ABP chooses INFORM to optimise vehicle terminal management

Hundreds of new cars and other machinery wait to board ships in Southampton, England, on April 27, 2018. In 2017, almost one million cars passed through Southampton bound for foreign markets.

INFORM has been chosen by Associated British Ports (ABP) to provide a scalable operating system solution to optimise vehicle terminal management.

In a statement, INFORM said the collaboration will begin with ABP’s operations at the Port of Southampton with the aim of transforming the terminal operator into “the one-stop store for the vehicle’s journey from manufacturer to destination”.

According to Brian Steeds, Head of Automotive, ABP, the terminal operator is investing in a “range of digitalisation upgrades to enhance its automotive offer”.

Furthermore, Steeds said the new Automotive Terminal Operating System at the Port of Southampton will “bring a wealth of benefits” to its customers by enabling “efficient compound management, inventory linking and additional services with real-time data visibility for customers via a dedicated customer portal.”

“ABP selected INFORM as our partner because of their expertise in building state-of-the-art software solutions and we look forward to working together to deliver this exciting project,” he added.

INFORM said the new system will make information about the condition, location, destination and other modalities of each vehicle will be available at all times and easily documented by multiple teams.

The new software will be linked with brand new 5G compatible hand-held devices for vehicle data capture utilizing ABP’s new 5G infrastructure that will be in place prior to INFORM Go Live.

The IT systems of customers and partners, such as customs systems to enable digital inventory linking, can be fully integrated into INFORM’s cloud solution, providing an improved customer experience.

Additionally, algorithms will provide ABP with real-time decision-making support in optimal planning and efficient allocation of resources, such as parking areas or stevedores.

Above that, a comprehensive, flexible vehicle loading and unloading plan, that can quickly adapt to unforeseen vehicle availability issues, can be created automatically.

Designed as a scalable solution which can be extended to enable the capacity to manage an increased number of vehicles, in the future, INFORM’s Vehicle Logistics system can be used as a basis for increasing ABP’s added value towards its customers who rent space for vehicle yards from ABP.

Hartmut Haubrich, Director Vehicle Logistics, INFORM, said, “For example, many of our customers around the world deploy our system to also optimize workshop and transportation processes.

“We look forward to working with ABP and driving the digitalization of their terminal processes.”

Alastair Welch, ABP Regional Director at the Port of Southampton, commented, “The Port of Southampton is the UK’s number one port for vehicle handling and offers excellent access to the global marketplace.

“In addition, from this summer, Southampton will become Britain’s first port to implement a private 5G network, which will bring a range of benefits to ABP customers.

“Southampton is an important hub for the automotive industry and plays a key role in supporting sustainable supply chains.

“With this latest investment, we hope to optimize the services we provide and progress on our journey to transform Southampton into a smart port of the future.”

ABP opted for INFORM after being able to conduct a virtual reference visit to National Vehicle Distribution (NVD), the Irish leader in new vehicle logistics, which has been using the system for several years.

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