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BCOs to see boxes on vessels

Integrating BAPLIE viewer Online with the Port Optimizer portal will give BCOs the ability to see exactly where their containers are on a vessel at the Port of Los Angeles.

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TEDIVO, LLC, which owns BAPLIE Viewer Online, has just announced a new integration with the GE Port Optimizer tool that could be game changer in supply chain visibility at the Port of Los Angeles, and Long Beach if it decides to work further with GE Transportation.

 

In a nutshell BAPLIE Viewer Online is a tool that lets anyone with a web browser visualise, manage, edit, compare and share BAPLIE files - the EDI file that records the location of every container on a vessel. Currently most shippers are in the dark about where their boxes actually are on a vessel. With the exception of their ‘express’ offerings and deals for their biggest customers, most shipping lines sell services port to port services on a vessel time of arrival basis.

 

At Los Angeles and Long Beach shippers and BCO’s try to plan by monitoring vessel ETA data, and container availability data from terminals. There is, as was discussed with Port of Los Angeles Executive Director Gene Seroka in a recent article, a huge gap between vessel ETA data and when a container is actually available.

 

Furthermore, larger vessels are making the problem worse. Terminals at LA and Long Beach are handling bigger ships, but port time is getting longer at the same time. The result is that vessel ETA does not tell a BCO whether their box will be unloaded on the day of arrival, or four days after.

 

The Port Optimizer portal that the port of Los Angeles is developing with GE Transportation aims to improve the landside planning process putting all the data relevant to a container’s progress through a port in one place. Conceived as a “system of systems” Port Optimizer will make extensive use of data integration to build out visibility across the supply chain.

 

TEDIVO has just announced BAPLIE Viewer Online will be integrated with Port Optimizer. “BCO’s want more visibility as to where a container of their goods is at any given time - and while shipping lines and terminal operators have access to this information, BCO’s previously did not,” said Rene Alvarenga, Sr. Director Product Management, Port Solutions, GE Transportation, (which is now part of Wabtec). “The integration of BAPLIE Viewer Online with our Port Optimizer platform changes this landscape dramatically, providing the technology to watch the supply chain function in real time through a new visual dimension of where cargo is stowed.”

TEDIVO notes that “An example of a daily benefit the end user might experience is being able to visually check and see that their set of containers arriving at a particular terminal are on the top deck of the ship. The BCO can then predict that the containers will be available for pickup early in the operation of the vessel”.

 

At the same time, BCO’s will be able to see if their container is at the bottom of a 15,000 TEU vessel and not about be unloaded for several days - information that shippers and BCOs might want to use in discussions with carriers.

 

BAPLIE Viewer Online has also announced the release of new features and functionality for its users in the terminal and shipping line side of the business including:

  • Comparing BAPLIE files for additions; deletions; changes
  • Performing load, discharge and re-stow operations with an intuitive UI (allowing users to add to and change BAPLIE files without a TOS)
  • Adding structures that prevent containers from being stowed to specific locations (such as ballast tanks, etc)
  • New APIs to facilitate integrations with other systems

“The new compare feature is something our users will be excited about.” explains Ruth Traynor, Director of Customer Services at BAPLIE Viewer Online. “Terminals can receive multiple versions of a BAPLIE file in advance of a ship’s arrival, but many terminal operating systems (TOS) will only process the final BAPLIE file. The compare feature allows users to see if any data has changed with the click of a button, instead of relying on manual checks. Changes can be viewed as a report, displayed in the 2D viewer, and exported to Excel for further analysis. Providing terminal operators the ability to compare BAPLIE files for additions, deletions and changes, enables users to make more informed decisions about labor needs.”

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