IT Glitches at the Port of New York and New Jersey Slow Cargo Handling

By Todd R. Weiss  |  Posted 2013-08-07 Print this article Print

The wireless network is supposed to track the vehicles that drive around in the container yard, so that inventory and other records can be accurately kept, he said. "The drivers get their directions on a screen on their vehicles in the yard, so it's essential that you have a robust network for the automated process to work."

The Navis SPARCS N4 is software is the company's latest software and is installed in 77 terminals around the world, according to Barrons. Earlier versions of the company's software products are installed in 244 shipping terminals worldwide.

Navis and Maher had noted the ongoing problems with the system back in June, when they issued a previous joint press release describing the troubles. "After successful implementation of earlier phases of this important initiative, and extensive testing of the current phase of implementation, the operation has encountered some unexpected issues," the statement said at that time. "These issues have led to delays, which are expected to be temporary while both Navis and Maher Terminals continue to commit all available resources to identify and resolve those technical issues."

The delays at the Port of New York and the Port of New Jersey are apparently benefiting other East Coast-based ports that are not undergoing similar problems, according to a story from IEEE Spectrum. "It is hard to overestimate the importance of an effective, fully functioning terminal operating system (TOS) to a port's attractiveness to shippers, and therefore, to the port's profitability," according to IEEE Spectrum. "And when a TOS doesn't work well, it doesn't take long for shippers to decide to go somewhere else, as the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey—the busiest on the East Coast despite still being in recovery from the ravages of Hurricane Sandy—is finding out to its dismay. The Port of Virginia, among others, is delighting in the shift."

Interestingly, the Port of Virginia "successfully migrated to the Navis SPARCS N4, the same TOS that the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey is having trouble with, last year," according to IEEE Spectrum.

The Maher Terminal in Port Elizabeth, N.J., is on 445 acres and is the largest container terminal in the Port of New York and New Jersey and the largest on the Eastern Seaboard, according to Maher. It replaced an old, home-built container management system with the Navis software.


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