Portall recently signed an agreement, to launch Port Community System (PCS) in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The two parties involved in the conversation with Portall were Mawani and Tabadul. Mawani, also known as the Saudi Ports Authority is a government authority which oversees the national shipping industry. It manages 9 ports, consisting of a total of 232 berths. The types of loads handled by these ports/ terminals include containers, general cargo, refrigerated and frozen cargos, bulk cargo, roll-on/ roll-off cargos, livestock, and passengers. Due to their various specialisations, Saudi ports play an exceptional role in developing the regional and international maritime trade and passenger transport. This also includes cruises that facilitate religious tourism in the country, more specifically the holy sites of Hajj and Umrah.

Tabadul, is an independent organization (formerly known as SaudiEDI) by approval of Saudi Arabia’s Council of Ministers in order to introduce and operate a kingdom- wide automated trade clearance facilitation system. Tabadul develops safe digital solutions to help Saudi Arabia evolve as a smart logistics nation. Tabadul advocates digital transformation to facilitate the global trade system effectively.

Tabadul undertook the initiative based on Mawani’s request to enhance the current PCS and level it up to international standards. The task is to integrate PCS with the National Single Window operated by Tabadul, and link it with all parties related to imports and exports in the Kingdom.

The bidding process for the project started on 14th June 2022 with the release of an Expression of Interest (EOI), which garnered many responses from all over the world - Europe, America, Asia and the Middle East. Portall’s edge lay in having experts with 20 plus years experience in the domain, and being a leading provider of information technology solutions and services to the maritime sector, leading the team to win the bid.

Tabadul representatives were left more than convinced that the project would be in safe hands with Portall after their visit to India to further the bidding process. J M Baxi’s Portall, specialises in conceptualising and implementing community platform systems that connect stakeholders and enables collaboration and coordination between various stakeholders. This can be seen with the development of PCS 1x and National Logistics Portal - Marine, now called Sagar Setu, established by Portall for the Government of India’s Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways (MoPSW). The development of these platforms has helped India improve its Ease of Doing Business (EoDB) Ranking and has also been showcased in global case studies such as the ReMo Freight Report of June 2022.

By partnering with Portall Infosystems, Tabadul is working with Mawani to convert their vision of fostering a sustainable and thriving maritime and ports ecosystem to establish the Kingdom as a global logistics hub and enable its economic and social ambitions into reality, following the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030. Portall also aims to enable the Saudi ports to become the main player, linking the national economy to the global market.

This project aims to achieve several benefits within the sea cargo value chain. First and foremost, it will provide a unified platform that brings together all stakeholders involved in the process. This platform will serve as a single window where stakeholders can access digital solutions to fulfil their operational and information needs. One of the key advantages of this system is the implementation of a unique communication pipeline that ensures single and complete data entry. This pipeline will distribute information seamlessly to all parties involved, both upstream and downstream. As a result, overall processing time will be significantly reduced, leading to enhanced service levels. Additionally, the project will establish uniformity in back-end solutions for all services provided at the stakeholder level, promoting common e-services across the board. Moreover, operational efficiency in all ports will be increased, resulting in improved quality and safety of operations. By raising the quality of data, data sharing, and reports, the project will further enhance the customer experience. Finally, the integration of all stakeholders will be achieved, fostering collaboration and coordination throughout the sea cargo value chain.

Currently, the project is in the data gathering phase, which will be followed by the system design. PCS will be launched in 3 phases, a few modules at a time, starting with the core modules; Vessel and Voyage Management, Vessel Cargo Operations Management, Cargo Container Management, Registration and User Management and the Port Management and Information System application. The rest will follow soon after, with the aim of having the entire PCS go live and the system ready for use in May 2024.