France’s Le Havre port has become a member of the International Port Community Systems Association (IPCSA), an international association of sea and airport community operators, authorities, and single window operators championing the electronic exchange of information across borders and throughout the supply chain.
Le Havre is a multipurpose port hub and at the centre of a major industrial cluster. It is part of HAROPA, which also includes the ports of Rouen and Paris and is one of Northern Europe’s top five port complexes.
The three ports have worked together since 2012 and are progressing towards a full merger, to become one company from January 2021.
“In the past, the three ports have been in competition – but we recognise we can work together because we are serving the same consumer market. More than ever we have very complementary activity,” said Jérôme Besancenot, information systems manager at HAROPA Port of Le Havre.
“The HAROPA partners handle 125m tonnes of cargo a year. Through HAROPA, we are working to deliver an integrated logistics solution for the Seine corridor.”
HAROPA is positioning itself as the first ‘smart corridor’, and the Port of Le Havre has secured investment for its innovative Smart Port City Project in partnership with ‘Le Havre Seine Metropole’ Urban Community to develop digital solutions for increased efficiency and environmental performance.
The Smart Port City Project has 80 public and private sector partners and aims to tackle the challenges of port, industry, and city being in close proximity.
“We want to create the port of the future and provide a ‘smarter’ territory through a new integrated industry and port model,” he explained.
“The project will include developing and innovating a data exchange platform to provide more added value from digital data, including developing KPIs.”
Le Havre port already has a close link with IPCSA through its shareholding in SOGET, which was a founding member of the association in 2011.
SOGET operates the port’s cargo community system, enabling the paperless flow of information relating to goods, business and customs clearance.
The Port Authority of Le Havre operates a port community system which deals with ship calls, port operations, dangerous goods management, port dues and other matters. A few years ago, the Port Authority launched S-WiNG – Single Window Next Generation, which brings together the PCS with SOGET’s new S)ONE solution.
Other initiatives include working with Waze to optimise traffic flow when locks or bridges are closed; setting up an intelligent information system to track the movement of dangerous goods; using big data to monitor air quality, water quality and even acoustic underwater pollution; and working in partnership with industrial companies on a 5G proof-of-concept.
“We already have close links with IPCSA through SOGET and through our membership of PROTECT,” said Besancenot.
“We are convinced that the way forward is to have more services within the supply chain and more interaction between PCS and supply chain providers. We want to work with IPCSA on priorities such as standards, including Blockchain and intelligent containers. Of course, it is important to have our own strategy but it is also important to share and to exchange data, because a solution cannot be used separately.”
He added: “The port is at the heart of the supply chain; we have to provide standard interfaces if we want to be connected tomorrow with other partners, and in order to interact via Maritime Single Windows between countries. Being a member of IPCSA will help us to stay aligned with the overall approach and to have a broader vision about international trade.