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IPCSA - Network of Trusted Networks

Visibility and Certainty

IPCSAs NoTN initiative aims to provide visibility and certainty in the supply chain using existing trusted third parties.

In the drive for trade facilitation, the efficient flow of accurate information is just as vital as the efficient flow of the physical cargoes. But how much is currently guesswork particularly for Cross Border and port to Port exchanges?

For many shippers and logistics operators trying to plan cost-effective, time-efficient supply chains, the lack of visibility is a real obstacle. For example:

  • There can be a dozen or more different vessel ETAs, depending on the source of the information.
  • The information shippers need is fragmented and sourced from a variety of points in the supply chain. Visit the website of the relevant port, shipping line and forwarder and ask ‘Where is my ship?’ – usually all the answers will be different.
  • Much of the information is based on estimates and predictions – or is simply out of date.
  • Once a container is onboard, shippers have to rely on the shipping line’s tracking data. The ship could be diverted or delayed by two weeks but the official ETA isn’t changed. The result: a haulier booked in the wrong place on the wrong day, dwell time charges if a container has to sit on the quay waiting to be cleared and collected.

The Solution - IPCSAs network of Trusted Networks

  • Shippers need accurate, real-time data – and that is exactly what will be provided through a unique Trade Facilitation initiative being developed by the International Port Community Systems Association (IPCSA).
  • IPCSA has developed a ‘Network of Trusted Networks’. Within this Network, Port Community Systems (PCS) and Single Window operators are able to connect and share information via a specially created common shared global standard, based on API (Application Program Interface).
  • For more than 40 years PCS  and more recently Single Windows have acted as trusted third parties for their customers  users enabling communication among port and airport companies, Stakeholders, and Government Authoritiies.PCSs and SWs provide authentication services, directory and delivery services, message transformation and applications to their customers in their port communities.
  • Through IPCSA’s Network of Trusted Networks, PCSs and SWs will also become trusted parties to each other, relying on the authentication of another PCS to identify a new user.
  • IPCSA has developed, in the first instance, a Track & Trace API for exchanging information relating to port calls and container shipment information. The ultimate plan is a ‘global federation of PCSs and Sws’ which can develop new value-added services for logistics operators, using standardised APIs linked to International Data Standards 
  • Whatever the mode, Sea, Air or Land the IPCSA NoTN will connect supply chain systems, simply and easily.

IPCSAs NoTN is a two year Proof of Concept initially connecting IPCSA member, enabling Port to Port and Cross Border data exchange.

API's

IPCSA will during the Proof of Concept define sets of collaborative use cases to standardise the communication between PCS.  Initially focused on Maritime Port call information and Shipment information, though this will be extend to all modes of transport including Air and Land.