Technology is the backbone of Malta Freeport’s activities and is contributing significantly to the Company’s renowned reputation for excellence. To ensure efficient real-time management of the entire container handling cycle Malta Freeport invested heavily in a specialised real-time container terminal computerisation system from Navis LLC.
The Navis Sparcs System provides the Freeport with accurate and real-time information for planning, managing and tracking container movements throughout the container terminal facilities. The Company has in place the latest Sparcs advanced modules to offer better user interface and more efficient operations on the Terminals resulting in improved performance levels. The system ensures the real-time management of the entire container handling cycle, enabling better reaction to unplanned surges in demand. It also improved productivity levels, increased the density of container stacking and reduced the time needed for the turnaround of vessels berthing at Malta Freeport. The Company regularly upgrades the Sparcs’ versions to the latest tested version.
The Express System integrated in real-time with the Sparcs System. This System provides statistical and billing information related to the Company’s operations as well as the full computerisation of the operations at the Main Gate. With the implementation of the Express System, the Container Terminals realised a multitude of benefits including increased gate productivity and throughput by utilising automated gate control equipment and reduced truck turnaround times by the use of reservations and in-lane processing. It also improved labour utilisation and productivity as it enhanced data entry. The Express System is also supporting the on-line update of container movements, vessel schedule and on-line allocation of container positions on the yard.
To host the Express System the Freeport implemented the Disaster Tolerant Computer System based on multi-site HP 'C' Class blade infrastructure. This implementation significantly increased the processing capability and created the required redundancy levels to the host system. The Company also upgrades the Express System to the latest versions offering additional functionality and user friendliness.
The Company has also implemented real-time specalised geo-spatial software focused on gaining maximum utilisation from container handling equipment by taking real-time decisions uncluding automated job-stepping. Furthermore, Malta Freeport Terminals also installed the Real-Time Location System on the Trucks to generate accurate, real-time information about the physical location and status of the Company's assets to boost the efficiency level at the Port by reducing the distances travelled by the trucks.
The Terminals computerisation systems are tracking all activity at the Terminals since all container handling equipment is tasked by the control computer system via highly advanced Radio Data Terminal links enabling fast transmission of data and real-time monitoring of operations. A new digital radio communication system was installed to facilitate voice communication throughout the Terminals. The Freeport’s clients have the ability to access the system on-line, thus giving them real-time information for the entire container handling cycle.
Malta Freeport Terminals is presently implementing the Navis N4 Terminal Operating System. This is a sophisticated and modern technology platform which will optimise efficiency and strengthen the intelligent movement of cargo through the Container Terminals. The N4 technology platform will support future growth of the Freeport while it will reduce operational overheads and maintains customer-focused services. This system is very maintainable and adaptable and will give Malta Freeport the flexibility and scalability it needs to run its operations efficiently in a highly competitive marketplace.
Malta Freeport enjoys efficient real-time communication links through the Electronic Data Interchange established with its client. The Company is presently handling all the major SMDG-EDIFACT messages. These include BAPLIE 1.5 and 2.0, MOVINS 2.0, COPRAR 1.2, COARRI 1.2, CODECO 1.4, TPFREP and other messages such as MCTS-PLANMASTER Load List. The Lotus Notes EDI Automation Database is also in place. With the implementation of the Automatic Message Forwarding Module, the EDI messages extracted from the Express System are automatically routed to the respective recipient. This minimises user intervention and provides better control and enhanced efficiency when exporting EDI messages to customers. The Company's prime target is to provide secure, reliable, faster and more efficient services enabling its clients to maintain their schedule integrity.