Keywords: DG, EDI, CODECO, COARRI, OR, SI, B/L, …


The documentation of hazardous cargo (or dangerous goods, DG) within the logistic supply chain has tremendous safety impact and comes with significant liabilities for all parties involved. Yet there is still a lot of room to improve the process. The representation of hazardous cargo is currently done via the dangerous goods declaration (DGD) form, which has no established standard format according to international & national regulation. This leads to difficulties in processing and interpreting the cargo itself.


The processing of DG details is a time-consuming process, currently subject to a wide array of different system interpretation and human interaction which inevitably leads to errors. Which in the case of dangerous cargo could have immense implications regarding the safety. Consequently the different parties involved, by amending or interpreting the data, face liability and take responsibility where they shouldn’t or don’t where they should.



There is currently no convenient way to process all relevant DG data. Their responsibility is shifted to the shipping lines/carriers to interpret the missing data, which leads to an increased liability of the shipper. Moreover there are no live checks with for example international & national law which again leads to waiting times and discrepancies towards acceptance, because all carriers will check this differently in their own database.

Shipping lines/carriers:

The received DG information from the shipper is fragmented and sometimes inadequate or inaccurate which leads to acceptance of bookings in the assumption that they are in compliance with international & national regulation. Thus again leading in increased liability & waiting time across the board.


The shipping lines/carriers receive the DGD in various formats (PDF, Excel, Word, JPEG…) from the shipper and process the received DGD into an EDIFACT message which is sent to the port authorities. This is manual processing and therefore error prone. The shipping lines/carriers, also check the DGD data against reference databases for compliance, port restrictions and so on.


When delivering hazardous cargo to quay data provided upon delivery possibly differs from data submitted in terminal systems by the shipping lines or carrier. This could result in refusal to accept the container or, even worse, acceptance under false pretense. Again impacting safety in general.

Port Authorities:

Local port authorities face the problem of missing, inaccurate or double declarations by shipper, Shipping lines and carriers.


There are 2 aspects to this challenge which could be addressed individually or together.


The first aspect is focused on data quality. Data provided by the shipper is re-entered at the shipping line and passed on to the Port Authorities. At various stages technologies could be used to check whether the information which arrives at the port authorities still matches the data as provided by the shipper. The data should also be checked against external databases with definitions of restrictions for specific goods.


The second aspect of the challenges deals with the process in general for submitting and declaring dangerous goods details. One could imagine an end to end process having some or all of the characteristics described below.

  • Shipping line/carrier neutral

  • Optical recognition (OR) of the various DGD documents. 

  • Live checks of dangerous cargo details against vessel/carrier and port restrictions, international and national regulation.

  • Accessibility to dangerous cargo details at all times for all involved.

  • Possible EDI interconnectivity for all parties involved

  • Automatic declarations to port authorities

  • Data in the system is updated by port and terminal info (CODECO and COARRI).


For this challenge we are looking to combine various data sources:

  • Initial input by shipper (OR): DGD in various formats

  • Shipping line/carrier information: DGD in EDIFACT/XML format

  • Terminal data

  • Port Authority Data

  • Database with DG restriction rules


  • Port authorities

  • Carriers/ shipping line Agencies

  • Shippers

  • Terminals

  • Transportation companies

  • Warehouses


  • DG = Dangerous Goods

  • EDI = Electronic Data Interchange

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

  • COARRI = Container discharge/loading report message

  • OR = optical recognition

  • SI = shipping instructions: details provided by the shipper for documentation propose on B/L

  • B/L = Bill of Lading: a document issued by a shipping line or carrier to acknowledge receipt of cargo for shipment.


Do you have an interesting challenge related to this topic? Please let us know and we will take it into consideration!

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