BIMCO has a proud tradition for providing the maritime industry with reliable information on port facilities, working hours and national holidays. In order to provide the best solution, BIMCO’s port information database has been restructured and updated.
Recognising the value of accessible port information
Recognising the port information database as an indispensable tool for shipowners, a number of improvements have been made, of which the first was done in August. At that time, the content layout was adjusted, changing to bullet points instead of massive text blocks, offering a significant layout improvement for members.
While the change was intended to give a better user experience, there are also technical reasons for the change in layout: The root dataset is stored as JSON, which is text as bullets. Utilising the bullets allows members to harvest this data with our API.
Explaining the concept of an API
To understand the API, one can imagine sitting by the table at a restaurant, after which the waiter brings the menu, and you make a decision and place your order. The waiter then brings your order to the kitchen, where the meal is prepared. Once prepared, the waiter returns to your table with the meal.
An API acts in the same way. It operates with a well-defined permission in a safe environment, transferring data between two systems. In our daily life, we make extensive use of API’s when utilising the camera on our smartphones, using location-based services and so forth.
Which modules follows the new data structure?
The new structure has been applied to applicable ports in the BIMCO system with content acquired from IHS Markit:
Access & Navigation:
Health and Medical
Cargo Handling Facilities
- Port Facility Security
In addition to the information mentioned above, BIMCO has introduced a new tool to apply and maintain the BIMCO Holiday Calendar. The digital calendar is free to access for BIMCO members who also enjoy complimentary support on all matters related to holidays.
Should you prefer a direct connection between your systems and the BIMCO Holiday database, we suggest utilising our API scheduled for release in December. To get access please forward your request to email@example.com, and we will guide you through the application.