Technology is the backbone of Malta Freeport’s activities and is contributing significantly to the Company’s renowned reputation for excellence. The present maritime market conditions and the severe competitive forces within the shipping industry motivated Malta Freeport Terminals to implement the top-notch Terminal Operating System (TOS) – Navis N4 system which revolutionised the container handling process and is expected to further boost the Freeport’s standing as one the leading hubs in the Mediterranean.
The Navis N4 system controls the entire logistical operation of each container vessel on a real-time basis. The system provides the Freeport with accurate and real-time information for planning, managing and tracking container movements throughout the container terminal facilities. Navis N4 is expected to maximise efficiency within the terminal area automatically calculating where each container should be located and directing trucks to the nearest one to ensure the loading operation is carried out as quickly as possible.
The IT infrastructure was enhanced to cater for the new systems. Malta Freeport Terminals’ MIS Team carried out several planning and development processes as well as implemented the necessary in-depth system testing. They also organised various staff training programmes in preparation for the migration to N4/XPS. Indeed the implementation of the N4 system was a fundamental step forward for Malta Freeport which supports the Terminal's business performance as a whole by optimising the long-term operational efficiency and strengthen the intelligent movement of cargo through the Container Terminal. The N4 System also supports future growth at the Container Terminals while reducing operational overheads and maintaining customer-focused services. It also empowers Malta Freeport to reach new technological heights as N4 is the most advanced Terminal Operating system available world-wide.
The Freeport had been preparing for the introduction of the Navis N4 system for around 18 months with the migration to N4/XPS taking place on 15 August 2017, which is one of only five days in the year when the Freeport ceases operations to ensure there was no disruption to its operations. Malta Freeport Terminals will maintain its high investment in the most technologically advanced computerisation systems to further increase its capabilities and efficiency.
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 including 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 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 enjoys efficient real-time communication links through the Electronic Data Interchange established with its client. As of 15 August 2017, Malta Freeport Terminals (MFT) stopped providing earlier versions of the below messages. Indeed ONLY the below message types and versions are being provided, namely:
- Baplie 2.2 (Provides VGM Info) - If required MFT provides Baplie ver 1.5 / 2.0 / 2.2 to vessel berthed alongside
- COARRI 1.6 (Load Report Message Provides VGM Info)
- COARRI Progressive ver 1.6 (Load Report Message Provides VGM Info)
- CODECO 1.6 (provides VGM Info)
- TPFREP x.x
- IFTSAI x.x
Malta Freeport Terminals' prime target is to provide secure, reliable faster and more efficient services enabling its clients to maintain their schedule integrity.