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DCSA releases Operational Vessel Schedules 3.0 and Commercial Schedules 1.0 Beta 1

January 17, 2024
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DCSA releases Operational Vessel Schedules 3.0 and Commercial Schedules 1.0 Beta 1

…We are pleased to announce the release of the updated Operational Vessel Schedule standard and the new Commercial Schedules standard. Both aimed at accelerating the shipping industry’s transition towards more efficient, digitally intelligent business processes.

AMSTERDAM - DCSA has published the final version of the Operational Vessel Schedules (OVS) 3.0 standards and the beta version of Commercial Schedules (CS) 1.0 standards.  

Operational Vessel Schedules (OVS) 3.0 

The final version of OVS 3.0 supports and brings stability for parties that either implemented OVS 3.0 during its beta phase or have OVS 3.0 implementation in their roadmap – including carriers, feeders, terminals, and solution providers. The standards are intended to be implemented by vessel operators and their operational partners to enable the automatic sharing of schedules and exception-related information.  

DCSA’s OVS standards cover the following aspects of vessel schedules for interregional, intraregional, and feeder services:  

  • Long Term Schedule & Regional/Coastal Schedule 
    • Deep-sea (interregional services) 
    • Intraregional & Feeder Services 
  • Changes and exceptions (i.e., Port Omission, Blank Sailing, Inducement, Phase In/Out, etc.) 
  • Universal References 
    • Universal Service Reference 
    • Universal Voyage Reference  
    • Universal Port Call Reference 

The Universal Service, Voyage, and Port Call References provide a way for carriers to standardise how they refer to services using a common naming convention that follows a set pattern. 

The standard includes the following updates:  

  • Universal Service References (USR):
    • Provides clarity on utilization across carriers and advises how any carrier (member or non-member of DCSA) can access them from DCSA.  
  • Universal Voyage Reference (UVR):  
    • Provides clarity on the utilization of the alphanumeric sequence by listing all possible combinations – allowing a service using the UVR format up to 1295 voyages per year.  
    • Suggests practices for UVR implementation and provides recommendations on how to deal with UVR assignments in the case of changes, exceptions, and special services.  
    • Roundtrip voyages are now supported in the bound digit.  

No new data attributes have been added to the standard and the main structure is unchanged from the Beta version in the OVS 3.0 API. Specific technical improvements can be reviewed on GitHub. The development of OVS 3.1 is currently underway and will include a subscription mechanism with no breaking changes, ensuring parties implementing 3.0 will be able to seamlessly move to 3.1 if they choose to. 

Commercial Schedules 1.0 Beta 

The beta version of Commercial Schedules 1.0 expands the scope of OVS application by providing BCOs, LSPs and platforms with 3 alternative methods for accessing schedules from carriers. The aim is to ensure that the end-user experience remains consistent across all industry participants: 

  • Commercial Schedules – Point to Point Routing: Offers single or multiple estimated end-to-end route options for a shipment in the pre-booking phase. This includes point-to-point specification for all transport legs, estimated timings, estimated schedules and interdependencies between transport legs.
  • Commercial Schedules – Port Schedule: Provides, for a required specific port (terminal) and start date, a list of all vessels arriving and departing from the port with corresponding estimated timestamps.
  • Commercial Schedules – Vessel Schedule: Provides, for a required specific service and/or voyage and/or vessel and/or location, the timetable of estimated departure and arrival times for each port call on the rotation of the vessel(s).

All three alternatives will be initially available under the same API. After the beta period – and once they achieve maturity – each alternative is expected to become a standalone API. 

Open for feedback

DCSA Standards for Commercial Schedules 1.0 Beta 1 are now open to public review. Interested parties can direct questions or comments on the standards, to http://www.dcsa.org/feedback

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