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Puerto Lirquén, Chile: tech renovation

Based on the experience in Puerto Central - terminal of the same holding-, Flux IT was invited to take part in the ambitious project for the implementation of Navis N4 in the Terminal.

Context

Puerto Lirquén (PLQ) is an important project of the Pulogsa holding, located 500 kilometers south of Santiago, in the region of Bio Bio. The Terminal has an important productive capacity and general loading management: it has 6 mooring spaces and a significant area of patios and hold (the largest in the region). In 2016, Puerto Lirquén moved a total of 5.5 million tonnes which is higher than the amount in 2015 which was a little more than 4.9 million. This year, it is planned to move load for 6 million (growth closeto 7%) and there is a forecasted increase in the transit of containers from 143 thousand TEUs to 170 thousand (15% more than in the previous year).

Challenge

The Terminal has seen some recent growth based on the increase in the number of clients and transactions of line services. This development has encouraged an investment plan for infrastructure, equipment and technology which includes migration of the operating system of the terminal through Navis N4. Therefore, Puerto Lirquén becomes the first port in the Region of Bio Bio to implement Navis N4.

 

Solution

After the successful adoption of the N4 solution in Puerto Central, the responsible for Puerto Lirquén terminal and, on the other hand, the reference points of the Pulogsa holding considered the opportunity of reusing technological assets and experience acquired at that Terminal.

Flux IT Ports took part in the implementation of the new TOS (N4) from the initial state, also including the migration of the MACH system to the most recent version of Navis.

Moreover, we have worked together with PLQ for the survey and definition of business processes complemeting them to be shown to agents outside the Terminal and solving integration with different actors. The result of these tasks was the implementation of the self- service portal Business Portal.

Last, after an exhaustive analysis of the gates operation, we have identified potential improvements in the process which were addressed by means of a specific solution. Therefore, we have implemented a Gate Application thought to speed up Terminal entrance and exit operations.

“As from the Project in Puerto Central, we had formed a work team with Flux IT Ports, which understood vocabulary, business rules and the Chilean shipping context, an important aspect as they are different countries. The support given by working with the same people is very important to us. They have helped us adapt processes that we previously had, within a different and new technological development.”

José Ignacio Hortal, Project Manager – PLQ.

Benefits

Resuing technological assets (from one terminal to another) was one of the distinctive features of the project, improving Return on Investment (ROI) at group level.

On the other hand, there was a technological renewal of the Terminal’s operating system and communication channels with clients (customs agents, transporters, etc.). This implementation reduced risks associated to quality of data per manual tasks and increased users satisfaction as a result of the usability design.

One of the main aspects of this renewal was the adoption of the self- service portal Business Portal, completely integrated with N4. This allows Customs Agents, Transporters, Clients and Operating Lines to interact with the Terminal without the need to do this in person and, mainly, to operate without paper. Inside, the product gives support to the operating area, for example: sequencing for delivery of containers; integration with shipping services (management of containers temporary acceptance certificates, cabotage) and different operating and management reports.

By means of a customized development of functionalities, the Business Portal is, therefore, a significant step towards digitalization and automation of port processes. As regards Gate Application, one of the most important customization processes carried out by Flux IT Ports for PLQ allows operators to make transactions for the entrance and exit of containers in a safe and rapid manner according to the terminal’s needs.

Impact

GO Live of Navis N4 occurred in April 2017, with the presence of the Flux IT Ports team that actively supported the startup of new systems. Three services were assisted in parallel with the old and new TOS which gradually started to opérate 100% under the new solution based on Navis technology Navis – Flux IT Ports.

“With the help of Flux IT Ports, we were able to automate processes that were manual at the beginning although they were not reached by the Navis system. Flux IT experience in N4 is also very important to give support to different needs we aimed at solving.”

José Ignacio Hortal, Project Manager – PLQ.

Key words: Migration; Navis N4; Puerto Lirquén; integración; Business Portal; App gate; TOS; digitalizing; automation, smart ports.