PCS (port community system, PCS)
is an electronic platform that connects several systems managed by various organizations that make up the community of a seaport or an airport.
They stand out(in relation to other IS of electronic interaction, including public-private) in the sense that it is created, organized, and used by organizations in the same sector — in this case the port community.
"Port Community Systems can and will play an important role as countries move towards a "Single Window" environment; IPCSA members will work together to provide expert advice on the proposed new regulations and contribute to the harmonization and coordination of formalities, processes and reporting procedures" (Dr. Alan Bersins).
PCS in Europe has a long tradition. The first systems, which were installed in ports in Germany, France, and Great Britain, began to operate in the late 70s or early 80s. Countries such as the Netherlands and Spain, have launched their PCS in the 1990s or at the turn of the century. The key drivers for the creation of port community information systems were,
on the one hand, the need for a standardized communication platform to improve systems in terms of punctuality, reliability, or cost, and on the other hand, the need to improve competitiveness among ports.
Productive collaboration with key authorities, as well as with stakeholders, potential clients, and local trade associations, has been critical in creating the appropriate PCS, which have been — and continue to be — implemented through dedicated training and seminars with end users.
Although the target market areas vary greatly in terms of existing IT infrastructure and use of functionalities, it can be argued that where automated processes are virtually non-existent at the border, in the port, at the fiscal and regulatory level, PCS is ideal for forming the foundation or core of the concept "Single window".
The number of ports connected to PCS varies from one to many. In particular, smaller ports often join forces to install a PCS or connect a larger port or ports to an existing PCS.
* according to IPCSA — International Port Community Systems Association.