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Confusing liner shipping schedule jargon may soon be a thing of the past – Standards for Operational Vessel Schedules 3.0 – Beta 1

Blank sailings, void sailings, skipped sailings, omitted sailings – are some of the shipping jargon that confuses the heck out of everyone and restricting transparency in the shipping and freight industry..

This and other inconsistent global shipping jargon may soon be a thing of the past.. DCSA (Digital Container Shipping Association) has just published its Standards for Operational Vessel Schedules 3.0 – Beta 1 to enable the digital exchange of operational vessel schedules (OVS)..

The standards are intended to be implemented by vessel operators, as well as their Vessel Sharing Agreement (VSA) partners and operational service providers, to enable automatic sharing of schedules and exception-related information,” a statement released by DCSA today noted..

The release contains a proposed standard coding system that carriers can use to create globally consistent references for three key operational identifiers. 

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

This release of the DCSA Standards for Operational Vessel Schedules will cover vessel schedules for interregional, intraregional, and feeder services.. 

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,” added the release.. 

Once the test period with DCSA carrier members is complete, DCSA will make the Universal Service Reference available for other carriers to adopt..

Standards open for feedback

The DCSA Standards for OVS 3.0 – Beta 1 is open for the public to review and provide feedback for a three-month period beginning June 30..

Interested parties can download the standards and provide feedback at Once the review period is ended, DCSA will revise the standards based on input and publish the official release of DCSA Standards for OVS 3.0 within a three-month timeframe..

The DCSA OVS 3.0 – Beta 1 standard publication comprises the following set of documents: 

  • DCSA Definitions for OVS 3.0 – Beta 1 
  • DCSA Interface Standard for Operational Vessel Schedules 3.0 – Beta 1 
  • DCSA Industry Blueprint 2022.2 
  • DCSA Information Model 2022.2  
  • Associated Reading Guides, where applicable.  

In addition to these documents, DCSA has published a beta API definition on the SwaggerHub open-source API development platform and a reference implementation is available on GitHub..

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