Port EDI System to Move Myanmar Ports from Paper to Pixels by 2017
Trade relies on transportation, and the latter relies on port development, as more than 80% of cargoes are transported by maritime transportation. Therefore, one important part of the economical reform of Myanmar’s transport sector is to develop the ports. Myanmar’s ports still have to rely on paper documents in order to record the passage of ships and transport of goods. This creates a bottleneck, which is why the Myanmar Port Authority (MPA) has been developing the Port Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) Project. Using this system - which is an electronic system for port clearance procedures - will alleviate problems with applications for arrival/departure, and allocations, billing, and statistics management by the Port Authority. It is in fact challenging for the Myanmar Port Industry to achieve such a development.
The Port EDI system would not only help vessels save time in these application procedures, but also in invoicing, logistics and terminal management.
Over the past ten years, booming trade has caused the number of vessels and cargo throughput to double, which calls for efficient management. For that purpose, the Myanmar Port Authority asks port administrators, shipping companies and private firms to all use the EDI system.
The Port EDI system will lay the groundwork for Myanmar to join the ASEAN Single Window Initiative, connecting the National Single Window to global economic integration. Myanmar aims to join the Asean Economic Community by 2018.
With the aid of 1,720,000,000 yen from JICA, Myanmar's economic growth is accelerating, by modernizing cargo handling systems and operations at Yangon Port, Myanmar’s major cargo port. The Exchange of Notes between the Republic of the Union of Myanmar and the Government of Japan was signed on March 19, 2015, and the Grant Agreement between MPA, on behalf of the Ministry of Transport of the Government of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar, and the JICA Myanmar Office, on behalf of JICA, was signed on March 26, 2015.
To develop the project, Mitsubishi Research Institute (MRI) was appointed as the consultant and the Hitachi Solution Co, Ltd. has been selected as the developer for the Port EDI system. Starting development in October 2015, the Myanmar Port EDI System has business functions for port-related procedures, berth allocation, invoice issuing, statistics management, terminal operation, logistics monitoring and linking with external systems.
Currently, the basic design stage has been concluded among MPA officials, members of Hitachi Solutions, and consultants of Mitsubishi Research Institute. Several meetings have been held among the three parties in order to launch the system at the beginning of October 2017.
After the system’s implementation, we can expect great improvements on shipment procedures, port services and performance. In addition, the superior in charge will get access to reports (berth maps, cargo information, etc.) in a timely fashion.
There are three Sasakawa Fellows working at the Myanmar Port Authority, and all are key players in the development of the Port EDI project.
I am happy to be able to inform you of all this and meet one of the main objectives of the Sasakawa Fellowship program: to share the latest international maritime information and to actively discuss the situation of each country.