There is an increased desire for ports to develop Port Community Systems (PCS) after facing the challenges that 2020 has presented.
This is one of the messages that was shared during PTI’s latest webinar Providing Real Time, Digital Information with PCS.
Richard Morton, Secretary General, International Port Community System Association (IPCSA), said during the event that, “COVID is an eyeopener for change to electronic distribution of data as soon as possible, we will give support, but time is needed to set things up. But a lot of ports have already started.”
He also said that the crisis this year has led to less resistance to change towards digitalisation as well as increasing the priority of digitalisation initiatives.
PCS and Single Windows have become critical for trade continuity and providing resilience to carry on trading.
In a warning to those who seek to adopt PCS he said, “You have to change to stay the same…if you want to continue doing what you’re doing you will have to change. But don’t just go for the latest technology because everyone is using it, go for the most appropriate tech to drive your business.”
Morton noted that a PCS at is core is not really an IT project, but it is a change management project and it is the changing of people’s mindsets that is most important.
Essentially a PCS is about sharing data to ensure that goods are moving through ports with minimal delays. It is a community led trade facilitation tool and is a neutral data exchange platform.
One port that has fully adopted a PCS is the Port of Valencia and during the Webinar Mar Chao Lopez, Chief Commercial & Business Development Officer, Valencia Port Authority described the benefits and some of the elements of their PCS.
The ValenciaportPCS helps the port see itself as a digital platform. “We, now, as a port are not just a way to berth vessels, but we have to share data to achieve a better performance in our operations,” Lopez said.
She said that the Port had found success in the PCS because “it is about data and the trust of the port community. We spent a lot of time in meetings looking for the best solution for the process to be optimised and that process is unique for your port.”
As part of the PCS Valenciaport has developed an app specifically for road transportation which gives trucks real-time information on which terminal they have to pick up from and live video data is also included to highlight when there are queues of traffic at the Port.
“The more info we share and give to our users its better for their planning and processes optimisation,” Lopez said.
The port also has automated all access to the port and terminals integrated with the ValenciaportPCS and the customs system. This reduces the time of entry and exit of trucks on the premises and improves the security at the port.
Lopez said that as the Port looks to develop its new container terminal, the fourth at the Port, this kind of automation will be standard. The Port has released a tender for the development of the new container terminal.
Finally, Lopez said the next stage of the ValenciaportPCS will be migrating all of the data to The Cloud.
“At this moment we are thinking of migrating our PCS to ‘The Cloud’. This will have to go to a public tender. We think that every day we need to share more data and we need to share with our client’s real time information. Going to the cloud allows us to develop new apps and services much faster,” she said.
She also noted that going to The Cloud provides the security needed to protect all of the data that is being used within the PCS.