How to facilitate Just in Time arrivals: barriers and solutions

CO2 reduction

As the maritime industry faces pressure to improve efficiency and reduce its carbon footprint, the relevance of the Just in Time (JIT) arrival concept is increasing. In our previous blog series, we have explained the benefits of JIT for shipping lines, terminals, and port authorities, both from economic and environmental perspectives. In this blog, we want to share our vision on how we, as an industry, can streamline the implementation of Just in Time arrival. 

Why hasn’t JIT been widely implemented yet? 

Although JIT is widely recognized as a way to reduce emissions, it’s still not widely implemented and adopted by the industry. There are multiple operational and contractual barriers to the uptake and implementation of Just in Time arrivals. Here, we want to elaborate further on three of them:

  • data standardization
  • predictability
  • collaboration


Data Standardization 

Ports can receive up to 116.000 different ships, and the global shipping industry operates in a network of up to 9.000 different ports (Source: Industry Partners, Standards Partners, and Endorsers of the ITPCO, IHMA, IAPH, and UKHO: Port Information Manual). To carry out port calls at maximum efficiency globally, all parties should speak the same language. This unambiguity in communication will not only lead to more efficient collaboration. But it will also allow maintaining lower buffer times between operations, which will result in more streamlined overall port calls and reduced pollution.

The enormous progress on this end has been made by the Port Call Optimization International Taskforce (PCOIT) that introduced the port call data standards. It all starts by defining the process, key events, data owners, etc. Only when everyone has a common understanding of what defines a port call, that port call can be optimized. 

Data standardization is a critical first step toward Just in Time arrivals. However, the maritime industry is lagging behind here, and using industry-wide data standards still remains an issue.


In shipping, you always have to be ready for disruption. Variable weather conditions, unexpected breakdowns, and other events affect the initial planning. Therefore, it’s crucial to continually keep sharing updates with all the stakeholders, so they can adjust their planning if needed and optimize their own processes. 

This transparency in communication and planning predictability is the pre-condition to facilitate Just in Time arrivals. However, in reality, the information doesn’t flow seamlessly between all the parties. For example, often, delays at the terminals aren’t reported in time. As a result, vessels can’t take advantage of slow steaming and instead arrive at the pilot boarding place too early. This leads to higher fuel consumption and CO2 emissions. 

On top, one delay strikes multiple fronts, as other service providers also have to reschedule their operations. If done via phone or email, keeping all the stakeholders at the same level of situational awareness is incredibly time-consuming, especially during the last  48 hours of the voyage when planning changes occur even more frequently.


The maritime industry is known for being competitive, particularly around data sharing, standardization, and collaboration. What we all need now is a collective change of mindset – one that urges everyone to open up to new ideas and work as a community. Our systems need to start speaking the common language and connect to each other. Our goals need to be aligned to maximize the results. Our operational processes and technologies need to be revamped.

To facilitate Just in Time arrivals and, in general, improve operational efficiency, the industry should be willing to cooperate and embrace the digital transformation. Without this mindset change, all other efforts will go in vain.

How does PortXchange help to facilitate Just in Time arrivals?

At PortXchange, we recognize all these barriers, and we are committed to playing our role in helping the maritime industry to overcome them to become more efficient and reduce its carbon footprint.

PortXchange Synchronizer is a digital collaboration platform for the maritime logistics chain built upon the port information standards adopted by the Port Call Optimization Taskforce. It provides a centralized location for sharing real-time data about the port call to align shipping lines, carriers, agents, terminals, port authorities, and service providers. By connecting operational data from all local parties involved in a port call, standardizing it, and creating a single point of truth, PortXchange improves operational efficiency and reduces CO2 emissions from the shipping industry. 

PortXchange shows how much time the vessel has to reach the port of call just in time. If there are any planning changes on the terminal side, the agent receives a timely notification, which allows him to communicate the new ETA berth to the Capitan and adjust the vessel’s sailing speed. 

Want to see PortXchange in action? Explore the benefits of PortXchange in under 5 minutes with this interactive live Demo.

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About the author

Diana Trubnikova
Growth Marketer

Diana is a B2B marketing specialist passionate about innovative digital solutions that drive real change in the world. She helps companies discover PortXchange and assess if it’s a good fit for their needs.

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