Lately, you may have been reading a lot about Standards, Uniform Rules, and Best Practices in the world of shipping, freight, logistics, maritime, supply chain, and trade.. While these terms are not new, they’ve been hogging the limelight lately in line with the accelerated efforts to digitalize our industry..
So, what are Standards, Uniform Rules, and Best Practices and why is it important in our industry..??
In simple terms,
Standards are like the recipe we all decide to follow when baking the same cake — creating a uniform, reliable result..
Uniform Rules are the publicly known set of instructions that everyone in the industry agrees to follow like everyone driving on the left or right side of the road..
Best Practices are the pro tips, the methods that have been proven to whip up the best results and are recommended for everyone to adopt..
These principles may be considered to be the backbone of our industry as they make things uniform and consistent, ensure quality, enhance safety, manage risks, ease international trade, cut costs, earn customer trust, and keep us compliant with laws and regulations..
In order to create more awareness and to accelerate digitalization and adoption of standards, here is a list of some of the most common and popular standards, uniform rules, and best practices that are currently shaping our industry, acting as the silent architects ensuring everything runs smoothly and sustainably in the background while minimizing risks and impacts..
This is by no means the complete list and more will be added in due course.. If there are any other standards, uniform rules, and best practices you feel should be added to this list, do drop me a line.. Industry conventions will be added to this list soon..
|e-Bills of Lading for bulk shipments||BIMCO||Standards||The eBL Standard is a structured dataset consisting of 20 predefined data fields that are common to bulk shipping bills of lading.|
|Booking Process||Digital Container Shipping Association (DCSA)||Standards||These standards streamline the booking and documentation process by enabling the automatic uptake of booking process data into the eBL.|
|Cyber Security||Digital Container Shipping Association (DCSA)||Standards||An overview of best practices to help designated crew members mitigate the risk of cyber incidents or contain damage (fail-safe) and recover in the event of an attack.|
|Electronic Bill of Lading for container shipments||Digital Container Shipping Association (DCSA)||Standards||To facilitate acceptance and adoption of an electronic bill of lading (eBL) by regulators, banks, and insurers and to unify communication between stakeholders involved in a transaction.|
|IoT Events||Digital Container Shipping Association (DCSA)||Standards||These standards are designed to enable industry-wide standardized data sharing related to tracking and tracing of containers fitted with IoT devices (including “smart containers”).|
|IoT – Gateway Connectivity Interface||Digital Container Shipping Association (DCSA)||Standards||These standards are designed to enable industry-wide interoperability between IoT devices (including “smart containers”) and the supporting network infrastructure.|
|IoT – Remote Reefer Container Monitoring on Board||Digital Container Shipping Association (DCSA)||Standards||A minimum set of data elements to be shared with the vessel crew to enable remote monitoring of smart reefer containers on board a vessel.|
|Just-in-Time Port Call||Digital Container Shipping Association (DCSA)||Standards||Standards for exchanging port call event data in a uniform way, enabling digital planning and operational optimization|
|Load List and Bay Plan||Digital Container Shipping Association (DCSA)||Standards||These standards are developed to facilitate communication of container load volumes and stowage details between VSA partners, terminals, and ports.|
|Operational Vessel Schedules||Digital Container Shipping Association (DCSA)||Standards||These standards are designed to enable automatic sharing of vessel schedule data between carriers and operational service providers.|
|Reefer Events||Digital Container Shipping Association (DCSA)||Standards||These standards are designed to enable industry-wide standardized data sharing related to tracking and tracing of Reefer.|
|Track and Trace||Digital Container Shipping Association (DCSA)||Standards||These standards comprise a common set of processes as well as data and interface standards to enable cross-carrier shipment tracking|
|Standards Toolkit for Cross-border Paperless Trade||International Chamber of Commerce & World Trade Organization||Standards||Provides an overview of the most notable and widely used standards to help push trade digitalization to the next level..|
|Uniform Rules for Digital Trade Transactions (URDTT) Version 1.0||International Chamber of Commerce||Standards||Outlines rules, obligations, and standards for the digitalization of trade transactions|
|API standards for guarantees and standby letters of credit||International Chamber of Commerce & SWIFT||Standards||API standards to manage processes involved in the life cycle of a demand guarantee between the applicant and issuing bank & advising bank and beneficiary|
|ISO 6346:2022 (The International Register of Container Owner Codes)||International Container Bureau (BIC)||Standards||Provides a system for the identification and presentation of information about shipping containers including coding, identification, and marking|
|ISO 668:2020/Amd 1:2022 – Series 1||International Organization for Standardization||Standards||An ISO international standard that classifies shipping containers and standardizes their sizes, dimensions, and weight specifications.|
|Unified Container Inspection and Repair Criteria (UCIRC)||The International Chamber of Shipping||Standards||Standards that detail the criteria to be considered in the context of inspection for physical damages or structural deformations of the shipping container..|
|UN/EDIFACT (the United Nations rules for Electronic Data Interchange for Administration, Commerce and Transport)||United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE)||Standards||A set of internationally agreed standards, directories, and guidelines for the electronic interchange of structured data, between independent computerized information systems.|
|United Nations Code for Trade and Transport Locations (UN/LOCODE)||United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE)||Standards||Code structure framework of the joint trade facilitation effort undertaken within the United Nations.|
|SAFE Framework of Standards to Secure and Facilitate Global Trade||World Customs Organisation (WCO)||Standards||SAFE Framework prescribes baseline standards for global customs authorities to manage threats to supply chain security, facilitation of legitimate businesses, promotes smart security devices to optimize Customs control and effectively monitor the movement of goods on a real-time basis|
|UCP 600 – Uniform Rules for Documentary Credits||International Chamber of Commerce||Rules||Rules on documentary credits governing letter of credit transactions with provisions in the fields of transport, insurance, and compliance|
|ICC Guide to Export/Import – 5th edition||International Chamber of Commerce||Rules||Global Business standards and strategies including essential rules and standard practices of global export and import trade.|
|URC 522 – Uniform Rules for Collections||International Chamber of Commerce||Rules||A practical set of Rules to aid bankers, buyers, and sellers in the collections process|
|Uniform Rules for Demand Guarantees URDG||International Chamber of Commerce||Rules||International standard practice in the use of demand guarantees|
|eUCP VERSION 2.1 – ICC Uniform Customs and Practice for Documentary Credits||International Chamber of Commerce||Rules||The eUCP supplements UCP600 to accommodate the presentation of electronic records|
|International Standard Banking Practice – ISBP||International Chamber of Commerce||Best Practice||It comprises a compilation of banking practices that are to be applied when working with documentary credits that are subject to UCP 600.|
|International Standby Practices – ISP98||International Chamber of Commerce||Best Practice||ISP98 offers a precise and detailed framework for practitioners dealing with standby letters of credit.|
|International Standard Demand Guarantee Practice (ISDGP) for URDG 758||International Chamber of Commerce||Best Practice||best practice in demand guarantees throughout the lifecycle of the guarantee|
In summary, the importance of Standards, Uniform Rules, and Best Practices in the shipping industry can’t be overstated as they keep operations smooth, streamlined, and on par while ensuring everyone speaks the same “industry language”..
These standards, uniform rules, and best practices are foundational to the efficient, safe, and sustainable functioning of the shipping, freight, logistics, maritime, supply chain, and trade industries..
They bring about coherence and reliability and foster international cooperation and trade while minimizing the risks and impacts on people and the environment..
In this modern, tech-driven world, these principles help us navigate the new digital frontiers.. It’s not just about ticking boxes anymore.. It’s about creating a resilient, trustworthy, and forward-thinking industry..
Let us all join together to make it happen and adopt and use the standards released so far..