A host of international shipping bodies have called for inter-governmental bodies, governments and industry to speed up the pace of digitalisation so that port communities can at least offer a “basic package” of electronic commerce and data exchange.
The group of shipping bodies, which includes such organisations as the International Association of Ports and Harbors and the International Chamber of Shipping among others, pointed out that only 49 of the 174 member countries (about 28 per cent) of the International Maritime Organization have functioning Port Community Systems.
The group of maritime bodies called for:
- an assessment of the state of implementation of, and ways to enforce, the mandatory requirements in the Facilitation Convention to support transmission, receipt, and response of information
- harmonisation of data standards beyond the IMO FAL Convention
- a striving for the introduction of Port Community Systems and secure data exchange platforms in the main ports of IMO member states
- a review of IMO guidance on Maritime Cyber Risk Management
- the raising of awareness of how port communities can apply emerging technologies and the promotion of best practices and standardisation
- facilitation of the implementation of emerging technologies and other innovative tools
- development of a framework and roadmap to facilitate the implementation and operationalisation of digital port platforms
- establish of a coalition of willing stakeholders to improve transparency of the supply chain through collaboration and standardisation
- set up of a capacity-building framework to support smaller, less developed, and under-staffed port communities
Working on these priorities will require collaboration between maritime supply chain industry stakeholders and governments. Inter-governmental collaboration will be particularly required, the maritime bodies said.
The call to action was made by the International Association of Ports and Harbors, BIMCO, the International Cargo Handling Coordination Association, the International Chamber of Shipping, the International Harbour Masters’ Association, the International Maritime Pilots Association, the International Port Community Systems Association, the International Ship Suppliers’ Association, the Federation of National Associations of Ship Brokers and Agents and the PROTECT Group.
Further details of the call to action can be read on the BIMCO website.