The International Port Community Systems Association (IPCSA), which is celebrating its tenth anniversary this year, has welcomed another new member – Puertos del Estado, the public body responsible for state-owned Spanish ports.
Spain’s ports handle more than half of its trade within the EU and 96% of its trade with third countries. A total of 46 ports are managed by 28 port authorities, which report directly to Puertos del Estado.
“Some of our ports are already individual members of IPCSA because they have their own Port Community Systems,” says Mar Chao López, Director of Operations at Puertos del Estado. “It is really valuable for Puertos del Estado to be a member of IPCSA because we provide the Maritime Single Window for all Spanish ports and are also working on the implementation of the European Single Window.”
“However, the most important reason for being a member of IPCSA is that we are also developing a major project, SIMPLE – a Single Window which will cover all modes of transport in Spain.”
Supported by the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF), the SIMPLE Technological Platform (SIMplification of Processes for a Logistic Enhancement) represents another major step in the digitalisation and sustainability process launched by Spain’s port system.
“Puertos del Estado works to coordinate and facilitate the whole maritime and ports policy,” says Mar Chao López. “While some of our larger ports are already connected to IPCSA, our membership is particularly important as we are the provider of Single Window and PCS support for smaller Spanish ports. These smaller ports often don’t have the resources or a voice – we are the ones that provide them with a digital platform and support, and we must be as updated as possible.”
“As well as keeping up to date with other members’ projects, IPCSA membership will enable Puertos del Estado to inform IPCSA about its projects and developments within Spanish ports,” she adds. “This about sharing information. We want to be leaders and we want to work closely with our ports. We want to be active and keep our ears open to share what is going on. In this global world, the focus is on connecting platforms – there are many examples of digital platforms all over Spain and we must be open to new developments on a global basis.”
Richard Morton, Secretary General of IPCSA said, “We are really delighted to welcome Puertos del Estado as a new member and look forward to sharing experiences and working together. The ‘IPCSA family’ has a proud record of openness and is known particularly for the willingness of its members to share their knowledge and expertise. Puertos del Estado has a unique range of experience in its responsibility for a large number of both large and small ports.”
IPCSA, which was founded ten years ago, now has nearly 50 members drawn from all regions of the world. Since its official launch in June 2011, it has achieved rapid growth in membership, while establishing and reinforcing its reputation and influence as an expert authority and adviser on the electronic exchange of information and digitalisation to smooth the flow of cargo and documentation. It is also a recognised NGO with consultative status at UNECOSOC and IMO.