Will Port Community System help overcome the persisting challenges in the Maritime industry?

Will Port Community System help overcome the persisting challenges in the Maritime industry?

With a good chunk of the world population getting vaccinated, now the focus is on getting back to usual business. Even during the peak of COVID-19, e-commerce did thrive. Thanks to logistics frontliners in maritime industry who played a pivotal role in moving cargo from Asia Pacific to the entire world. But now, every port in North America, Europe and other regions are facing vessel congestion. In addition to this, we also see rising container charges due to shortage of containers. A major container port in Asia Pacific is facing acute container shortages that for the next few months, the few containers are already booked.

But, vessel congestion of 40 hours, truck congestion at the gate is all a result of disparate manual operations. Rather, streamlining certain processes with automation and integrations to a certain level would keep the processes straight forward and manageable.

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How to overcome these issues?

Nothing can happen overnight. At least for the next few months, these challenges will persist. But what happens in the future is something that can be regularised. And cloud-based platforms like Port Community System will have a major role to play in this.

Port Community System evolving?

While some experts suggest years down the line, all ports would embrace port community system, we rather see a trend emerging and dominating the maritime industry. The number of digital investments made by leading Shipping Lines and Port Authorities are the testimony to this fact. In the coming days, technologies such as 5G, Blockchain and Internet of Things (IoT) will find more relevance as IT solutions providers are inculcating these technologies rapidly. Precisely, we are already in the new normal.

Electronic generation of documents

It is said that to obtain a Delivery Order alone, the time consumed is three days. And this means, the cargo/container is strangled in the source port environment only for three days. Whereas a cloud-based platform could easily digitize the entire documentation process simultaneously.

Digital vessel operations and management with an cloud based electronic interface

On average, 40 hours is the time taken for a vessel to unberth in a seaport. This significant time reflects the manual activities that exists in some ports even today. However, cloud-based platforms can seamlessly help overcome these delays with digitized operations.

End-to-end milestone tracking

Forwarder/Consolidator, Transporter and other stakeholders who are not in the port ecosystem often ask, “where is my cargo?” Yes, this is a result of the glitches involved in the entire maritime value chain. Milestone Tracking is an application of a cloud-based platform which could enable micro level tracking of the cargo/container in the maritime value chain

Inventory/warehouse management with a cloud enabled facility

During the lockdown restrictions envisaged last year, several warehouses in the Yards and Terminals went non-functional. While several Yard Managers decided to innovate and digitized remote working as well as monitoring. Digital Warehouse Management could enable 24×7 monitoring of activities. Most importantly, it is more reliable when it comes to thwarting challenges such as cargo theft. Already several ports have adopted these technologies either as standalone applications or as a holistic solution like port community system. Ports in Europe, Asia Pacific and Middle East are driving this exodus. On the other hand, North American maritime space still largely continues to be manual. But, the conditions are changing as gradually they are realizing the need to digitize and are emphasizing on a journey of complete technology adoption.

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