EDI for container terminals

Integrated electronic data interchange (EDI) is a powerful way of business communicating and the benefits of integrating EDI are significant:
  • elimination of re-keying and data duplication
  • reduction of errors
  • reduced data interchange cycle time
  • improved service and response time
  • reduced business transaction costs
  • improved productivity, possibility of staff re-assignments

Furthermore a direct connection between systems eliminates the risk of human failures, and as a significant electronic commerce technology, EDI is changing the way business is done and defining successful customer-vendor relationships.

These are the main reasons why Unifeeder offers terminals and other vendors a variety of different technologies and formats, when it comes to business-to-business communication.

At Unifeeder we have several years of experience with EDI using EDIFACT standards, CSV and XML.

The use and implementation of EDI has grown rapidly the last years, and at Unifeeder we are following the development of new technologies closely.

Communication flow


Below diagram is an overview of the communication flow in a Unifeeder – terminal relationship. The diagram shows the communication processes which are supported via EDI. Each process (vertical line) can be established individually between a terminal and Unifeeder.

After the flow diagram each process is described in details.



1. CONTAINER ANNOUNCEMENT MESSAGE


For all bookings Unifeeder are able to send Container announcement messages to the terminals. These messages usually contain both Unifeeder booking reference and the reference of the shipper/deep-sea line.

Following formats are supported:

EDIFACT
  • COPARN - Container announcement message

Email
  • Spreadsheet (Excel)
  • Text
  • CSV

XML
  • COPARN - SMDG standard (Planned)


2. CONTAINER GATE-IN/GATE-OUT REPORT MESSAGE


Gate-in/out messages can be transferred to Unifeeder from depots and terminals whenever containers are passing the gate. A Gate-in/out message has to contain either Unifeeder’s reference, shipper’s reference or both.

Following formats are supported:

EDIFACT
  • CODECO - Container gate-in/gate-out report message

Email
  • Spreadsheet (Excel)
  • Text
  • CSV

XML
  • CODECO - SMDG standard (Planned)


3. CONTAINER DISCHARGE/LOADING MESSAGE & STOWAGE PLAN


Before vessel operations Unifeeder is able to supply the terminals and stevedores with discharge and loading details – i.e. container numbers, weights and stowage positions.

Following formats are supported:

EDIFACT
  • COPRAR - Container discharge/loading order message
  • MOVINS - Stowage instruction message
  • BAPLIE - Bayplan/stowage plan occupied and empty locations message

Email
  • Spreadsheet (Excel)
  • Text
  • CSV
  • PDF (Stowage plans can be sent via email as an attached PDF file)

XML
  • Structure according to agreement



    4. CONTAINER DISCHARGE/LOADING REPORT MESSAGE


    After vessel operations Unifeeder is able to receive stowage updates via Container report messages – i.e. actual stowage positions (and container numbers of empty containers loaded ab stack).

    Following formats are supported:

    EDIFACT
    • COARRI - Container discharge/loading report message
    • BAPLIE - Bayplan/stowage plan occupied and empty locations message

    Email
    • Spreadsheet (Excel)
    • Text
    • CSV

    XML
    • Structure according to agreement



    5. CUSTOMS CARGO REPORT MESSAGE


    After vessel operations Unifeeder can via the Terminal connection, supply Customs administration and Port authorities with Manifests details.

    Following formats are supported:

    EDIFACT
    • CUSCAR - Customs cargo report message

    Email
    • Spreadsheet (Excel)
    • Text
    • CSV

    XML
    • Structure according to agreement


    RETURN MESSAGES


    The receipt of all messages can be confirmed by a return message (APERAK), which will state if an EDI message has been received by the UniFeeder system. Both accept and rejected return messages are supported, but it is our experience that, due to the increasing EDI communication only rejected messages are required by vendors, because “no news” is considered as “good news”.


    IMPLEMENTATION


    We trust that our customes, like us, appreciate the benefits of EDI, and would like to improve our business relationship.
    For further details and support please contact the Unifeeder IT-department:

    It-department (it@unifeeder.com)

    Depending on the format and number of adjustments, we expect an implementation time of 2 – 4 weeks per communication process.