The national single window platform helps exporters, importers, and service providers exchange documents seamlessly and transact business in a transparent and quick manner.
The national single window platform will be the first of its kind to provide B2B (Business to Business) and B2G (Business to Government) services for marine trade stakeholders. The platform seeks to help exporters, importers, and service providers exchange documents seamlessly and transact business in a transparent and quick manner
India will launch the National Logistics Portal – Marine from 5 December seeking to act as a Central system for electronic sharing and exchange with interoperability across ocean, inland waterways, and coastal movement of goods.
The national single window platform will be the first of its kind to provide B2B (Business to Business) and B2G (Business to Government) services for marine trade stakeholders. The platform seeks to help exporters, importers, and service providers exchange documents seamlessly and transact business in a transparent and quick manner.
The government has hired Portall Infosystems Pvt Ltd, a unit of Mumbai-based logistics conglomerate J M Baxi Group, to build and run the National Logistics Portal – Marine.
Portal Infosystems has partnered with Germany’s dbh Consulting GmbH and Inspirisys Solutions Ltd to build the platform. Inspirisys Solutions is a unit of Japan’s CAC Holdings Corporation.
“It’s a big initiative by the government; a massive step forward for India’s logistics and trade community,” an official said.
“With the shift to NLP-Marine, the existing Port Community System (PCS 1x) platform will be shut down and will no longer be available from 2 December, 2200 hours,” an official circular said. The PCS functionality will now be a part of the NLP-Marine platform.
Ease of doing business
The NLP-Marine has been developed to facilitate ease of doing business and make India one of the most cost effective and competitive countries in international trade, promote transparency in accessing information across the supply chain for all stakeholders, remove bottlenecks, empower end users with real-time decision-making tools, give access to latest technology to all stakeholders, thereby increasing competition, according to the project scope.
The national single window logistics platform has been designed to perform all core activities of the importer, exporter and Customs broker such as domestic tracking of the shipment with notifications at each stage, undertake Customs clearance on their own, online transaction with custodians, remote electronic data interchange (EDI) system package – for Bill of Entry and Shipping Bill checklist plus EDI file generation and document management system to store all the important documents securely on cloud storage.
It will facilitate real time information of the activities which are generally not in reach of the importer, exporter, Customs broker including vessel related information, terminal gate, and container freight station (CFS) gate transactions. It will also enable digital transactions for all the payments which are required for the clearance process of import and export like CFS charges, shipping line charges, transportation charges etc.
Many supply chain disruptions and logistical logjams can be eased through trade facilitation, especially in the developing and least developed countries, and particularly by digitalization which enhances transparency, speeds up clearance, allows for risk management and pre-arrival processing, and enables more responsive and agile processes, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) wrote in its ‘Review of Maritime Transport 2022’.
Maritime transport and trade, it said, will need to adjust and adapt to technology, and an important part of this is to defend information and communication systems and infrastructure against ever present threats to cybersecurity.
Governments and international organizations must therefore make every effort to close digital divides in transport and logistics and ensure that developing countries can also ride the digitalization wave, UNCTAD said.
Maritime trade itself is also being reshaped by the digitalization of transport and logistics. In the past, maritime transport has been slow to adopt digital solutions, but especially since the COVID-19 pandemic it has been playing catch up – as new technologies such as the Internet of Things (IoT), blockchain, big data, and AI start to improve efficiency, sustainability, and resilience, the UN agency stated.
“Digitalization and data interchange are reshaping port operations and organizational structures. This is leading to the creation of more port community systems (PCS),” UNCTAD wrote in the report.
A PCS is an electronic platform connecting all the systems of a port or airport. It is a community system established, organized, and shared by a group of organizations and agencies. A PCS can further connect the agencies in several ports, creating a community of ports. Port community systems depend on close collaboration among stakeholders.
“Ports and hinterland transport must deal with ever-more complex supply chains and increasing demands from transport operators and their customers for fast and automated electronic systems that ensure compliance but also reduce time and costs for the business community. With an efficient and digitalized trade facilitation ecosystem, governments, ports, and logistic hubs can boost their performance, attract investors, and create new opportunities. To achieve this goal, governments, ports, and businesses will need to work closely together,” UNCTAD said.