The Port Authority of Bilbao has hosted the meeting of the Shipping Messages Design Group (SMDG) – an international non-profit making organisation whose aim is to develop, coordinate and promote EDIFACT messages for the maritime industry. The group, which this year celebrates its 25th anniversary, consists chiefly of representatives of global shipping operators and the terminals of the main ports in the world, including Bilbao.
On the first day, the sub-technical working groups met and visited the Noatum Container Terminal installations at the Port of Bilbao, where they were able to see first-hand its characteristics and working methods.
The second day centred on the plenary meeting where the Port of Bilbao presented its services offer together with those of its e-puertobilbao platform. Later, BAPLIE messages version 3.0 for container vessel stowage was analysed.
In addition, the other messages developed by this group – among which can be found COPRAR, COARRI, COREOR, COPARN, COPINO and CODECO messages – were revised. All of these are widely used in shipping and already established in the Bilbao port logistics community as part of the services provided by the e-puertobilbao platform.
Moreover, the group is studying the possibility of adapting the INVOIC message for terminals to be able to invoice their customers and to use the BAPLIE version or the stowage plan for rail transport. These developments are extremely interesting for our working environment and can be established in future e-puertobilbao services.
What has been especially interesting for the Port of Bilbao over the two days are the agreements reached regarding information interchanges with different operators already calling at Bilbao, such as CMA-CGM, Hapag- Lloyd-AG and Hamburg Sud. Then again, mention must be made of the analysis of experiences with container terminals HHLA Hamburg and ECT Rotterdam, which in 2011 handled 7.1 and 7.5 million TEUs respectively. These companies are all leaders in developing e-services with their customers – the important shipping operators – and are also linked to the Port of Bilbao through different maritime services.