Haifa Port upgrades TOS ahead of automation projects

Haifa Port upgrades TOS ahead of automation projects
Haifa recently received the largest vessel to visit Israel

Haifa Port Company has upgraded its terminal operating system (TOS) to Navis N4 3.7 across its container and general cargo terminals, preparing the port for upcoming automation projects.

Equipment and facilities are to be upgraded at the port, which handles 1.4m teu annually, supporting sustainable and efficient operations as demand grows in the region.

Upgrades underway include automation improvements taking place at the waterside such as installing a ship-to-shore optical character recognition (OCR) crane system to automatically identify the containers and yard tractors underneath the STS crane.

Other plans include enhancements to the operations for the yard management staff where more modern applications can start to be utilised.

Oded Orr, the port’s project manager, said: “Haifa Port Company is a regional transhipment hub, serving as the main lifeline for transporting various cargo types throughout the region, and as such, recognises our responsibility to deliver these goods in a timely and efficient manner.

“Now that all systems across the board are connected and speaking the same language, we expect to seamlessly execute our future modernisation plans to better serve our customers.”

The N4 upgrade, which was completed remotely by Navis due to pandemic restrictions, with no operational downtime, enables the port to improve cargo movement and traffic management on site.

Jacques Marchetti, general manager, EMEA at Navis, stated: “Anticipating growth in Israeli port volumes as increased capacity comes online in 2021, Haifa Port Company has put itself in the position to become an influential player in the Eastern Mediterranean market following the N4 upgrade and additional modifications.

“Its investment will not only increase productivity and economic competitiveness, but it will have a tremendous knock-on effect, supporting economic development in the region.”

In early May, Haifa Port received the Maersk Hamburg, which at a capacity of 15,300 teu, is the largest container ship to visit Israel.

Previously, it was expected that vessels of this size would only enter Israeli ports after the opening of new terminals at Haifa and Ashdod.

However, the acquisition of two new STS cranes and the dredging of areas by the piers of the Carmel Terminal enabled the 354 m-long vessel to call at Haifa.