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AISL makes official offer to implement PPA container monitoring system

  • The Association of International Shipping Lines formally proposes to develop, manage and implement the container registry and monitoring system (CRMS) envisioned by the Philippine Ports Authority
  • AISL will use its GoFast Container Monitoring System for the CRMS
  • The association seeks to undertake the project at no cost to government

The Association of International Shipping Lines (AISL) has made official its proposal to develop, manage and implement a cloud-based platform that will constitute the Philippine Ports Authority’s (PPA) proposed container registry and monitoring system (CRMS).

In a letter to PPA general manager Jay Daniel Santiago dated September 20, AISL general manager Atty. Maximino Cruz said the association formally proposes the establishment of a platform that will “operationalize the concept of monitoring container movements from port of discharge to their return and loading onboard outbound vessel”, as is the intention of CRMS.

AISL is eyeing to use—and expand—its GoFast Container Monitoring System for the CRMS.

READ: AISL to PPA: Use GoFast as container monitoring system

GoFast is a web-based trade and logistics platform providing digital connectivity among foreign shipping lines, importers and their authorized customs brokers, terminal operators, off-dock container freight stations, and off-dock container yard (CY) depots. It was introduced in 2015 and was developed and is being maintained by Cargo Data Exchange Center, Inc., one of the accredited value-added service providers of the Bureau of Customs.

Cruz said the GoFast system features encompass foreign shipping line import container monitoring, shipping line electronic delivery order, data interface with terminal operator webCRO (container release order), reservation for empty container return to off-dock CY, and automated tagging of container arrivals at off-dock CFS after transfer from terminal (port of discharge).

AISL’s proposed platform will facilitate the realization of PPA’s proposed CRMS “that is acceptable to and supported by international shipping lines,” Cruz said.

AISL president Patrick Ronas earlier told PortCalls GoFast currently processes an average 100,000 import containers in Manila South Harbor, Manila International Container Terminal, Cebu and Davao. Only one AISL member line does not use the system.

AISL’s system will “eliminate the need for expensive tagging devices and container tracking infrastructure and imposing an entirely container monitoring system that is not integrated with existing port user systems.”

The proposed platform will leverage on the container electronic data interchange data that form an integral part of current shipping line operational processes and data exchange with terminals and CY depots. Ronas earlier said GoFast’s import container monitoring system will be expanded to accept and process industry standard container EDI messages for discharge/load (COARRI) and gate-in/gate-out (CODECO).

“Information on containers and their movements [is] owned by shipping lines themselves. EDI messages will be directly transmitted to the AISL GoFast expanded system,” Ronas noted.

He said the use of EDI messaging will also not affect movements in the terminal as there are no telematics that need to be physically attached prior to exit or be recovered prior to loading.

The proposed platform likewise aims to align and harmonize PPA port operations with existing systems for container monitoring and tracking currently operational such as BOC’s Electronic Tracking of Containerized Cargo (E-TRACC) System, and multiple track and trace systems maintained by port operators, shipping lines, and off-dock CY depots.

The project will be implemented no cost to government but Cruz said the association will have to “recover… investment and operating cost,” which usually means user fees will be levied.

Cruz said the proposal is part of AISL’s advocacy to introduce shipping and port operations reforms which enhance cargo movement efficiency that meet international standards.

“This is now more important than ever amidst the ongoing pandemic and the compelling need for the digital transformation of port user transactions with PPA, Bureau of Customs, terminal operators/cargo handling operators, international shipping lines and CY [container yard] depots,” Cruz added.

PPA in June consulted the public on a proposal to establish a container tracking and tagging system for import containers, later calling the system CRMS.

READ: PPA proposes import container monitoring system

CRMS will record all import containers going in and out of port terminals under PPA’s jurisdiction, providing real-time monitoring on the location, status and movement of containers from their discharge from the port terminal to their return to an empty depot and to the port for re-export.

The proposed system aims to improve trade facilitation and address concerns with logistics efficiency and costs, such as the long-standing issue of unreturned container deposits.

According to the plan presented during the June 15 public hearing, PPA will develop and procure the technology infrastructure and tracking devices or equipment solutions, as well as other requirements to implement the system.

READ: PPA to release order on container monitoring system this month

An administrative order providing guidelines for the proposed CRMS—which has already been approved by the PPA Board–will be issued this month, according to PPA Port Operations and Service Department manager Atty. Hiyasmin Delos Santos. A public consultation on the order will be conducted afterwards. – Roumina Pablo

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