A Guide to Selecting, Implementing and Maximising a TOS



Richard Willis, Director, Port Solutions


A terminal operating system (TOS) is the heart of any cargo terminal operation and a well-chosen, implemented and managed system can deliver a lifetime of efficient cargo management. Selection and deployment of this complex piece of terminal equipment is amongst the most demanding projects any terminal operator will ever undertake – it is the heart transplant for a terminal. This article briefly outlines the key stages and some best practice guidance for delivering a successful TOS project.

Selecting a TOS

The notion of buying your first (or even another) TOS needs to be a well-thought out and documented analysis that will be the foundation of successful procurement and, later, delivery. Below are the key steps to selecting the ideal TOS for your terminal:

Form a vision: Work on the business case and why you really need a TOS. Consider the future vision of what your operations will look like. That vision is important to know and to drive towards throughout every step
Understand the requirements: The typical failing in any TOS project is the client not having a strong grip on what is needed at a detailed level – poor awareness of any special requirements at this stage can have significant impact on later operations. When choosing a TOS one should explore every dark corner of the terminal operation and document everything the TOS needs to manage. It is vital to be able to explain to potential suppliers what you need in as much detail as possible – if you cannot ask for what you need, you will not get it, so take advantage of the broad experience that…

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