Fine tuning the Navis N4 Expert Decking Module, the system which automates yard planning, has resulted in major efficiencies in the yard and quay operations at APM Terminals’ Suez Canal Container Terminal (SCCT), Port Said, Egypt.
The system is used to automate planning by distributing containers throughout the yard based on predefined rules. Typically yard planning is extremely time-consuming, costly and inaccurate. The Navis system aims to optimise the storage of containers in the most efficient manner, leaving more time for users to manage the yard.
At the SCCT, staff focused on dwell times for transhipment containers. Each container was examined, the dwell time assessed and a class was then assigned. Containers with shorter dwell times were assigned a yard lane closer to the berth.
Time, energy and financial savings
This approach resulted in quay cranes being utilised more efficiently and trucks travelling shorter distances. Savings in equipment running costs, maintenance & repair, and staffing were also achieved. Following piloting and testing, it was then rolled out across the yard over a 20-week period.
N4 Expert Decking assesses yards in real-time, taking container volumes and stack configurations into account. But the system is only as effective as the terminal-specific business rules that are established to determine the most efficient stacking of import, export and empty containers.
Global best-practise sharing
The new efficiencies achieved by the SCCT are the latest in a series of continuous improvement. The terminal has become a hub for excellence in training within APM Terminals and the staff are recognised as being eager to share their knowledge with colleagues across the rest of the company.
Last year, nine personnel from APM Terminals’ new Moin Container Terminal in Costa Rica and four from its MedPort Tangier Terminal recently travelled to Egypt to attend operational and technical training programs. The training enabled SCCT to share the best practices it has established. This type of initiative has become a frequent feature of APM Terminals’ commitment to learning across the organisation.
By designing and hosting these training programs, SCCT employees demonstrate the expertise that makes them such able partners. “The training program that SCCT provided to our team helped to develop excellent knowledge and skills. As our country, Costa Rica, doesn’t have a mature port industry, the experience provided was crucial in the training and development of our professionals,” said Fabian Calvo Bernard, training coordinator for APM Terminals Moin.