Ports are big business in South Africa and of national strategic importance. But they have to compete with other ports in the country, as well as those in SADC. One of the main challenges ports face are how to successfully handle growth, while at the same time retaining a competitive edge in light of high terms of trade and tightness in labour markets as well as infrastructure and regulatory constraints.
Part of the solution lies with greater planning, asset management and investment. In light of this it's of significant relevance that South African ports are soon to become "smartports" with the installation of a web-based integrated management system that will tell clients when and where their vessels have berthed.
Smart Port Logistics links up everyone involved in the port supply chain and, as a result, optimizes the entire flow of goods.
According to TNPA Chief Executive, Richard Vallihu "The Integrated Port Management System (IPMS) was benchmarked against Malaysian and Singaporean ports which were among the world's most efficient. The IPMS system will be a ground-breaking initiative in that for the first time in the world a system such as this is integrated across multiple ports on a single platform."
This state-of-the-art information technology will ensure that port information and processes are transparent and easily accessible to users throughout the South African port logistics chain.
The system went live at the Port of Durban in July and will be implemented in South Africa's seven other ports before the end of the year.
With around 90 percent of the world's merchandise and commodity trade transported by ships, ports are vital to the health and wellbeing of the global economy. The ports of South Africa play an important role in the economy of our country and those of neighbouring landlocked members of the Southern African Development Community (SADC). Therefore, the continuous upgrade of infrastructure and increase of capacity of our ports are vital to help the country achieved the targeted growth.
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