CDPME Meet-UpThe mutualisation of port information systems to improve international logistics

The mutualisation of port information systems to improve international logistics

Maritime transport: the CDPME looks into the mutualisation of port information systems

On 22 April 2022, the GICAM's Centre for the Development of Small and Medium Enterprises (CDPME) brought together business leaders for the 4th edition of the CDPME Meet-Up, under the theme: "How can the mutualisation of port information systems improve international logistics?

This meeting, co-organised with the Guichet Unique des Opérations du Commerce Extérieur (GUCE), was attended by Mr Abdoullahi Faouzi, Technical Director of the GUCE, Mr Jean Marcel Belinga Belinga, Director of Information Systems at the Port Authority of Kribi, and Mr Pierre Kam, Secretary General of APECCAM, under the chairmanship of Mrs Aline Valérie Mbono, Executive Director of GICAM.

The digitalisation of ports and companies is perceived by Mrs. Aline Mbono, as a revolution that deserves to be reinforced in view of the clearly important repercussions compared to 1999 in this case. Time has been saved, speed is of the essence, the fluidity of goods and even the processing time of ships in the ports is strongly emphasised, which makes them competitive and leads to the major lines being able to dock in Cameroon and be served in an efficient manner.

This requires the adoption of certain rules, such as the mutualisation of information systems. "It is important to share information systems, it gives the ability to anticipate on the sharing of information which is crucial in an international information chain because you need to have the right information at the right time to make a good decision otherwise, you can send the goods to the wrong recipient, either you will not pay on time, or you will pay the wrong invoice," said Abdoullahi Faouzi.

According to him, when we talk about the system of information sharing, the basis is to have a minimum of digitalization that allows inter-reaction, otherwise the company has nothing to share, and simply becomes a consumer of information.

Thus, all the SMEs are called upon to digitalise to be at the cutting edge, and to be able to be in phase with the whole chain of companies linked to the port. "The aim of the E-Guce platform is to facilitate international import and export trade operations. If there were no exchange of data between the different actors in the system, it would be materially impossible to produce letters of passage, to make foreign trade operations fluid. The international logistics chain is very long, so at some point, it is mechanically impossible to continue to circulate papers from one group to another, from one country to another.

It should be noted that there are many advantages to digitalisation, but there are also areas of concern. One of them is security, because there are risks of intrusion, cyber insecurity is there. For all this to succeed, the energy infrastructure must be up to scratch," says Pierre Kam. Moreover, he continues, "if you go to the one-stop shop where everyone is gathered and there is no electricity, nothing will work. If there's no internet, that's going to be a problem too, because you're working with other players around the world who are constantly waiting for information.

To be competitive today, says Jean Marcel Belinga Belinga, you have to be able to go fast and to do this, you have to be able to send information and make decisions in time and it is digital today that allows you to do this by pooling information systems, that is to say, by allowing computerised, automated data exchanges between different information systems, we facilitate the transmission of information to the players who need it so that they can carry out their due diligence as quickly as possible.

 

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