Reefers were previously checked manually by operators at four hourly intervals. In addition, shipping lines carried out their own ‘shadow monitoring’ twice daily. Faults and breakdowns were therefore only identifiable during these monitoring times.
The recent commissioning of the NAVIS SPARCS N4 terminal operating system which plans and records all container and equipment moves, has been successfully integrated with Refcon. This allows for automatic synchronisation of information between the two systems which significantly improves operations. Refcon feeds reefer temperature information into Navis at intervals of 30 minutes.
“A major benefit of integrating Refcon into the Navis system is that faulty and out-of-protocol reefers can be identified easier and quicker, which reduces the terminal’s risk profile and saves costs,” said Hector Danisa, TPT’s assistant terminal executive of the Western Province terminals.
Refcon’s remote monitoring server gives operators electronic messages highlighting exceptions. The operator then reports relevant alarms to the shipping lines for rectification. In the event of Refcon or Navis shutting down, a manual procedure has been created to protect the cargo’s integrity.
Reefers that are not Refcon compliant will continue to be monitored manually. However, 80% of the terminal’s customers are already Refcon compliant, and initiatives are being implemented to improve this further. Shipping line Maersk leads with 95% compliance.
Meanwhile the Navis SPARCS N4 terminal operating system has maintained an average of 99% uptime during the six months from April to October 2010. Danisa said the teething problems, experienced when Navis was first introduced at the terminal, were a thing of the past thanks to training and upgrades to rectify challenges in its stability.