A month after celebrating its 30th anniversary, the Marseille-based Port Community System operator MGI has been welcomed as the newest member of the International Port Community Systems Association (IPCSA).
MGI (Marseille Gyptis International) becomes IPCSA’s 28th member and the association’s second member based in France.
Nearly 30 ports in France and overseas have implemented the Port Community System AP+, MGI’s and SOGET’s flagship product since 2005 – including Mauritius, Benin, Togo and New Caledonia.
Coinciding with its 30th anniversary in December 2015, MGI launched Ci5 (Cargo intelligence 5), its new flagship software solution designed to succeed and build on AP+. The number 5 in the name stands for the five modes of transport (air, rail, road, ocean, waterways) and also the five continents.
“We are really proud to say that we have 30 years of experience, and we look forward to bringing that experience to IPCSA,” said Dominique Lebreton, MGI’s Projects, Auditing and Marketing Director. “We are delighted to be part of IPCSA for several reasons.
“Firstly, the voice of the Port Community System is often not heard at national or international level. Being a member of IPCSA is an opportunity to be stronger with our partners, to address challenges we face in terms of regulation, and to lobby where necessary.
Secondly, we can share best practice information between Port Community System operators. It is important for us to have feedback and to bring our own experience in the way we run similar processes in the logistics area.
Thirdly, we are in the process of taking a new system to the market with the vision to provide door-to-door services to our customers. We want to exchange with our IPCSA partners how information on cargo, tracking and tracing, etc., can be passed between PCSs in different countries.
MGI is already working with IPCSA member Portic, of Barcelona, to exchange real time information on the departure and arrival of ships moving between Marseille and Barcelona, to provide more accurate forecasting of a ship’s arrival and enable better planning in the port and logistics process”, he added.
“What we see today, and the vision that we have, is that we can’t sit alone in a geographical area; our customers want more information on their cargo all along the logistics chain. The innovation we put into Ci5 is going that way, to be really open and send and receive information from port to port.”
IPCSA’s ongoing work to create a track-and-trace service encompassing all members ties neatly in with MGI’s vision, he said. “The challenge today is to ease the way we exchange information on the reception of cargo, the departure of ships and the tracking of goods. Certainly we will be in competition with the other PSC operators when a port is looking to set up a PCS; but there is a time for competition and a time for collaboration.”
In another innovative project, MGI is working with Ningbo Port to secure container export flows from the port of Marseille-Fos to the Chinese port. The project enables Chinese consumers to scan a QR code on the product purchased to confirm its origin. This service is particularly aimed at confirming the authenticity of luxury and high-value products, such as French wine. The exporter adds the QR code when the goods are being prepared for shipment; Ci5 will transmit the information that is available in the QR code, such as departure port, export declaration confirmation from Customs, arrival port and container number.
In the future, believes Dominique Lebreton, Port Community Systems will move increasing from B2B operations to ‘B2B2C’, offering information to the exporter and directly to the final consumer as well as those directly involved in the supply chain. “A huge amount of data is fed into a PCS’s database and at times it isn’t really well used. So PCSs need to be focused on business intelligence and strategic activity management, to deliver a smooth flow of cargo,” he said.
Richard Morton, Secretary General of the International Port Community Systems Association, said: “We are delighted to welcome MGI as our newest member. MGI brings to IPCSA 30 years of experience and a strong track record in innovation and we look forward to benefiting from MGI’s knowledge and expertise in our strategic working groups.”
“IPCSA has continued to expand rapidly since it was founded as a European association in 2011; we now have nearly 30 members around the world, providing representation in each of the five UN Regional Commission regions. This enables us to address the needs of members on a regional as well as international basis. In addition, we now have consultative status at the International Maritime Organization, giving us an important platform for representing the needs of our members at the highest level.”