France PCS offers a national digital platform

Published on: 14 April 2021
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Logistics efficiency, tracking and security 

Logistics performance and the attractiveness of port areas rely on the ability of professionals to share reliable, instantaneous and secure information. Knowing where goods are and their status in real time is crucial.

Today, the Port Community Systems provided by SOGET and MGI meet these operational needs and promote competitiveness and the development of the ports of the future.  They are a perfect example of the strategies being implemented at every level of government in France (see CIMER 2019-2021, stratégie nationale portuaire (national port strategy), CILOG 2020).

French port community systems may already be seen as essential and highly effective, but these digital tools need to be further developed to increase the attractiveness of our ports.

France PCS: a trusted third-party expert

France PCS was born out of SOGET and MGI’s desire to promote French ports through French digital expertise, and provide a concrete solution to the digital needs of private and public professionals in the port supply chain.

SOGET and MGI’s governance structures include public shareholders (Grands Ports Maritimes – port authorities) and private shareholders (port professional associations), making them neutral and agile, as a trusted third party with respect to their users. France PCS is a consortium of these two companies.

What is France PCS?

•  21 port communities (in metropolitan France and overseas) equipped with PCS CCS,

•  95% of French freight transits via its information systems,

•  5.3 millions TEU processed each year,

•  6 documents have been digitised, i.e. some 32 million paper-free documents per year,

• 300 million computer messages processed in its platforms,

•  Some 10,000 users connected daily,

•  130 French logistics digitisation experts

French digital technology serving national competitiveness

The Marseille-based Ci5 and Havre-based S)ONE Port Community Systems cater to both large and smaller ports.  From containers to conventional, bulk and ro-ro traffic, PCSs deliver eight key features to help all supply chain professionals become more competitive.

  • faster goods transit through automated procedures and the elimination of ineffective processes;
  • a secure supply chain, through reliable, real-time information;
  • increased productivity, by reducing operating costs (document management, access to information, travel) ;
  • simplified and optimised processes, through more efficient information sharing and freight movements;
  • broader goods tracking and anticipated customs formalities, including better savings on import demurrage exemptions;
  • secured revenue for the government, through transparency and interoperability with French customs systems;
  • data management, to measure the overall service quality of ports and supply chains, and gather information provided to port authorities in order to gather statistics on France’s foreign trade;
  • a better “Doing Business” indicator for France on the World Bank Logistics Performance Index (LPI).


France PCS proposals: co-development of a digital platform for Foreign Trade with the Ministry.

Ambitious concrete goals

Short term

Promote France’s digital expertise through a shared communication kit

Launch “quick win” projects with the government

Engage the ecosystem in a cybersecurity approach.

Measure the performance of ports in a reliable and dynamic manner (Observatoire National Portuaire)

Increase the interoperability of government information systems and PCSs, particularly under the Point de Contact Unique aux Frontières project (single border contact project).

Protect French know-how through national regulations, and particularly cybersecurity regulations.

Medium term

Lay the foundations for the future French digital platform for foreign trade:

  • launch the Maritime Single Window to make France a European pilot site;
  • build a national architecture with local adaptations to improve processes and take into account the needs of each core activity.

Long term

Establish France as the European leader in digital services for ports.

Ensure the emergence of innovative services.

Create an open digital platform for French Foreign Trade based on the architecture of existing PCSs.

PCSs provide ports with high-quality digital services. However, there are many other services that can be offered to foreign trade. This platform will have a universal mission. It will be open to a wide range of professionals, SMEs and startups, to connect them and develop innovative services with high added value for French logistics.

High-calibre teams in Marseille and Le Havre

“Our motto,” explains Dominique Lebreton, Executive Director of France PCS, “is to attract business to our ports and facilitate port transit through new digital services.

Our response to European and national regulatory requirements is to rapidly develop ambitious high-potential projects. The strength of France PCS lies in the expertise of MGI and SOGET teams assigned to our entity to successfully digitise the French port supply chain.

Work between France PCS teams and government services will quickly produce new services that confirm France’s place as a leader in digital ports.”


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