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IPCSA: from Community Coffee to Covid-19 considerations

Richard Morton IPCSA_ Secretary Genera

Covid-19 has brought uncertain and worrying times – but it has also prompted extraordinary responses.

Covid-19 has brought uncertain and worrying times – but it has also prompted extraordinary responses. We are finding new ways of working and communicating; discovering our strengths; learning lessons; acknowledging what is important and what is maybe not; and understanding, more than ever, the importance of the digital world.

We are also, of course, looking forward and planning for whatever lies ahead.

The members of the IPCSA ‘family’ have always been excellent communicators, eager to share their expertise and innovative ideas. Far from breaking those links, Covid-19 has increased IPCSA’s togetherness. Once a week, members gather online for a friendly, informal weekly Community Coffee meeting.

Yes, the e-Coffee (bring your own coffee) exchanges have covered topics such as lockdown hair, home office attire and the tussle for bandwidth with other family members working at home. But we all know that the best ideas often emerge from that friendly chat next to the coffee machine!

In this case, an informal chat about preparing for post Covid-19 operations developed into an in-depth discussion, thoughtful and detailed contributions, a comprehensive document and, finally publication.

‘Preparing for Post Covid-19 operations: Considerations and Practicalities for Port Community Systems, Single Window and other electronic exchange platforms’ considers impacts and lessons learned from the pandemic and sets out key points that should be considered in the post Covid-19 world: for example, reviewing and reconsidering actions taken, putting in place the necessary arrangements for people and processes, testing solutions, supporting users and employees, and placing the emphasis on a trusted, neutral approach and the use of international standards.

“We are proud that this highly relevant document has been created through our emphasis on sharing information, trusting each other and, above all, communicating!” says IPCSA secretary general Richard Morton.

IPCSA Last Word:

Digital systems and solutions go hand in hand with efficient, sustainable, connected supply chains. Many are rising to the challenge but, of course, there are stumbling blocks along the way – from the need for updated and standardised rules, regulations and processes to the big issue of trust.

Earlier this year, at IPCSA’s meeting hosted at the World Economic Forum in Geneva, members discussed in depth the challenges, solutions and implications of e-commerce and the advance of digitalisation. ‘The Future of Cross Border Digital Trade’ event featured a range of international expert speakers, followed by breakout discussions and a gathering of ideas and conclusions for future technologies and applications.

The need for connected supply chain systems was a critical element of the discussions – and, as we work our way through the Covid-19 pandemic, that need is even more apparent.

IPCSA will shortly be launching its Network of Trusted Networks (NoTN), which will help to connect Port Community Systems and Single Windows around the world: a major achievement in joining up the dots in the supply chain

Article authored by Felicity Landon, UK with digital Illustrator HumouRH, Morocco 

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