BIMCO has updated its port information database


BIMCO has updated and restructured its port information database which provides the maritime industry with reliable information about port facilities, working hours and national holidays.

The BIMCO port information database contains information about more than 2,000 ports world-wide and is structured at three distinctive layers. On the national level, matters of national importance is stored in this manner:

  • Environmental information and restriction such as ballast and sewage limitations
  • National holidays
  • Restrictions and sanctions, either imposed by or upon the nation

Regional information is both applicable at state level, such as in the USA, as well as geographical smaller regions, such as the Spanish possessions Ceuta and Melilla at the African Mediterranean coastline. The amount of data stored on regional level varies widely and depends to a large extent on the autonomy of the region. Most often, there will be information on the following topics:

  • Applicable regional taxes and tariffs
  • Regional holidays

While observing the importance of the above-mentioned headings, the local port level contains by far the most information. This includes information on:

  • ISPS compatibility
  • Contact information on harbour authorities
  • Information on cargo handling facilities
  • Situation
  • Point of caution
  • Medical facilities

During the most recent update of the BIMCO port information database, more than 2,000 ports have been applied with updated information on the above.

Updating the entries for port working hours

While updating more than 2,000 ports is a feat itself, data storage is been changed as well. An inherited disadvantage so far has been the use of bulky text blocks to describe port facilities and conditions. Prospectively, entries will be made using a different programming to ease the application of API. The visual impact of this change will be cosmetic at most, but the technical benefits are significant.

BIMCO is currently testing the API for transfer of data between the port information database and our members’ operating systems. The purpose is for members to utilize our extensive database of port information, holidays and working hours by applying this data in their own systems.

The API is scheduled to be released by December 2019, corresponding with the printing of the 2020 edition of the Holiday Calendar.


Johan Conrad
in Copenhagen, DK


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