MEMBERS of the Association of International Shipping Lines (AISL) are looking to fully implement in 2019 an automated empty-container returns system under GoFast. This would help address difficulties in the return of empties currently being experienced by logistics stakeholders.
Right now, only one AISL member is pilot testing GoFast’s empty-container return feature.
GoFast is an online reservation and appointment system for empty-container returns that interconnects all stakeholders directly involved in the activity, including shipping lines, truckers, customs brokers and depots. Aside from automating the return of empty containers, GoFast’s other functions digitize some processes of shipping lines, including online payment of the administration fee for equipment insurance clearance.
A system owned by AISL, GoFast also features a Web-based inventory system for off-dock container yard/container freight station (CY/CFS) and the acceptance by terminal operators of GoFast-generated electronic delivery order (DO) as web-CRO (container release order). From 2019, these two functions will be expanded.
The expansion of GoFast features is part of a five-year development plan to automate processes of shipping lines, said Leo Morada, CEO of Cargo Data Exchange Center Inc. (CDEC), who spoke during a presentation at the recent Chamber of Customs Brokers Inc. (CCBI) 28th annual convention in early November. CDEC is the GoFast developer and maintenance provider for AISL.
AISL General Manager Maximino Cruz, in a speech during the same CCBI conference, said that when fully in place, “GoFast will eliminate face-to-face transaction among truckers, shipping lines and personnel of the container yard.”
“The trucker is guaranteed that the empty container to be returned will be accepted by the designated depot. This will also result in savings for the trucker as he will be saving on fuel cost due to better management of truck trips,” he explained.
Cruz said “enrollment at GoFast is ongoing and hopefully, we will be able to roll it out within the first half of 2019,” referring to the full adoption of GoFast’s empty-container returns feature.
Cruz said AISL is pushing to fully implement GoFast features “as soon as possible,” as these are seen to remedy problems encountered with returning empty containers
Meanwhile, GoFast’s online payment platform for the shipping line equipment insurance clearance administration fee will be expanded from Manila to other regions next year.
Morada said with the online payment processors such as those in Cebu, for example, will no longer need to go to the Cebu Business Park just to make payments, eliminating transport costs and the need for face-to-face transactions.
Another plan is to implement the Web-based inventory system for other terminal operators based in Davao and Cebu, as well as for other cargo warehouses. GoFast’s electronic DO will also be accepted as web-CRO by the Cebu International Port and Davao International Container Terminal by next year.
Morada said GoFast is being assessed to provide a facility for the online payment of local charges of foreign shipping lines and as an acceptable basis for determining the refund of container deposits.
“We need stakeholders to push for such a system that connects everyone and to trust a system so that wala na ’yung mga magbayad ka ng fee na walang change, walang resibo [you do away with paying a fee without change or receipt],” Morada said.
He clarified that since GoFast is not a value-added service provider (VASP) system, clients of other VASPs can also use it. www.portcalls.com