DCSA launches Load List and Bay Plan Definitions

The Digital Container Shipping Association (DCSA), the collaborative standards body created by the world’s major container lines, has released a new set of Load List and Bay Plan Definitions containing standards and timelines for communication between vessel operators, terminals and ports.

The definitions relate to the sharing of container volumes and stowage details, and combine existing event standards with recommended submission timelines developed by DCSA. The new release has been backed by the group’s nine member carriers – MSC, Maersk, CMA CGM, Hapag-Lloyd, ONE, Evergreen, Yang Ming, HMM and Zim.

“When preparing port calls, it is essential for the vessel operator to be able to forecast the estimated number of container moves (load and discharge) in order to estimate the required terminal equipment (cranes etc.), and hence, the duration of the call,” DCSA says.

“As such, the vessel operator relies on receiving timely and accurate information from partners about the volume of containers they intend to load within their allocation and how the contents need to be stowed.”

“Adoption of DCSA Load List and Bay Plan Definitions will help maximise efficiency of cargo operations and enable better planning of related shipping activities. This is the first in a series of standards releases from DCSA that specifically address cargo operations. Subsequent standards will expand to topics such as empty handling and dangerous goods.”

The new definitions were created through consultation with four of the world’s largest terminal operators, and the Association is encouraging other terminal operators to examine the definitions and share their feedback.

The document is available for download for free via the DCSA website.

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