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Port community systems

By Advantum

How port community systems can boost supply chain efficiency

For years, Caribbean trade partners have pondered strategies for increasing throughput velocity in the supply chain. With the need to remain competitive, our attention turns to improving communication and processes between the various trade stakeholders. Are Port Community Systems (PCS) the answer?

According to the International Port Community Systems Association (IPCSA), a PCS is a neutral and open electronic platform that allows an intelligent and secure exchange of information between public and private stakeholders in order to improve the competitive position of seaport and airport communities.

A PCS is a single window for the port community that optimizes, manages and automates port and logistics processes through the single submission of data. The main objective is to allow a range of entities that fall within the supply chain to easily share logistics–related information. This is accomplished by offering a standard method of communicating.

For example, carriers would make requests to terminals through the PCS, removing the need to have technical knowledge about its data or systems. The PCS collects, translates and distributes information via the internet, which is arguably the most accessible, reliable and cost-effective avenue.

The PCS provides a layer of transparency and interoperability that previously did not exist. Data sharing streamlines communication among various entities and helps to improve the flow of work within and across organizations, in turn getting rid of bottlenecks and enhancing efficiency.

Other benefits:

  • Single point of entry for lines, agents, terminals and other stakeholders
  • Real-time tracking of cargo and container movements
  • Reduced paper usage and processing times
  • Performance monitoring.

Given the needs of global trade, the benefits provided by a PCS should extend beyond the borders of a port, leading to the interconnection of ports at international level. The strategic aim of the IPCSA is to open the way to increased international trade through the worldwide adoption of PCS systems.

Ultimately, the decision to implement a PCS depends on a country’s motivation to enhance trade, visibility to the global supply chain and the competitiveness of ports in the region.