TNPA’s Western Cape ports now ‘smartPORTS’

Port of Cape Town.

The Ports of Cape Town and Saldanha today became the latest to go live with Transnet National Ports Authority’s new R79m web-based Integrated Port Management System (IPMS,) first introduced at the pilot site, the Port of Durban in July.

IPMS replaces manual processes and enables key port operations to managed online and in real time across TNPA’s eight commercial ports. All vessels arriving at the two Western Cape ports between 26 and 31 August will be allowed priority registration, provided vessels agents are trained. Other Cape Town and Saldanha vessel agents will be able to register on the system as and when they are ready to transact.

Since IPMS was introduced in Durban over 108 vessel agents have been registered onto the system and 135 vessel arrival notifications were processed within the first three weeks.

Chief Executive Richard Vallihu said, “Global ports are adopting ‘smartPORT’ concepts and the world is increasingly embracing digital technologies and data analytics to make sense of the information that we have around us. Gathering that information in the first place is a challenge. This online system will help transform our ocean gateways into smartPORTs by using advanced information technology that will make them more intelligent and sustainable, while conserving resources, time, space and energy.”

He added, “As TNPA we believe that the glue or the backbone of our entire port system is information systems, but in an integrated way, where we manage just about every input and output to make monitoring, tracking, evaluating and optimising a lot simpler.”

Developed by Navayuga Infotech, a company based in India, in collaboration with their South African partner Nambiti Technologies, the IPMS is a strategic project that aims to support the broader objectives of the Transnet Market Demand Strategy (MDS) in terms of efficiency and productivity.

TNPA has invested around R79m for the entire system, for all eight South African ports, covering concept development, architecture, implementation and rollout.

Vallihu said the IPMS was benchmarked against Malaysian and Singaporean ports which were among the world’s most efficient. It is a groundbreaking initiative in that for the first time in the world a system such as this is integrated across multiple ports on a single platform.

The next ports to go live will be Port Elizabeth, Ngqura, East London and finally Richards Bay and Mossel Bay.

According to General Manager Mmutle Lentle, “This is the beginning of one of many initiatives that will see Transnet create visibility within the transport value chain and enable connectedness of the transportation eco system ranging from ports, rail and road.”