Back in June, Maher extended its container free time and freeze demurrage charges as it cleared a backlog caused by computer glitches during the changeover from its aging in-house TOS to a new Navis SPARCS N4 system. Since that time, a number of ships have been diverted to other facilities top ease the problems.
Claiming that the new TOS implementation has “turned the corner”, the two companies further state: “service has returned to acceptable levels during the past several weeks, albeit at reduced volume”.
“Barring any unforeseen circumstances, this steady progress has now put the terminal in a position to handle all of its business and transition to normalised operations,” the statement continues.
Following extensive testing and what the companies call, “root cause analysis by all of the stakeholders”, along with important feedback from ILA users of the system, it has been determined that the real-time interactions between the various system components deployed in the container yard were not operating as designed. In short, problems were being experienced with the wireless transmission of information between the TOS and the terminal’s straddle carriers and gate systems.
However, these have been overcome by the implementation of a modified plan, which has scaled back select automated components of the overall solution and stabilised core functionality. Maher and other system providers will phase-in these automated components on a controlled basis.
Confirming that the Navis system will continue as the core operating system, Gary Cross, Maher Terminals President & CEO, said: “We are confident that our modified plan is the right strategy for a permanent return to the volume and service levels our customers expect from Maher Terminals”.
Maher needs the new TOS to handle expected growth in traffic following the raising of the Bayonne Bridge and the expansion of the Panama Canal.