Brexit: Ports in the Hauts-de-France region innovate with Channel Pass

Published on: 6 March 2019
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CCS Hauts-de-France ramps up for Brexit

In 2018, the company responsible for managing the Port of Dunkirk’s Port Community System (CCS Hauts-de-France) approached MGI to carry out a study on RO-RO cross-channel flows along the Côte d’Opale, taking into account the specifics of each shipping and railway operator and the configuration of port facilities and Getlink. This study has led to an innovative and agile solution for France’s busiest shipping route, called Channel Pass, a Ci5 Port Community System (PCS) module.

Cross-channel shipping accounts for 4.3 million trucks a year, 700,000 of which come through Dunkirk, 2 million through Calais, and over 1.6 million through the Channel Tunnel.  In order to maintain their attractiveness and competitiveness, these ports need to continue to provide smooth transit through ports.

The study identified the practices of the various public and private players in the cross-channel transit process and assessed the impact of potential customs and administrative procedures associated with Brexit. These RO-RO flows require an innovative and agile solution that can handle their specific characteristics: the frequency of services, with departures every 20 minutes for Getlink, every 40 minutes at Calais and every 2 hours at Dunkirk, making for extremely short turnaround times; the Gate processing time for trailers, which is currently one to two minutes; and the choice of loading terminal, which can be decided at the last minute.

With Brexit, the PCS needs to enable all operators in the supply chain to prepare for the administrative procedures associated with the re-establishment of a border with the UK.

In 2018, Jean-Charles LE GALL, Managing Director of CCS Hauts-de-France organised a number of meetings with all operators, infrastructure managers, institutional decision-makers and government services affected by Brexit in the Hauts-de-France region. He says that “the primary need is to maintain smooth transit via existing port and railway infrastructure to avoid losing market share. The Channel Pass solution provided by MGI perfectly meets this requirement by creating a blockchain between the various supply chain operators and government services that is open to all, especially given that a large proportion of goods come from other European countries. This system needs at least to be deployed by all operators in the Côte d’Opale area to continue providing flexibility and interoperability.”

MGI RO-RO expertise

According to Dominique Lebreton, MGI Audits, Projects and Marketing Director, “MGI has 30 years of recognised expertise in RO-RO traffic between Marseille and countries outside the European Union, via its PCSs. The Channel ports are facing three challenges: maintaining their competitiveness, providing fast port transit and preparing for logistics operations. 

The study carried out with our client, CCS Hauts-de-France, helped us come up with a highly innovative service which takes into account the specific characteristics of this traffic. Implementation of Ci5 with Channel Pass will ensure smooth goods transit and prepare for the transfer of information between all supply chain players for both imports and exports. Channel Pass will enable shippers, transport companies, forwarding agents and inspection authorities to easily transfer information and use standardised procedures.”

A single solution for the Hauts-de-France region open to all operators in the European Union

Operators will all be connected to the same system, and will be able to securely exchange electronic documents, manage their activity and track the status of goods up to customs clearance. Requests to transfer from one loading terminal to another along with customs, veterinary and plant health inspection requests will also all be managed via Ci5.

A mobile version of Channel Pass will be available to give professionals easy on-the-ground access to the solution, and its functions will maintain the flexibility and response times of existing import and export logistics processes.

MGI’s RO-RO expertise has made it possible to offer an innovative customised solution. Implementing Ci5 with Channel Pass will enable Hauts-de-France ports to maintain their leading position in cross-channel trade.           


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