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Author(s): Dr Yvo Saanen, Managing Director and Frieda Zutt, Senior Consultant, TBA

With most Terminal Operating Systems (TOS) many functions still need to be performed manually, meaning there is a reliance on supervisors to ensure processes are correctly executed. By nature, this is error prone, and depending on the training, experience and attention of the operations staff, liable to mishaps. The nature of these tasks is typically repetitive and at the same time some of the tasks require a lot of information to be executed efficiently; characteristics that make them suitable for automation.

This is exactly the space in which the Intelligent Plug-in platform comes in. Conceived and developed in close co-operation with the CIO from Global Container Terminal (GCT) New York, Rich Ceci, the platform serves as a basis for implementing those functionalities that complement the TOS in its workings, and automate specific tasks, where otherwise regular human interaction would be required. The ideas for the plug-ins (or apps) that are developed on top of the platform mostly stem from customers. The platform is currently linked to Navis SPARCS, and Navis N4, as the most widely used TOS in the market place. Yet even in the Navis product, gaps can be identified, where frequent user action is required.

The interface between the Plug-in platform and the TOS is bi-directional in the sense that it retrieves information from the TOS and sends back instructions or updates information in real-time. In this article, we would like to discuss several of the intelligent plug-ins. We also discuss how they are tested by means of emulation to ensure their contribution to performance in live operations. After all, they are aimed at performance enhancement. The plug-ins that we will…

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