To further expand the strategic importance of its port for the international vehicle trade, the Piraeus Port Authority (PPA) S.A., member of COSCO SHIPPING Group, has decided to invest into end-to-end digitization and optimization. The company has awarded a project to the well-known optimization specialist INFORM from Aachen, Germany, to improve the efficiency and transparency of vehicle handling at the port's car terminal.
In order to continue its growth of recent years and to further expand its strategic position, PPA is implementing an intelligent IT system from INFORM Vehicle Logistics that is designed to enable end-to-end transparency of all processes in the supply chain. Customers, suppliers, 3PL and customs authorities will be able to track via a web portal where and when a car has been delivered. In addition, the algorithms of this system are capable of optimizing the operational processes in the compounds through real-time decisions and advanced planning. Consequently, this system gives PPA the advantage of improving its offered services and the flexibility of planning new business processes.
The system will allow PPA to more effectively use available resources and to continuously improve their processes. In addition, it will allow PPA to increase their capacity to operate their car terminal. Covering over 145,000 square meters, the PPA’s car terminal provides a capacity of over 600,000 movements per year. Located close to the centre of Athens, the Port of Piraeus occupies a geostrategic position for the eastern Mediterranean region. It is also considered an important transit hub for trade between Europe and Asia.
Digital decision making in terminal operations
"Digital decision making for us means both making automated optimized decisions as well as helping our customers' management to make operational and tactical decisions more easily by providing reliable real-time data," says Hartmut Haubrich, Director Vehicle Logistics Systems at INFORM. "In the case of PPA, for example, we will automatically generate workorders and optimize the workorders in real-time to ensure that operations are smooth and target dates are met efficiently. In this way, we will increase the service capacity of the terminal, but also the availability and intelligent allocation of storage spaces."
For the purpose of identifying a suitable system for their project, PPA executives had visited various ports in Europe. Among others the International Car Operators (ICO) terminals in Zeebrugge, Belgium, where INFORM’s applications have been successfully implemented. Through an open international tender the above system was evaluated as the best one for PPA, thanks to its effectiveness, modularity and innovative design.
As PPA BoD Chairman Mr. Yu Zenggang stated “Under this new cooperation, PPA targets to increase its Car Terminal’s efficiency and competiveness and to make it more attractive for its customers. We believe that the vehicle logistics system of INFORM can guarantee the successful digital transformation of PPA Car terminal."