Calling in at the Marseille Fos Maritime and River Federation

Published on: 16 March 2018
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Jean-Philippe Salducci, president of the UMF

Streamlining goods transit increases the competitiveness of Marseille-Fos

The UMF is committed to competitiveness

The Maritime & River Federation (UMF) covers twenty-two professions in the Marseille-Fos port economy and represents over three hundred businesses and around twenty thousand jobs. Its role is to facilitate and streamline goods transit through the port by working with and alongside port companies to increase the competitiveness of our port.

We know that ports need to have a threefold connection – with the sea, of course, but also with inland areas and with goods.  For connections with inland areas, we work with the government and relevant ministries to improve the infrastructure that will streamline goods transit into the hinterland. For connections with goods, we work in partnership with MGI to facilitate data exchange and goods tracking.

Marseille-Fos will be deploying Ci5. What does this new Cargo Community System represent for user companies?

This is a very important step for the Marseille port community. It demonstrates an openness to a Cargo Community System (CCS) that is open to markets, open to the hinterland and open to all. It is open to all companies, shippers and freight forwarders, whether or not they are based in Marseille, in particular our Swiss users, but there are plenty more. We opened up access to the Marseille-Fos CCS to inland freight forwarders in 2011 and to shippers in 2014. We are working to reduce differences, so that everyone is treated equally within our open approach.

We are also working with MGI on our innovative CCS. We want a tool that takes a real step forward into the future. That is what is we’re going to get, thanks, in particular, to the Channel 5 Artificial Intelligence module, which will schedule in traffic on the motorways and port entrances, in order to optimise our road and rail connections. This will enable us to better anticipate events and make for smoother goods transit through the Marseille port.

The port community worked alongside MGI from the beginning of the development of Ci5 to state its needs as part of the redesign of our CCS. Our vision for the Marseille port is to have a tool which facilitates daily operations for users by exploiting the data in Ci5.

Moreover, we also want this CCS to serve administrative authorities, and in particular customs and the State, by supplying them with the information they need to decide on how to develop and optimise their infrastructure. This is a win-win solution for us and our clients and the State and its ports. The future CCS is not just a tool for Marseille-Fos. It is designed for all port communities. In France, each port has its own CCS, because they all develop and exploit their own specific characteristics. The Bordeaux CCS is therefore different to the Marseille CCS, although the tool is the same.

We therefore need to encourage a convergent approach to CCSs. The idea isn’t to have a single system, but to have a common, interactive system with interconnected databases, allowing users to move easily from one CCS to another.

Multiple projects, all focused on streamlining flows

A number of projects are underway. At the moment, we’re mainly focusing on port infrastructure, which is vital. We are also working to facilitate veterinary and plant health inspections. In Marseille, these goods are transported to the inspection site, but this is generally the other way round in other ports, unless the inspection requires specific operations when the goods can be moved if necessary.

In this context, the Ci5 CCS is the main channel for streamlining information for goods, by facilitating inspection procedures and improving transit through the port.

We are also working on harmonising standards. The idea isn’t to be whiter than white, because we are competing with ports that have much less stringent checks than the European directive. For example, Portugal sends its fish through its national ports, and then by road to Marseille, to avoid the very strict checks at Marseille-Fos.

In short, all our projects focus on streamlining, in order to help our port grow in competitiveness day in day out.

Ci5 will be fully deployed over the coming months, and we are proud that Marseille-Fos port will be the first community in France to have a next-generation CCS taking us into the Smart Port era.


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