Ahead of Navis World 2019, an industry-leading conference which will bring together experts from the port and terminal sector, PTI has spoken with Andy Barrons, Chief Strategy Officer and Head of Portfolio Management at Navis.
In this Q&A, Barrons (AB) offers a preview of what to expect at the event, including its key themes of automation and digitization.
PTI: What’s in store for Navis World 2019, what are you most looking forward to?
AB: We have a lot going on, just from an event perspective, it’s the biggest industry event in the terminal segment. We’ll have 300 plus customers and partners, so what that means is there will be large part of the industry in one room.
The tremendous networking opportunities across the industry is one of the big benefits of Navis World.
In terms of the content, we have prepared 40 sessions across two and a half days, covering a wide-range of topics from automation to connecting the terminal operating system into the wider eco-system, to connecting the terminal operating system on the waterside into carrier systems and moving the terminal operating system into the cloud, as well as discussions over the expansion into general cargo.
Derek Kober, Navis, emphasises the importance of data sharing as a method of collaboration in a recent Port Technology technical paper
In terms of what’s new and unique, this Navis World, we will have more collaborative sessions with customers on ideation and product innovation and there will be more of a people emphasis because we will have keynotes on the future of the effects of automation and technology on the workplace and how we work.
We will have sessions on leadership, particularly around creating a customer-centric organisation, which I think is increasing important for the industry’s transition towards a more digitalised supply chain.
We are also introducing training sessions, which we haven’t done before, which will offer customers ‘boot camps’ on optimising the Navis software and on managing IT infrastructure for the system as well.
PTI: You’ve mentioned the new collaborative sessions, what will they involve?
AB: Working with one of our partners, we will run collaborative sessions that are based around ideation and discovering where customers have challenges with their operations, identifying new opportunities to provide a better user experience when using the software.
The idea is to really engage customers in the processes, identify challenges and then walk through a process on how those challenges could be solved. It’s an interactive and facilitated session, from identifying problems and solutions. We then take those solutions and we look at the ones that are ranked the highest and include them in the Navis Hackathon which will take place in May 2019.
That’s an opportunity where we can take those ideas and solutions and do a rapid prototyping of a solution.
PTI: Why is there such a big focus on ‘Connecting the Ocean Supply Chain’, and what are its big challenges?
AB: One of the big things is digitization and the challenge of how all the parties that are managing the flow of containers and connect into the broader need for visibility and tracking of freight on the waterside and through the terminal on the landside.
Customers are really looking for more integrated solutions to support the flow of containers and also for how they can connect their systems to other systems and exchange information.
They’re looking to improve visibility and control within their operations, which means connecting processes and operations within their organisation so they can make better decisions.
They’re also looking to improve the synchronisation of the planning between the carrier and terminal, and between the terminal and the in-land terminals and logistics providers.
All that adds up to better connecting the chain across all the shipping parties.
PTI: How confident are you that the collaborative sessions at Navis World 2019 will help meet these challenges in the wider industry and supply chain?
AB: Very confident. Navis World has always been about collaboration and bringing the industry together, as well as finding ways to improve the way our customers run their operations. To have 300 plus people in one place focused on these topics creates tremendous energy and focus.
Every Navis World turns out to be a very inspiring and thought-provoking event.
Read a technical paper by Patrick Brehmer, Team Lead of Applied Innovation, Navis on Making Vessel Visits More Efficient
PTI: What are the main industry debates that will dominate some of the keynote sessions?
AB: The next phase of automation will be a big topic, as will the future of automation. I think we’re entering the next stage of automated terminals and a theme will be how to execute and implement automation in the terminal and the best practices around doing so.
There will be a theme around the TOS and what capability the terminal operating system can be moved to the Cloud and hosted there rather than on premise. The use of data will also be a theme, particularly how to get the data I need to run my operations and gain higher productivity, as well as synchronization of planning processes across the supply chain, so how I get all the information I need on the waterside from a vessel so that I can better manage my berth, and also how can I better manage my operations better through more visibility of the freight that is coming into the yard. How to synchronize the information flows and planning ti improve operations, I think those will be the key themes.
PTI: How important will data standardization be at Navis World 2019?
AB: Standardization is a foundation of digitization, and the TOS is the core system used and can provide a lot of standardized data for other applications, so yes, standardized will be part of the discussion
Andy Barrons is responsible for Navis Marketing, Coporate Strategy and Portfolio Product Management.
Prior to joining Navis, Andy was Vice President Marketing for INTTRA, the world's leading web portal for ocean containerized freight, where he created a more customer centric strategic marketing capability for the company.
Earlier in his career, he spent over fifteen years at the Financial Times, leading marketing and BD for the FT in Europe & North America.
In these positions, Andy led key initiatives to expand FT media including the re-launch of the FT in North America.