Promotion of Computerized Trading Processes in the Israeli Maritime Community
The MAINSYS (Maritime Integrated System) project for the promotion of computerized trading processes in the maritime community is a technological platform integrating all of the business partners in the maritime commerce: sea ports, customs, shipping agents, tax agents, international forwarders, importers, exporters and shipping companies.
The project's goal, at the national level, is to improve the Israeli economy's competitiveness by streamlining shipping processes ("paperless port") and through savings in trade process receipts, taking into account the entire logistical chain of supply.
MAINSYS is managed by a joint administration headed by the Shipping and Ports Authority at the Ministry of Transport and the Customs Administration at the Ministry of Finance. Management of the project was assigned to the Israel Ports Company which considers the project an important part of the port infrastructures it promotes, and has accordingly allocated the resources required for its promotion.
The project began after the Ports Authority was split into the Ports Companies and the Israel Ports Company (2005). The purpose of this initiative was to preserve and improve work procedures, forms and uniform electronic messages when working with port customers. Since then, the framework has been expanded and refers to improvement and streamlining of the entire maritime trade chain of supply.
Participation in this project is voluntary, and the widespread response by the maritime trade community indicates its importance and necessity.
The project's activities take place in the following areas:
- Periodic and professional work meetings of maritime trade community representatives
During these meetings, processes and problems involved in maritime trade are discussed. Solutions are proposed and decided upon, and follow-up tasks are assigned.
- Computerized message switch based on virtual safes
By means of this secure switch, electronic messages are sent among members of the maritime community. These messages replace paper forms and route information among the various parties. This switch's proper function is crucial to maritime trade and therefore, besides duplicating the servers and databases needed for its operation, a disaster recovery (DR) site has been established to which all switch activity is transferred in the event of harm to the main site.
The switch has 500 virtual safes among which six million messages are transferred per month, with 80 different types of messages.
- Online services – cloud computing
Maritime community members have at their disposal dozens of internet screens used for viewing information and for use in operational processes. The MAINSYS Administration is acting to increase the use of electronic trade among the extended community circles by offering new online services, thus enabling every member of the community, even if they don't have the appropriate infrastructure, to become full partners in the advanced processes.
MAINSYS is also attempting to promote paperless trading with international parties such as switches, ports and customs authorities in countries overseas .