Transnet Port Terminals Vastly Reduces Risks Ahead of Navis Upgrade

APRIL 21, 2016

Business risks, for both Transnet Port Terminals and its customers, have been vastly reduced, thanks to a number of interventions that have been employed to ensure that the Navis upgrade from version 2.3 to 2.6 is as seamless as possible. The upgrade comes at the back of the end of support for the former version while the latter version boasts a number of new features like enhanced rail functionality, improved performance and scalability, amongst others.

“We have pulled out all stops to ensure that this upgrade is incident-free and that in the unforeseen situation when issues arise, we are able to deal with them flawlessly and without detriment to the operations. TPT will once again be at the forefront of terminal operations as this will be the industry’s most advanced operating system available,” says Deirdre Ackermann, GM of EIMS at TPT.

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

“It 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,” says Ackermann. 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.

A new approach that TPT have taken to this particular upgrade is that the system has and will undergo four types of testing. So far it has already undergone user acceptance testing, which is a manual functional test of the application, as well as stress testing whereby the system was tested to handle double the amount of production and volume that TPT’s operations currently experience to ensure the system is robust enough to handle increased volumes ahead of demand.

The initial two tests have been successful and the Navis 2.6 system has also undergone the testing of an emulation tool that did another automated run through of all processes. The final stage of testing, which will be carried out before the system goes live, is the roll-back solution which will test that TPT are able to revert back to the existing Navis 2.3 system if needed.

“We have used our experience gained from previous installations and upgrades of Navis to ensure this upgrade is incident-free, with limited inconvenience to our customers and operations. Terminal staff have also been trained in readiness for the switchover and there will be TPT ‘super users’ as well as Navis engineers on site to assist while the upgrade is taking place.

"There will also be a central Command Centre available for our customers to call through 24/7 for any questions or issues they need addressed. We believe that with this new software we will be better equipped than ever before to handle increased capacity,” concluded Ackermann.

The Navis upgrade is part of TPT’s infrastructure investment strategy, which forms part of Transnet’s Market Demand Strategy (MDS). The R300 billion seven-year programme is aimed at investing in infrastructure, equipment skills development and systems ahead of demand. It 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