Thursday, March 7, 2019

As RoRo Ferry and Channel Tunnel Services Disrupted a Solution Proposed for Truck Clearances

Channel Ports Consult IT Group to Solve the Hard Border Problem
Shipping News Feature
FRANCE – UK – Cross-channel shipping accounts for 4.3 million trucks a year, 700,000 of which come through the Port of Dunkirk, 2 million through the Port of Calais, and over 1.6 million through the Channel Tunnel. In order to maintain the attractiveness and competitiveness of the crossing post-Brexit, the French ports decided they need to continue to provide smooth transit through ports, particularly if one assumes Brexit negotiations result in a hard border.

The current action being taken by French Customs officers at the points of entry, protesting over the degree of preparedness of French officials, demonstrates the vulnerability of any slow-down in the processing of vehicles and one solution has been put forward by MGI, the designers of Cargo Community Systems (CCS) for port, airport and inland logistics communities.

To ensure the smooth movement of goods entering the UK, Channel Pass, a Ci5 CCS module put forward by MGI, looks to enable all operators in the supply chain to prepare for the administrative procedures associated with the re-establishment of a border with the UK, by creating a blockchain between the various supply chain operators and government services that is open to all operators in EU and we are assured will apply equally to UK registered vehicles.

Last year, the company responsible for managing the Port of Dunkirk’s Cargo Community System (CCS Hauts-de-France) approached MGI to carry out a study on RoRo cross-channel flows along the Côte d’Opale, taking into account the specifics of each shipping and railway operator, and the configuration of facilities, and assessing the impact of potential customs and administrative procedures associated with Brexit.

The study identified that the RoRo flows require an innovative and agile solution that can handle their specific characteristics: the frequency of services, with departures every 20 minutes for Getlink, every 40 minutes at Calais and every 2 hours at Dunkirk, making for extremely short turnaround times; the Gate processing time for trailers, which is currently one to two minutes; and the choice of loading terminal, which can be decided at the last minute. Dominique Lebreton, MGI Audits, Projects and Marketing Director, commented:

“The Channel ports are facing three challenges: maintaining their competitiveness, providing fast port transit and preparing for logistics operations. The study carried out with our client, CCS Hauts-de-France, helped us come up with a highly innovative service which takes into account the specific characteristics of this traffic.

“Implementation of Ci5 with Channel Pass will ensure smooth goods transit and prepare for the transfer of information between all supply chain players for both imports and exports. Channel Pass will enable shippers, transport companies, forwarding agents and inspection authorities to easily transfer information and use standardised procedures.”

Operators selecting to use the service will all be connected to the same system, and will be able to securely exchange electronic documents, manage their activity and track the status of goods up to customs clearance. Requests to transfer from one loading terminal to another along with customs, veterinary and plant health inspection requests will also all be managed via Ci5.

MGI says a mobile version of Channel Pass will be available to give professionals easy on-the-ground access to the solution, and its functions will maintain the flexibility and response times of existing import and export logistics processes.

Photo: The Port of Dunkirk