Supply Chain News / eSupply Chain / Ports

Port of Richmond’s Real-Time Cargo Movement Tech.

June 27, 2012
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Virginia International Terminals implemented new terminal-operating software at the Port of Richmond.

The software, called Navis SPARCS N4, provides real-time data on cargo en route to the terminal operator and shipper and unites the terminal’s entire operating system in a single format and provides critical data, in real time, to its users.

The software enables the terminal operator to get real-time information on truck and barge moves at the Port of Richmond, a barge port leased by the Virginia Port Authority and operated by VIT, its terminal-operating subsidiary.

Richmond is the first marine terminal within the VPA to launch N4. Since 1994, VPA terminals have been using Navis software on legacy systems.

Navis, a part of Cargotec Corporation, helps to technologically manage the movement of cargo through terminals. Port of Richmond will be the first of six facilities to deploy SPARCS N4, making it the second marine terminal in North America to go live with the industry's most advanced terminal operating system (TOS).

"In our highly competitive marketplace, we firmly believe that advancements in technologies will be a key component to drive operational efficiencies, increase profitability and gain a competitive advantage," said Joe Ruddy, Chief Operating Officer for Virginia International Terminals. "Navis was a natural partner due to its extensive industry expertise and recognition as a proven solution for managing and optimizing terminal operations."

The Port of Richmond is a barge terminal handling containerized, break-bulk and bulk cargo across all modes of transportation, located 70 miles inland. The Port of Virginia selected Richmond as a stepping stone to launch Navis SPARCS N4 at its other sites. Replacing a legacy home grown solution, SPARCS N4 will help Richmond Marine Terminal improve operational efficiencies, such as manual data entry. With SPARCS N4, terminal operators can now perform real-time data entry using N4 Mobile enabled iPads at both the barge and gates. As a result, Richmond Marine Terminal will improve productivity, save money and improve customer service overall.

"From our long-standing relationship with Port of Virginia-owned sites, we are confident that SPARCS N4 will help Richmond Marine Terminal achieve the operational efficiency they are striving for," said Bill Walsh, president and CEO of Navis, LLC. "As larger ships come into play, terminals will be required to improve their productivity and customer service. By adopting the SPARCS N4 platform, The Richmond Marine Terminal will be able to deliver significant benefits to its customers that will help the terminal compete in an increasingly competitive marketplace."

Norfolk International Terminal will be the next facility to implement Navis SPARCS N4 in May 2013. The highly complex operation will also utilize Navis solutions for automated gate, GPS, rail auto stow and more.

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