DCSA publishes standards for digital schedules

The Digital Container Shipping Association (DCSA), a non-profit group established to further digitalisation of container shipping technology standards, has published standards for the digital exchange of operational vessel schedules (OVS).

The standards can be implemented by vessel operators, as well as their Vessel Sharing Agreement (VSA) partners and operational service providers, to enable automatic sharing of schedule information. This is one of many initiatives to be put forth by DCSA to accelerate digitalisation through a unified industry effort. 

The DCSA Standard for Operational Vessel Schedules can be freely downloaded from the DCSA website. With the new standards in place, carriers can digitally publish their schedules, and their partners and operational service providers can subscribe to the carrier’s feed to automatically receive updates, or retrieve updates as needed. This will provide complete vessel schedule transparency, increasing efficiency and enabling better planning and optimisation of shipping activities.  


The DCSA OVS standard publication comprises a set of documents:  

  • the DCSA Industry Blueprint 2.0 with OVS schedule definitions and an updated glossary of terms 
  • the DCSA Information Model 2.0  
  • DCSA Data Interface Standards for OVS 1.0 and associated Reading Guides  


In addition to these documents, DCSA has published OVS API definitions on the SwaggerHub open source API development platform, where future enhancements will also be published. Carriers can use the definitions to rapidly implement DCSA standard-compliant APIs for OVS.  


“ONE emerged from the legacy of three Japanese liner companies, who historically prided themselves on high service quality and process excellence,” said  Yu Kurimoto, Managing Director, Corporate and Innovation for ONE (Ocean Network Express). “From this cherished history we formed our current core values of Quality, Reliability, Innovation and Customer Satisfaction. Furthering these values in the modern era requires greater transparency and interoperability among industry participants. OVS is a perfect example of an area in which digitalisation would provide these benefits. We are very pleased to see DCSA taking on OVS with its digital standards initiatives. Their efforts are important for helping ONE and the industry achieve its goals moving forward.” 


“Operational vessel schedules are core to the functioning of the container shipping industry,” said Thomas Bagge, CEO of DCSA. “Digitising them is necessary if we want build a higher degree of effectiveness and efficiency into the fabric of container shipping processes, and this release is an important step in that direction. Once implemented, our OVS standards will, for example, enable a port operator to optimise their operational activities in accordance with the exact arrival time and departure date of a vessel. Ultimately, the more transparency and efficiency we build into these fundamental processes the more each stakeholder will be able to trust and benefit in terms of lower costs, increased productivity, greater innovation, a better customer experience, and less impact on the environment.”   

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