The ports of the Adriatic area represent one of the main gates linking Continental Europe towards Asia and Southern Mediterranean regions and these ports need to increase port efficiency and productivity rates. A real better performance can be achieved by introducing a better organisation of the port operations and smart ICT systems capable to smoothing the interfaces between modes and operators. Another priority area of intervention to achieve a better efficiency appear to be the administrative treatment of ships.
The European Commission has expressed in different documents its support to the “single window” systems, in order to manage tasks as the clearance of documents and controls by the relevant administrations. “The improvement of the shipshore communications, contacts with the previous port of call and port-logistics software involving both public and private stakeholders will allow for the development of port integrated systems. They will improve clearance of goods, better planning, faster transfer to inland transport, reduce pressure on port space, and be a key tool for seafarers, ship, port services and planning” (Communication on a European Ports Policy COM(2007)616).
The Adriatic Port Community (APC) project (within the framework of the IPA Adriatic Cross-border cooperation programme) aims to foster information exchange among ports in the Adriatic/Ionian Sea area.
The APC project develops a system based on the principle of the “Single Window”,namely a facility that allows parties involved in trade and transport to lodge standardized information and documents with a single entry point to fulfill all import, export, and transit-related regulatory requirements.
The system also enables easy exchange of information stored and managed by local Port Community systems in each of the ports involved in the initiative: Venice (Italy), Ploče (Croatia) and Igoumenitsa (Greece).
The project involves the development and deployment of relevant ICT infrastructure both on local level (for each Port’s Community System) as well as a central switching infrastructure for exchange of electronic messages to and from eligible participating stakeholders and port services involved in each transaction.
The development of the local Port Community System in Port of Igoumenitsa in Greece covers the following functional areas:
- Management of Vessel Departure and Arrival: both for purposes of compliance with international and European regulations concerning information about the arrival and departure of the vessel as well as the coordination and management of available berths at the Port of Igoumenitsa in Greece
- Managing Customs Operations: to improve computerization and communication with Customs Authorities and the provision of the possibility of timely information to Port Authority of any problems or outstanding issues in relation to their requirements
- Management of parking space: to provide the optimal management of the available parking space but also provide value-added services to Port customers.
At the same time, the respective information is exchanged through standard interfaces and via the relative Single window infrastructure, to other Port Community Systems in the Adriatic Area and their users (all involved stakeholders in port operations).
The project aims at improving the effectiveness of the procedures for the clearance of freight flows in port areas, through the design, development and testing of a support instrument for ship arrival and departure, customs clearance and cargo logistics.