Using data to drive operational improvements is a common industry practise, and the port logistics industry is no exception. However, collecting, analyzing and interpreting data to improve operations is not always as straightforward as it might seem. The fact is that the process poses a continuous challenge. The usage of data to improve your operation requires analytical skills and, in many cases, expert knowledge to fully comprehend the meaning of or draw conclusions about the data.
While the collection of good data is still an advanced exercise, software is a great source for data, and automatic logging allows significant data creation. Since many terminals use advanced software in their operations, this is a great opportunity for data analysis. For container terminals this means they are able to record the activity and location of all equipment over time. It is, for example, possible to count the number of containers handled by terminal equipment or the duration of a cycle. After collecting the data, the main challenge is how to analyze the data and transform it into ‘knowledge’ or insights about the operation.