Thursday, 03 December 2015

Port Authority Completes Rollout of ‘smartPORTS’

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The passenger liner MS INSIGNIA was the first ship to be brought into the Port of Richards Bay on 26 November using TNPA’s Integrated Port Management System.

All eight commercial ports across South Africa’s coastline are now using Transnet National Ports Authority’s new R79 million web-based Integrated Port Management System (IPMS), following the rollout of the system to the Port of Richards Bay on 26 November.  

TNPA began registering Richards Bay port users onto the IPMS network from 23 November 2015. The MS INSIGNIA passenger vessel was the first to be brought into the port on 26 November using the new ‘smartPORT’ technology. IPMS has been rolled out to the Ports of Durban, Cape Town, Saldanha, Port Elizabeth, Ngqura, East London, Mossel Bay and now recently Richards Bay over four months beginning late July 2015.  

The technology was developed by Navayuga Infotech, a company based in India, in collaboration with their South African partner Nambiti Technologies. The system replaces manual processes that were previously used for monitoring Marine Operations, Vessel Traffic Services and Terminal Performance and enables key port operations to be managed online and in real time across TNPA’s eight commercial ports.  

Since IPMS was first introduced in July, more than 300 vessel agents have registered onto the system and more than 1600 vessel arrival notifications have been submitted across all eight ports.  

TNPA Chief Executive Richard Vallihu said: “We are extremely pleased to see the completion of this strategic project that aims to support the broader objectives of the Transnet Market Demand Strategy (MDS) – which is now in its fourth year – in terms of efficiency and productivity.

This journey began in 2008 and is the culmination of various feasibility studies where we identified the need for an automated and web-based system to improve port operations, strengthen efficiencies and enhance competitiveness.”  

Vallihu said the IPMS was benchmarked against Malaysian and Singaporean ports which were among the world’s most efficient. It is a ground-breaking initiative in that for the first time in the world a system such as this is integrated across multiple ports on a single platform.  

Richards Bay Port Manager, Preston Khomo, said: “Apart from a technological competitive edge, IPMS will bolster transparency and efficiencies in the port while enabling business continuity for our customers, visitors and general stakeholders.”