SMDG is a non-profit foundation, run by and on behalf of companies and organizations working in the maritime industry, like container terminals, ocean carriers and related companies and organizations.
SMDG develops and promotes UN/EDIFACT EDI-messages for the Maritime Industry and is an official Global User Group, recognized by the UN/EDIFACT Board. Since its inception the group has held numerous meetings across the world. The first was held in London in 1987, since then other locations have included Europe, Australia, China, Curacao, Dubai, Japan, Singapore, South Africa, U.S.A. The SMDG meetings occur twice yearly in April and October.
The original objective of the group was to agree on a standard format for the exchange of ship stowage planning information. This became known as the BAPLIE message which defines the position of containers in a vessel. The initial development process was slow, reflecting the wide range of interests involved as well as their geographical spread. However, since the implementation of the first version of BAPLIE its use has grown rapidly across the world. All carriers and deep-sea container terminals are now dependent on its use for accurate and timely information. Experience has brought refinement and further development with the latest BAPLIE version 3.0 now being introduced.
The advantages of Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) have been underlined by BAPLIE implementation and the group has since looked at other operational messages for stowage instructions (MOVINS), the so called Container Messages and terminal performance reporting (TPFREP). These messages are now in use worldwide.
SMDG is also a collaboration and services platform for the entire Maritime industry. They bring together supply chain professionals and technology experts to create standards, develop best practice and common intercompany communication and business process to bring the industry to a higher level of efficiency across the maritime logistic chain.
SMDG depends on donations from its members. However, SMDG documentation can be downloaded by any interested party ‘free-of-charge’ from the SMDG website.