PORT ST. MAARTEN – Port St. Maarten was unanimously accepted as the latest member of the International Port Community Systems Association (IPCSA), and is also the first port in the Caribbean to become a member of the association that promotes the adoption of e-logistics as the key element in the development of international maritime, shipping and logistics sectors.
IPCSA is the successor to the European Port Community Systems Association (ECPSA) which was launched in June 2011 by six founding members, all European-based Port Community System operators.
IPCSA and its members play a vital role in global trade facilitation; the electronic communications platforms provided by Port Community Systems ensuring a smooth transport and logistics operations at hundreds of seaports, airports and inland ports.
EPCSA was originally formed in June 2011 by SOGET, Le Havre, France; MCP, Felixstowe, UK; Portic, Barcelona, Spain; Portbase, Rotterdam and Amsterdam, Netherlands, dbh, Bremen, Germany and DAKOSY, Germany.
The reason for forming EPCSA was that Port Community System Operators (PCSOs) did not had a common lobby position at the European Union. The European Commission was, and still is, developing a number of initiatives and directives such as e-customs, e-freight and e-maritime and the leading PCSOs agreed that they needed work together in areas of common interest.
On 1st September 2014 the association changed from a European to an International association to better reflect its growing membership which already included members from Ukraine, Israel and Australia.
Port St. Maarten Management said on Monday: “We have been working diligently to introduce our own Port Community System (PCS) that would enhance cargo handling for stakeholders and customers. The PCS involves data-sharing among stakeholders and third parties covering cargo and cruise operations at the country’s seaport of entry.
“We are very pleased that we are the first Caribbean port to become a member of this international organization. We look forward to being an integral part of this community as we now embark on a new way of doing business through our port community system environment. Being able to share best practices and learning from other likeminded destinations/organizations are key to our continued growth and forward-thinking mindset.
“Port St. Maarten is at the forefront of digitalization. It is part of the port’s long-term strategic approach in digitization planning and building a more inclusive data center platform. The port’s PCS is also in line with the International Maritime Organization (IMO) Facilitation of International Maritime Traffic (FAL) which allows the shipping process to move more quickly, more easily and more efficiently.”
PCS is an extension of Port St. Maarten’s Terminal Operating System that would further enhance the port’s operational excellence platform linking for example cargo/container manifest to an incoming/outgoing vessel to warehouse/storage handling and receiver pick-up.