Transnet Port Terminals now at the forefront after successful Navis Upgrade

MAY 9, 2016

With escalating pressures on global supply chain logistics, container terminals around the world need to operate at peak performance to stay competitive and maintain profitability.

The recently successful upgrade of Navis software from version 2.3 to 2.6 at all Transnet Port Terminals (TPT) sites across the country has once again positioned them at the forefront of terminal operations. According to the GM of EIMS at TPT, Deirdre Ackermann, this seamless transition to the industry’s most advanced operating system available was no small feat.

“We pulled out all the stops to ensure that this upgrade was incident-free, which included undertaking a number of interventions to mitigate the business risks for both Transnet Port Terminals and our customers,” stated Ackermann.

Ackermann explained that TPT drew on experience gained from previous installations and upgrades of Navis which led them to taking on a new approach for this particular installation.

This approach involved the system undergoing four types of testing that included user acceptance testing, stress testing, an emulation tool, and finally a roll-back solution which tested that TPT were able to revert back to the existing Navis 2.3 system if needed. Terminal staff were also trained in readiness for the switchover and TPT ‘super users’ as well as Navis engineers were on standby to assist while the upgrade was taking place.

“I believe the success of this software migration was as a result of our client’s cooperation, TPT’s thorough preparation and new testing approach that gave us the confidence to be ready for any unforeseen situation if it had come to light, but ultimately it enabled us to deal flawlessly with this upgrade and without detriment to operations.

"Our constant communication with clients throughout the process has also been key and I would like to thank our customers for their contribution to all the phases of the upgrade. TPT’s central Command Centre is still open until 18 May 2016 to address any concerns or questions our customers may have 24/7,” Ackermann added.

This latest Navis version boasts a number of new features like enhanced rail functionality, improved performance and scalability, amongst others. The software is the only solution that allows planning and operational staff to view, manage and control multiple terminals from a central location at the click of a button.

Key enhancements available in the N4 2.6 include a refreshed planning and control user interface (UI), robust system management and administration capabilities, tools to ease N4 migrations and improvements to electronic data interchange and gate functionality.

“We believe that with this new software we will be better equipped than ever before to handle increased capacity. The Navis upgrade is part of TPT’s infrastructure investment strategy, which forms part of Transnet’s Market Demand Strategy (MDS),” concluded Ackermann.

This upgrade will be complemented by ongoing investment in the terminals, such as the introduction of tandem lift cranes for moving empties, the speeding up of transit through the gates and the modernisation of rail terminals operated by TPT in the ports.