‘Just-In-Time’ operations (JIT) contribute to cutting emissions, by limiting the time vessels passively spend outside ports. Although JIT is helpful to the environment and helps reduce costs, there are multiple operational and contractual barriers to overcome before this could be implemented globally.
Specifically, some types of vessels such as
- Bulk carriers and tankers face barriers due to contracts;
- Container ships do not have contracts. Therefore, the vessel’s master is able to reduce speed without breach of contract, thereby enabling JIT to start being implemented today.
IMO’s Global Industry Alliance to Support Low Carbon Shipping (GIA), focusing on the vessels that can already implement JIT, gathered with a variety of industry stakeholders to discuss with what means they can accomplish JIT globally.
Representatives from shipping companies, port authorities, terminal operators, service providers and other maritime operations, discussed the matter on January 31, at IMO’s Heaquarters in London.
Moreover, the stakeholders addressed that ports will be able to provide incoming vessels with a reliable berth arrival time, under the circumstances that there will be a reliable departure time of the vessels arriving at berth. This will need the involvement of many stakeholders.
In addition, the current vessel at berth will only depart after loading, unloading, bunkering, provisioning and other critical services have all been completed. Yet, the terminal and other service providers currently share very few updates about completion times.
Also, IMO’s Facilitation Committee discusses the idea of providing vessels with regular updates concerning the availability of berths, mostly in the last twelve hours prior to the port arrival.
By timing the arrival, ships will be able to optimise their speed, by slowing down, enhancing the reduction in the carbon footprint of shipping as well as saving fuel costs.
JIT operations also improve the safety of navigation and the rest hour planning for the vessel crew and nautical services.
GIA members scheduled an additional plan, later in 2019, to talk about contractual barriers to JIT. Also, the Alliance is preparing a real-time JIT pilot trial, in order to test the tangible solutions identified so far and gather experience.
Concluding, the Alliance is to issue a report concerning JIT’s process to IMO’s Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) with a view to continue supporting IMO member States in tackling emissions from ships and reaching the ambitious emissions targets set out in IMO’s Initial GHG Strategy.