A delegation from Barbados recently toured the Port of Kingston as part of a study tour to garner more information about Jamaica’s Port Community System (PCS). The PCS is implemented and managed by the Port Authority of Jamaica (PAJ) as an online portal that connects all the major port community stakeholders—port terminals, truckers, freight forwarders, shipping agents—with government regulators such as the PAJ and the Jamaica Customs Agency.
This online system allows for the seamless electronic sharing of data among port industry players to ensure a smoother and more timely cargo clearance process. It facilitates appointments for cargo pick-up and delivery as a means of enhancing the operational efficiency of stakeholders within the port community. Prior to PCS, these port functions were largely paper-based and manual.
Dwain Powell, VP, Port Community System Operator at PAJ noted: “The Port Authority of Jamaica as the lead implementer for the PCS within Jamaica is pleased with the productivity and efficiency gains achieved by its stakeholders. “
“The Jamaican port community and the wider economy should be proud of the strides made in recent years as it relates to Trade Facilitation and Logistics” he observed, explaining, “Jamaica, through the Port Authority of Jamaica, the Jamaica Customs and the terminal operators on the Port of Kingston, has made significant investments in improving trade facilitation, not just for international clients, but more importantly for customers in the local market.”
Mr. Powell noted that the tour organized through the PAJ was showcasing to the Barbadian Delegation, best practises and the kind of technology investments that can result in improved efficiency, productivity and lower cost of doing business.
Kingston Wharves (KWL), one of the port terminals toured by the delegation, has been part of PCS for the past four years. Through PCS, KWL manages truck and gate appointments for imports and exports as well as facilitates the upload of vessel manifests (Full Container Load) and documentation for the clearing of commercial and personal effects Less-than-Container Load (LCL) shipments from KWL warehouses and terminal.
Mr. Powell lauded Kingston Wharves, observing: “KWL has shown that with a strategic and purposeful plan and consistent investment, Jamaica will be able to compete on the Global environment and be a leader”.
KWL’s CEO Mark Williams noted that Kingston Wharves’ use of PCS has assisted in transforming warehouse and terminal operations, specifically the handling of cargo for exports, as well as commercial and personal imports, adding that its use of PCS is part of a larger digital strategy. “We have made significant investment in our digital infrastructure to optimise operational efficiency and customer service delivery; digital technology drives our terminal operations, security management and surveillance, back-office operations and front-facing customer service delivery,” the CEO stated.
“These investments have enabled us to be active members and users of PAJ’s Port Community System,” he said, noting that Kingston Wharves continues to streamline its processes to maximise the benefits of PCS.
Mr. Williams also lauded the Barbadian delegation on its interest in implementing PCS, stating, “Introduction of PCS (in Barbados) will undoubtedly improve port efficiency and redound to the benefit of regional shipping, and by extension, the end users.”
Kingston Wharves is the recipient of the 2021 Port Industry Award of Excellence for technology and innovation by the American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA) and the Organization of American States (OAS). This was a recognition of KWL’s significant strides in harnessing digital technology in various aspects of its operations, the CEO noted.
Head of IT at KWL Lancelot Green explained that KWL uses an advanced port management application that enables communication and interfacing with the Port Community System. In addition, the PCS communicates with KWL’s terminal operating system (TOS) which facilitates interaction between the terminal and Shipping Lines. “The system architecture facilitates a contactless cargo clearance service for the delivery of personal shipments as well as a digital motor vehicle management system,” he added, noting that, in keeping with this technology advancement initiative, KWL also rolled out an integrated electronic security system in partnership with the PAJ that is employing multi-layered security features to safeguard port users, shipments and facilities.
Mr. Green and other members of the KWL team shared details and demonstrated KWL’s use of PCS with the Barbadians who visited the KWL terminal, warehouse and client services operations.
CEO of Barbados Port Inc. David Jean Marie who led the delegation said the tour was a success. “It was excellent. We observed many things here. We are here to see how your PCS functions….We will take away some of the best practices as we move on to develop our own port community system” Mr. Jean Marie disclosed.
The Barbadian delegation also visited Kingston Freeport Terminal Limited (KFTL), the larger terminal on the Port of Kingston, as well as established ports in Europe, including the Port of Rotterdam.
Contact: Corporate Services and Client Experience (Kingston Wharves Limited)
Tel: 876-837-9908/ 876-579-5536