A computer system created by Suffolk Coastal’s Port Health team is now being used by the UK’s second largest container port in the UK.
PHILIS (Port Health Interactive Live Information System) was a software development project created in-house by the Council’s Port Health Team and its own IT developers to help create an advanced market-leading software system to manage imported food controls at the UK’s largest container port at Felixstowe. The system has enabled the Port Health Team to deliver a more effective and efficient service for food importers and to manage increasing workloads within existing staff resources.
The project funded solely from Port Health charges, went live in September 2009 in Felixstowe and from April 2016 is being using by Southampton Port Health Authority as well as London and Mersey Port Health Authorities who adopted the system in 2011. With the addition of Southampton to the PHILIS family, the UK’s four largest seaports with responsibility for around 80% of all containerised goods imported into the UK are benefiting from the software system that was developed in-house by the Council.
Following the systems introduction at Felixstowe the team has carried out further developed to support mobile working enabling officers to capture information on tablets during the inspection of food consignments at the examination facilities at the port reducing the time taken to check and release consignments.
The system in Felixstowe has now managed over 652,500 consignment records since going live in 2009 and there are 11888 individual PHILIS Online users including importers and agents.
Cllr Steve Gallant, cabinet member for Community Health with responsibility for Port Health, said:
“This is another great example of the entrepreneurial and business-like approach we are increasingly taking at Suffolk Coastal.
Not only is the system helping us to be more efficient in terms of time and money, the spread of the system has generated a significant additional income to the Council and has boosted our reputation with the import community and other councils.”