Survey Reveals Biggest Challenges for Global Terminals


The biggest challenge for over three quarters of terminals is optimizing their operations to improve productivity, according to Navis' new research.

The terminal operating system (TOS) provider’s survey of 75 N4 users from around the globe found that 76% of respondents listed the challenge of optimization as their most pressing concern, with cost reduction as the next highest with over two thirds (67%) of the vote.

The third biggest issue for more than half (52%) of the participants is improving yard operations.

Despite the ever-increasing size of megaships calling at ports, only 31% of Navis customers found that handling larger ships and more TEU efficiently to be the most pressing challenge facing their terminal.

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With 330 global shipping supply chain customers, Navis, a part of Cargotec Corporation, unveiled the new survey findings to show the return on investment (ROI) that its customers have achieved by selecting the N4 terminal system.

In 2017, Navis customers completed 44 N4 go lives and upgrades, including landmark implementations at Qingdao New Qianwan Container Terminal (QQCTN) and International Container Terminal Services Incorporated’s (ICTSI) Victoria International Container Terminal (VICT), two of the newest, fully automated container terminals in the world.

Read a technical paper by Li Yongcui, General Manager Assistant, at QQCTN about the development of the automation systems for the first phase of the terminal

The company stated that the results provide “a greater understanding for the increasingly critical role N4 plays in making global trade smarter, safer and more sustainable”.

The TechValidate survey, titled, 'Why N4?' sheds light on current industry challenges, top reasons for selecting N4 and measurable improvements in productivity and efficiency achieved with the terminal system to date.

The expectations on terminals to move greater volumes of cargo faster is greater than ever before, but Navis customers are reporting marked improvements in overall terminal productivity.

According to the survey, Navis customers have experienced the following benefits with N4 in place:

  •     51% improved yard productivity by 25-49%
  •     57% improved gate productivity by 25-49%
  •     67% improved reporting quality by 25-49%
  •     58% improved safety by 25-49%
  •     59% improved IT staff productivity by 25-49%

Today, N4 is live or being implemented at over 260 container terminal facilities, with over 40 terminals on the latest N4 3.x releases.

Richard Ceci, Senior VP of Technology and Projects, Virginia International Terminals, said: “Virginia International Terminals relies on the functionality and stability of the N4 product to help us deliver a world class experience to major port stakeholders.

“Our ambitious development plans, which are currently in progress, depend on the N4 product. We have complete confidence that Navis and N4 will exceed our expectations.”

Carlos Gallardo, Chief Information Officer, Terminales Portuarios Euroandinos Paita S.A, said: “N4 provides us with an integrated environment for our terminal operations.

“This has enabled us to improve our level of efficiency and effectiveness in the processes of business development to integrate standards of information exchange worldwide, and to facilitate the availability of the same with shipping lines or customs.”

In addition to increasing terminal productivity, Navis customers have also reported a reduction in operating costs.

According to the survey, more than half have reduced costs by at least five percent, while 35% achieved 15% or more in cost reductions.

Among the top areas that Navis has helped lower costs are:

  •     61% have lowered their cost in yard planning
  •     59% have lowered their cost in yard operations as well as vessel operations
  •     49% have lowered their cost in gate efficiency
  •     46% have lowered their cost in monitoring and reporting

Bruce Jacquemard, Chief Customer Officer & SVP, Navis, said: “The challenges faced by the global shipping industry are growing in number and complexity – environmental concerns, constrained resources, surging cargo volumes from megaships, demands for quicker turnaround times, volatility in financial markets and technological breakthroughs – all add to a challenging business environment and are forcing executives to think multiple steps ahead.

“In order to tackle these challenges, industry leaders are relying on their equipment, software and technology partners to ensure they have their house in order and are delivering value to their customers. We’re thrilled to see the tangible business outcomes and real impact that N4 continues to have for our customers around the world.”

Watch Guenter Schmidmeir, Vice President & General Manager, EMEA, Navis, explain how terminal operations can be improved:

Read more: Brazil-based container terminal Tecon Salvador has completed its implementation of the Navis N4 terminal system into its existing infrastructure to increase efficiency for the main shipping lines and mega vessels

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