Speedy new automation system for Durban RO-RO Terminal

29 November 2017 | Web Article Number: ME20177917

Government & Municipal
Transport & Logistics
Speedy new automation system for Durban RO-RO Terminal
Michelle Phillips (Transnet Port Terminals GM: Business Development and Freight Solutions), Brian Govender (Toyota) and Amanda Siyengo (Transnet Port Terminals GM: KZN Operations, Bulk, Break-Bulk & Cars)

Transnet Port Terminals (TPT) recently launched the Service Instruction Entry (SIE) automation system at Durban Ro-Ro Terminal.

The SIE automation solution has been a four-year project that TPT developed in-house and is aimed at radically improving the speed at which the trading partners, TPT and its customers receive and exchange information into their systems, thereby greatly reducing end-to-end cycle times.

It will also cut the costs and administrative burdens associated with the current paper-driven process like the manual processing of import and export shipping documentation. 

“The launch of TPT’s SIE Automation with the first Toyota vessel being Guangzhou Highway at our Durban Ro-Ro Terminal was truly momentous,” said Amanda Siyengo, TPT General Manager: KZN Operations, Bulk, Break-Bulk & Cars.

“We did take precautions with this roll out by implementing a parallel run with the new automated process running concurrently with the current manual process. The current manual order process needed to continue in parallel during the initial project roll out to validate the new process and ensure a smooth transition.

“With the launch of the new SIE automation process being deemed a success, we are looking forward to rolling out this exciting innovation specifically designed for all stakeholders,” Siyengo said.

With the SIE system having been created internally by TPT, IT support and further developments are all locally based and easy to access. The primary goal is to reduce processing time from the current 72 hours to less than 24 hours, as well as extending vehicle delivery times to the terminal through document optimization.

Ultimately the system will also create fluidity and capacity facilitation in the port and enable customers to continue production and shipping as close to vessel sailing times as possible, while also gaining two more production days for OEMs that will result in more revenue being realized and saved by stakeholders.

“Tangible savings estimated for customers is the reduction of their paper based costs in compiling landing and shipping order submission decks by up to 75% as well as reducing the time and resources bringing the documentation to the finance counters,” said Michelle Phillips, TPT General Manager: Commercial and National Planning.

“More importantly, the digital platform will, in the end state, allow for reduced submission windows thus enabling shipping of larger export consignments and ultimately reduced logistics for OEMs’ and Vehicle Importers. Implementing the EDI protocol will improve operational efficiency at the automotive terminals, thereby contributing to the realisation of the Transnet Commodity Strategy.

“One of the dominant strategic thrusts of Transnet is DIGITAL, and this SIE project is without a doubt creating great strides on the digital front and will change the face of the automotive industry as we know it,” Phillips said.

To facilitate SIE Automated processing from the shipping lines, an electronic submission of their current manifest is completed allowing verification of the EDI processing for the duration of the parallel run. The parallel run process is due to continue until all shipping lines have successfully completed all operations involving Toyota units and the SIE automation system is rolled out to every Durban OEM.

TPT aims to roll out SIE to the East London Car Terminal by mid-2008 and to the Port Elizabeth Car Terminal shortly thereafter.

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