The Panama Canal will launch a 'state-of-the-art' vessel scheduling and maritime resource management system in response to growing traffic through the waterway as a result of last year's expansion causing a surge in cargo and the number of transits by larger Neopanamax vessels.
For the first time, the Canal will be able to execute a completely integrated operating plan for all of its critical resources, including tugboats, pilots and line handlers.
By improving situational awareness and by having more accurate data, the new system will allow for better decision-making, which will in turn help mitigate operational risk.
The new technology will also benefit Canal customers, including shippers, by shortening vessel waiting times, increasing the number of potentially available vessel slots each day and improving the overall reliability of the route.
Jorge L. Quijano, CEO of the Panama Canal Authority, said: “For more than a century, the Panama Canal has enjoyed a proud legacy of innovation. This system will help carry that legacy forward, allowing us to tap the potential of technology to provide better solutions for our customers as we increasingly manage more transits and adapt to shifts in global trade.”
The new system will be fully integrated into Canal operations over the course of the next two years, with the module responsible for managing the Canal's vessel scheduling expected to be operational by the end of the fiscal year in September 2017.
Arnoldo Cano, Panama Canal Program Manager for the ACP Renewal of Processes and Core Systems, said: “Using advanced modeling language, we'll be able to leverage path-optimization algorithms and mathematical, constraint and graphical programming to optimize scheduling and resource utilisation. Simply put, the technology is best-in-class, and we're excited to work with our partners at Quintiq to bring it to bear for the Canal and its customers.”
Quintiq is a company part of Dassault Systèmes, which has specialized in delivering supply chain planning and optimization software to the maritime, transportation and logistics industries for more than 20 years.