Ports On The Cloud

Monday, June 04, 2018

Port all Port Community System set to digitally revolutionise India’s EXIM trade operations

Portall, the logistics management application, developed by Mumbai-based J M Baxi Group has bagged a contract from the central government to roll out a pan-India Port Community System (PCS). This neutral and open electronic platform enables intelligent and secure exchange of information between public and private stakeholders to optimise an efficient processes through a single submission of data. The company has tied-up with Germany’s dbh Logistics IT AG, the oldest PCS provider in the world for knowledge sharing along with IBMon the technology front to create a strong consortium between all relevant stakeholders.

“It was an extremely competitive bid, far-exceeding the government’s price expectations. The ‘PCS’ is the company’smission to see a differently connected India by the end of November. This isn’t just a commercial endeavour for us, but amission to improve the competitiveness that India can have globally by improving transparency and documentation exchange in the EXIM trade,” says Dhruv Kotak, joint managing director, J M Baxi Group.

By engaging with IBM, J M Baxi Group will be one of the primary signatories to the Global Trade Digitization (GTD), a block chain platform promoted by Maersk Line and IBM. Of the 22 signatories or companies across the world who have joined the platform as the founding members, Portall is the only one from South Asia. “This enables us to scale up to world standards, making us the first PCS globally to be block-chain ready and enabled,” he adds.

Benefitting the EXIM trade
The biggest challenge in moving towards a single window concept is the existence of different stakeholders within the supply chain. Being fragmented and operating on individual platforms, the end user has to deal with data entry at multiple checkpoints and numerous invoices for a single transaction. With a robust PCS, duplication of data entry will be eliminated, since information across the system will be auto populated and an OCR (optical recognition) technology will automatically scan data. “The PCS will bring about a revolution in terms of improvement in document exchange, reduction in transaction cost and time, improving efficiency and transparency,” says Kotak.

The mega project involves integrating 12 major ports and their operating systems. This requires involving millions of stakeholders who will be users of this facility and managing a cloud-based data system. The open platform will enable other apps and solutions providers to latch onto this platform and enhance the ease of doing business to improve the logistics competitiveness index.

Next step
The government has a clear stand on having a strong, robust PCS and in Portall, they have found a vendor with the right solutions and functionality. However, all users need to come on-board to make it a success and the government is ensuring it by issuing rules and notifications, encouraging their participation. “Why wait for a situation like what happened in Nhava Sheva with the direct port delivery (DPD) where the government had to take a stick and regulate us. Instead, we must be proactive and watch a positive transformation in our businesses due to improved transaction time and reduced costs. This will bring about a sea change in the shipping industry,” he adds.

In the future, a single validation body similar to the FILA (Federation of Indian Logistics Associations) can be formed to create a continuous exchange between the PCS provider and the industry. Also, the company is working closely with IBM to come up with solutions like scanning technologies, linking it to the PCS and the Customs end to further streamline and speed-up transaction time. Additionally Port all Clear focusses on digital customs clearance solutions which is the first of its kind in the world. “With IBM, we are developing a proof of concept to provide a block-chain based system to the Indian Customs to upgrade ICEGATE in the future,” says Kotak.

Email this
No Comments Posted