Brazilian Ports: Going Paperless for Efficiency and Sustainability

In a significant leap towards modernizing and streamlining operations in Brazilian ports, the Paperless Ports project has achieved full implementation in 100% of Brazil’s 35 public ports and 85% of the total private terminals (TUPs). This initiative, aimed at reducing bureaucracy, enhancing efficiency, and promoting sustainability, took center stage in a seminar held in Brasília on March 8, 2024.

view of a loaded container ship on a sea
Photo by Fred on

The Paperless Ports system, launched in 2011 by the Brazilian Federal Government, has become a pivotal tool in transforming the maritime sector into a more practical, clean, and efficient industry. Managed by the National Secretariat of Ports and Waterway Transport (SNPTA) of the Ministry of Ports and Airports, the program seeks to continually develop new functionalities and improve processes, ultimately expediting the flow of information within ports.

Seminar Highlights

The seminar emphasized the evolution of Paperless Ports in relation to inland navigation, significantly boosting aquatic movement in the interior and leading to enhanced management and speedier operations, facilitating the smoother flow of national production.

According to reports, the reduction in operation time correlates with a decrease in the overall cost to Brazil, making domestically produced goods more competitive in international markets. Notably, the time ships spent docked in ports has seen a drastic reduction, from around 20 days in 2023 to just 4 days on average in 2024, compared to the previous year.

Integration and Streamlining

One of the key strengths of Paperless Ports lies in the integration of various entities involved in port operations, such as Anvisa, the Navy, the Federal Police, and Port Authorities, into a unified system. This integration has led to streamlined processes, significantly reducing bureaucracy for users and optimizing the allocation of public resources to other infrastructure-related demands.

Over the past three years, Paperless Ports has made substantial progress, driven by its participation in the Startup program initiated by the Ministry of Management and Innovation in Public Services. Reports indicate significant gains in operational efficiency during this period.

Future Steps in 2024

Looking ahead, the Paperless Ports project has set ambitious goals for 2024:

  1. Publication of PSP Normative: Establishing standardized guidelines for Paperless Ports.
  2. Harmonization of Port Registries: Ensuring consistency and compatibility across port databases.
  3. Integration with the Single Foreign Trade Portal: Consolidating the Maritime Single Window.
  4. Implementation of AI in PSP Processes: Incorporating artificial intelligence to further optimize operations.

Global Recognition

Recognizing the transformative impact of Paperless Ports, the International Maritime Organization (IMO) has designated it as Brazil’s Maritime Single Window, facilitating efficient information provision for vessel stays. Brazil has been invited to present its case at the 48th session of the annual Facilitation Committee meeting in London, England, in April 2024.