just-in-time basis.

The next step - interconnectivity and awareness building

Further debate at the workshop focussed on the interoperability of the platforms and systems developed for vessels to communicate with shore and for the port players to share a common approach towards data sharing on each vessel port call. The workgroup also agreed to conduct a gap analysis where the standards proposed are yet to be incorporated into relevant ISO standards.

Further to feedback from the International Hydrographic Organization and other parties, it was also agreed to establish a clear guidance and eventual training program for ports and terminals across the world in applying the standards.

International Association of Ports and Harbors: endorser to key facilitator

Commenting on the progress made, IAPH Managing Director Patrick Verhoeven stated: "the open dialogue between all players involved in shipping and ports in this workshop demonstrates a willingness to use standards and technology for common benefit in improving port call efficiency. This will in turn reduce industry emissions, a key cornerstone of our World Ports Sustainability Program. The IAPH endorses the initiative, and will become a key facilitator in implementing the Port Optimization Taskforce project amongst its membership"

Information for the media

For more information on this release, please contact:

Victor Shieh, Communications Partner, World Ports Sustainability Program:

Tel +32 473 980 855 | Email:

Cpt. Ben van Scherpenzeel, Chairman at International Taskforce Port Call Optimization:

Tel : + 31 653 230 439 | Email:

World ports organisation to present toolbox and experience of leading ports at this week's Marine Environment Protection Committee meeting of the International Maritime Organisation.

With the IMO MEPC73 meeting in London focussing on an action plan to reduce shipping-related greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, the International Association of Ports and Harbors (IAPH) will present its climate-related work to the IMO in an open session , with member ports of Los Angeles , Rotterdam and Yokohama showcasing their initiatives.

Developing practical, measurable tools to assist owner-operators and ports to reduce emissions.

Some of this work was highlighted last week by World Ports Sustainability Program's Technical Director Antonis Michail, who addressed delegates at the GreenPort Congress in Valencia. He encouraged ports to submit projects to the Program and focussed in particular on plans to further develop and expand the Environmental Ship Index (ESI), a scheme providing the means to assess vessel performance on air emissions relative to IMO rules.

Dr. Michail stated:

"This initiative encourages ports to voluntarily develop their own incentive schemes based on ESI scores which reward owners with outstanding performances that exceed legislative requirements . With around 7,000 vessels and over 50 incentive providers signed up since its foundation 8 years ago, the Index contains over half of the world's container vessels, with tankers (gas, chemical and oil) accounting for 28% of the total ships registered. We are upgrading the ESI usability, scope and membership benefits to bring more owners and ports to the table with a tangible, useful tool for both parties."

Dr. Michail also commented on other climate-related projects developed by IAPH working groups under the umbrella of the World Ports Sustainability Program, such as the recently-launched LNG audit tool that helps port authorities in accrediting LNG bunker facility operators and provides a blueprint for the provision of zero carbon fuels. He also cited initiatives which IAPH has endorsed or participated in, such as the International Task Force on Port Call Optimisation. The Task Force aims at reducing vessel time at port by developing a standardised, quality-assured process for vessel port calls using agreed definitions and all parties involved sharing operational information. The scheme offers lower emissions and cost efficiency benefits for both owner-operators and the nautical service providers who serve them.

MD calls for combined approach to GHG emissions reductions

Looking ahead to the IMO MEPC73 meeting in London, IAPH Managing Director Patrick Verhoeven reiterated the benefits of combining efforts of shipping and port communities to combat greenhouse gas emissions reductions, commenting:

"Key participants from both shipping and ports have voluntarily collaborated to successfully designing and deploying tangible, climate-related projects like the Environmental Ship Index (ESI) and the LNG Bunkering audit tool. We believe that this united approach will be key to a successful implementation of the IMO strategy, effectively moving us towards to a zero-carbon maritime industry, both through short-term and longer-term measures."


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