Leveraging Port Community System to Integrate Landside Operations

Leveraging Port Community System to Integrate Landside Operations

A wave of automation and integration is now engulfing the logistics value chain. The past decade has witnessed a tremendous growth in marine transportation. Rising competition among ports and technical progress in ship design, resulting in higher capacity vessels, has put enormous pressure on port operators to develop an efficient container handling system.
With more than 12 major and 40 minor stakeholders in the maritime sector, it is definitely a complex web of relationship between both land and portside operations. While synchronisation of all aspects of the supply chain has become an operational necessity, it is often held hostage to the efficiency of hinterland networks who must respond to a large group of stakeholders with sporadic coordination.
In recent years, the inland component of the port system has become a key factor in shaping performance and competitive strategies of seaports. But physical and capacity constraints at berths, along with the trend of optimisation and standardisation of quayside operations, suggest that more focus must be placed on land-interface logistics operations.
Reported inefficiencies in ports indicate that landside logistics operations are far behind their optimal efficiency, with most observed malfunctions (unproductive moves, congestion, delays, etc.) taking place at inland and intermodal port interfaces. This calls for integration of land side operations with a robust digital infrastructure. The possible integration of landside operations will certainly enable cost reduction at several milestones. Achieving the cost saving milestone is possible with a Port Community System (PCS).
PCS is a next-gen technology that integrates and automates operations involving Shipping Lines, Forwarders/Consolidators, Transporters, Container Freight Stations, Consignees, Port Authorities and others. Here are certain benefits along with cost reduction and how the same can be achieved by leveraging PCS.

Cost reduction on terminal management & contracts

Through conglomeration, Shipping Lines large and small have benefitted with cost synergies on the seaside. Yet, when it comes to the landside, each carrier has terminal agreements, trucking contracts and operations management on a standalone basis. While operating on a standalone basis here, carrier’s operating expense could add up and the savings made on the seaside subsides. Whereas with PCS, trucking contracts and terminal agreement along with operations management are all performed digitally with an advance information sharing capability. With this, delays in vessel berthing and even truck congestion can be sorted simultaneously.

Efficient resource utilisation with advanced planning capabilities

PCS is a next-gen technology that is built with technologies such as Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning which offers capabilities to predict demand growth/slump etc. With these capabilities, managing terminals and vessels entering the port ecosystem can be predicted beforehand. Therefore, carriers can leverage the scaling advantage.

Ruling out the need for physical space requirement

With digitization coming into play, the scope of manual documentation is reduced and the same is achieved with PCS. Going forward, PCS could also enable the need for a physical space as it is imperative that with rapid freight movement powered by advance information sharing in recommended EDI formats. This means the need for physical space requirement may cease to exist. PCS does come with immense benefits to integrate and automate the entire seaport ecosystem. While the demand for PCS is growing gradually, in the coming days, its role could get more comprehensive on specific processes. In turn, the functions get dynamic and disintegrated functions could get simple with 360 degree integration.