The new bespoke database enables ABP to track vehicle imports and exports through the port, providing a real-time view of the location of all vehicles across the port. It also helps the shipping lines to schedule their vessels at appropriate times and to view details of the load contained within each vessel.
Prior to any vehicles arriving at the port, the database is automatically updated from an EDI message sent by a shipping line containing details of the expected delivery. When vehicles are delivered to the port, the operational teams apply barcodes and use handheld scanners to capture vehicle data and additional information, which is fed into the central database.
Certain technical challenges had to be overcome during the installation as the number of large metal structures around the port ruled out using wireless devices. Therefore, each handheld device is periodically loaded with a subset of the main database, containing only information relevant to the state of the port at that time.