Spotlight On: Maputo Port Embraces Automation
There are many lessons that we have learned from COVID-19, and while it has brought with it its fair share of challenges, it has also presented some important opportunities in many industries, including logistics. Maputo Port has taken advantage of the opportunities and taken automation to the next level!
With Maputo Port being predominantly a transit port, with about 80% of the cargo handled coming from neighboring countries including South Africa and Zimbabwe, one of the main developments at the port has been in the cargo receiving process. While the cargo varies, this port handles a lot of chrome ore and ferrochrome. The port receives the cargo via road and rail, with the largest volume being via road. There were a number of challenges that existed in the shipping process, which included stock planning and footprint management, and the transparency of the system and processes. “Data processing was manual and the
possibility of fraud was quite high. We also had challenges with traffic management and monitoring, not to mention the availability of information in real time for decision making,” explains Ana Santiago, CFO of the Maputo Port Development Company (MPDC).
The challenges needed to be addressed if the port wanted to remain competitive and continue to offer good service. In order to do this, a young team of Mozambican IT developers designed and implemented several automation and digitalization projects at Maputo Port. Some of these projects and solutions include:
– A Cargo Booking Request (CBR) system, which allows greater control in the request of cargo sending by customers. Previously, this was done manually and involved sending emails, but this new CBR system has streamlined the process and has made things quicker and easier for all involved.
– The Truck Arrival Notification (TAN) has been automated, which is particularly useful when it comes to dealing with mining commodities. The TAN automation makes things easier for drivers, and also allows the port to anticipate the number of trucks that they will receive at any given period, which allows for better planning and allocation of resources, and a reduction in the number of errors.
– Weighbridges are now controlled through the use of cameras that look at the trucks and have license recognition cameras. This allows for more transparency, better safety and security and also reduces the impact of COVID-19 on the staff at the port.
“All the systems above were designed on top of an integrated cargo management system (reception and boarding), known internally as Weighbridge Management System. It is through this system that planning, reception, storage, shipment and stock management are carried out,” Santiago says.
It is great to see ports in Africa embracing the benefits of technology, and we look forward to seeing this become the norm. For businesses who are ready to find out more about what tech can do for their logistics, we’d love to tell you more about our Digital Control Tower. https://centralstation.co.za/