Making to the leap to a port-wide operating system

Port Strategy: When Port Nelson extended its business to beyond that of a pure terminal, the need for a port operating system became clear When Port Nelson extended its business to beyond that of a pure terminal, the need for a port operating system became clear
Industry Database

A traditional TOS was first installed at New Zealand's Port Nelson in 1998 to provide basic gate in/out functionality and yard management.

In 2004-05 the decision was made to upgrade this using the Jade Master Terminal suite to include all vessel movements including pilotage and tugs to capture all marine resource usage, in effect creating a single system covering port and terminal management. The port finance and payroll systems were replaced at the same time and integrated with Jade.

Since then this has been expanded to incorporate pre-noting by shippers and forwarders, cargo scanning direct from the truck to the warehouse, a warehouse ageing profile and a stock management function covering containers, breakbulk and bulk cargoes which individual terminal operators handle within the port. An EDI system tracking internal movements of cargo is the latest addition and the port will eventually roll-out the system to include reach stackers and an LCL/de-vanning functionality which will link into the warehousing system.

Dave Quennell, logistics programme manager at Jade Software Corporation, says the additions by Port Nelson of harbour berth management and recently warehouse general cargo management resulted in an immediate drop of 'lost' cargo to almost nil.

"Port Nelson in New Zealand is an especially good example [of migrating from TOS to POS] as the system handles all of their cargo requirements - containers and any type of general or project cargo - their vessel berthing scheduling and visit planning, as well as generating all of the operational invoicing and KPI data for the entire port," he adds.

Parke Pittar, chief commercial officer at the port, says that for any port that extends its business to beyond that of a pure terminal, to include the marine function and/or warehousing and general cargo management, it makes sense to manage the whole operation within a single application. 

"Via the Jade application we can effectively manage the business process and physical operations from a cargo booking of any type to the receipt on site of the cargo, its packing into a container if required and then loading on to a vessel, which we also manage in the same system. 

"It does not make sense to me to manage a seamless logistical process in disparate applications and somehow try to integrate them in a meaningful way when you can undertake the same operation in a single application.

"The ability to have a single data repository, invoicing from a single application - integrated with finance - provides a basis for a powerful business intelligence tool set providing arguably enhanced decision making and control.

"I struggle at times to understand why it has not been done before because it just makes such damn good sense."

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