TNPA’s Nelson Mandela Bay Ports become ‘smartPORTS’

OCTOBER 13, 2015

Early this month, the Ports of Port Elizabeth and Ngqura in the Eastern Cape became the latest to go live with Transnet National Ports Authority’s new R79 million web-based Integrated Port Management System (IPMS). TNPA began registering Port Elizabeth and Ngqura port users onto the system from 28 September 2015.

This will bring to five the number of ports now using TNPA’s new ‘smartPORT’ technology, which was developed by Navayuga Infotech, a company based in India, in collaboration with their South African partner Nambiti Technologies. The other ports are Durban, Cape Town and Saldanha.

IPMS replaces manual processes and enables key port operations to be managed online and in real time across TNPA’s commercial ports. Since it was first introduced in South Africa nearly 200 vessel agents have been registered onto the system and more than 410 vessel arrival notifications have been processed across the first three ports.

Chief Executive Richard Vallihu said: “Global ports are adopting ‘smartPORT’ concepts and the world is increasingly embracing digital technologies and data analytics to make sense of the information that we have around us. Gathering that information in the first place is a challenge. This online system will help transform our ocean gateways into smartPORTs by using advanced information technology that will make them more intelligent and sustainable, while conserving resources, time, space and energy.”

He added: “As TNPA we believe that the glue or the backbone of our entire port system is information systems, but in an integrated way, where we manage just about every input and output to make monitoring, tracking, evaluating and optimising a lot simpler.”

The IPMS is a strategic project that aims to support the broader objectives of the Transnet Market Demand Strategy (MDS) in terms of efficiency and productivity.

Vallihu said the IPMS was benchmarked against Malaysian and Singaporean ports which were among the world’s most efficient. It is a groundbreaking initiative in that for the first time in the world a system such as this is integrated across multiple ports on a single platform.

The next ports to go live will be East London, Mossel Bay and finally Richards Bay.

According to General Manager Mmutle Lentle: “This is the beginning of one of many initiatives that will see Transnet create visibility within the transport value chain and enable connectedness of the transportation eco system ranging from ports, rail and road.”