Tianjin Port Group has implemented Navis N4 across six terminals, making Tianjin the “largest N4 Terminal Complex by TEU to date”.
The announcement is a very important step for Navis on several levels. With a throughput of over 15M TEU the port of Tianjin is the 11th largest container port globally, making it an important reference customer for Navis. More importantly, Navis confirmed to WorldCargo News that the six terminals are all running off the one instance of N4, with each terminal running its own XPS independently. All data for all terminals are managed on one Oracle database.
Tianjin moved to Navis from a complicated TOS environment where the six terminals were running three different TOS applications and six different versions. Some of the terminals (Tianjin Port Container Terminal and Five-continents International Container Terminal) were running the Cosmos TOS, the first installation of which dates back to 2002. Navis notes that this resulted in “many operational challenges including a lack of shared resources and uniform technical architecture across terminals, siloed information that resulted in the lack of data standardization, risks to data security and integrity and separate backup systems at each terminal leading to huge capital investment”.
This is not an unusual situation, most of the large “ports” in the world have multiple container terminals run by different companies using different IT systems and TOS applications. Unusually, all the six major container terminals in Tianjin are operated by a single company, Tianjin Port Group (TPG), and through Tianjin Port Development Holdings Ltd TPG has an ownership stake ranging from 40% to 100% in all of the operating companies. The arrangement at Tianjin meant TPG was able to make the decision to implement N4 across all its container facilities, and then move ahead quickly with implementation.
“Since signing the official contract in August 2017, Tianjin Port transitioned to N4 across its entire terminal network, achieving fully integrated terminal operation and management in less than eight months….The project plan for Tianjin Port was the quickest implementation turnaround ever undertaken by Navis but the professionalism, dedication and collaboration between the Tianjin Port and Navis teams made it possible to hit project milestones every step of the way. At completion, successful go-lives took place in record time at Five-continents International Container Terminal, Tianjin Pacific International Container Terminals, Tianjin Alliance International Container Terminal, Tianjin Euro-Asia International Container Terminals, Tianjin Port Container Terminal and Tianjin Orient Container Terminal,” Navis stated.
“As we continue to grow and expand our services, it was critical that we implement a plan to consolidate and integrate all container terminal operations and support our multi-facility network under a single database. In our search for a TOS provider, we also had high expectations for system stability and scalability and needed a partner who could support our clear roadmap to automation – we knew that Navis would be able to deliver on most of our goals,” said Zhao Decheng, head of Tianjin Port Information Technology CO., LTD. “In the end, we got exactly what we expected and thanks to the preparedness of the project team, including Navis’ operational consultants, we accomplished the transition faster than we ever could have hoped.”
“There were several challenges associated with a multi-terminal go-live of this size and multiple operational issues that needed to be planned for and addressed,” said Mark Welles, VP and General Manager APAC of Navis. “The Navis and Tianjin teams worked tirelessly to complete a seamless transition and as a result, the port can now support the operations of all six container terminals through a single application portfolio and unified database. The implementation of the integrated system has improved the overall security of the application system, reduced the operating risk and operating costs and at the same time, the data standardization under N4 has provided a solid foundation for big data analysis to help with future planning".