INFORM selected to deliver optimization software to Port of Rotterdam

Inform Rotterdam

INFORM has been selected to deliver an innovative application of its existing optimization modules to the Port of Rotterdam as part of the port’s Container Exchange Route (CER) project.

The company will deliver Capacity and Planning Platform (CAPP), which is comprised of a plug-in set of optimization modules for the front-end user interface – the CER Platform – developed by the Port of Rotterdam.

It will combine INFORM’s industry proven Syncrotess optimizers leveraging state-of-the-art Artificial Intelligence and optimization techniques and INFORM’s 50-plus years of optimization experience.

Dr. Eva Savelsberg, SVP of INFORM’s Logistic Division said, “We’re excited to be working with the Port of Rotterdam to deliver this novel application of our optimization capabilities into the maritime sector.”

“Optimization algorithms are crucial to the success of CAPP and therefor for the CER Project; due to the high number of parameters to be considered, it is not realistic for a staff member to manually plan the CER movements on the back of a cigar box,” commented Emile van Rijn, Projectmanager Capacity & Planning CER from the Port of Rotterdam.

The project will be delivered in partnership with the Port of Rotterdam using an Agile Development project approach with iterative releases planned regularly throughout the development process.

Dr. Savelsberg added, “Being able to deliver increments as early as possible brings benefits for both parties at the beginning of the project. Small steps towards the integration and communication between the CER Platform and CAPP means huge benefits for the projects overall progress due to the possibility to continuously test the software throughout the course of the implementation.”

With the CER, the Rotterdam Port Authority will be introducing – along with its partners – an entirely new, advanced and unique concept. It comprises dedicated infrastructure, logistics agreements, and IT systems that link all parties. Measurable benefits will be the shorter turnaround time of deep-sea vessels, additional flexibility, and additional capacity to attract new cargo.

Robin Audenaerdt MSc MA, Technical Manager CER Systems for the Port of Rotterdam adds, “For our CER team it is not only extremely important that the selected supplier has the proven capability, resources, and time to execute this type of project, but also to have the same innovative view on the future of transportation.  As the CER project is like going to the moon for the first time, it’s good to have a partner that knows how to build an efficient rocket.”

The CER bundles container flows meaning that trains, barges, and feeders will no longer need to call all terminals individually and that transhipment containers are exchanged reliably and efficiently. Participating terminals include: Hutchinson’s ECT-Delta, ECT-Euromax, APMT Rotterdam, Rotterdam World Gateway and APMT MVII as well as Dutch Customs, Distripark, empty depots, and the barge feeder terminals on the Maasvlakte.

The project is comprised of a front-end user interface (CER Platform) and CAPP. The CAPP receives data from the CER Platform, analyses it, and sends back optimized proposals for execution. The analyses includes: whether a new order is feasible given current workload and constraints, a journey plan for containers, the generation of schedules, and finally a schedule of jobs for the Automated Road Trucks to transport containers to their destinations.

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