Oct 26, 2017

Malta Freeport Conducts Seamless Implementation of N4, Revolutionizing Terminal Operations for Better Performance and Customer Satisfaction

N4 upgrade completed in 24-hour window, resulting in zero downtime and customer disruption

Navis, a part of Cargotec Corporation and provider of operational technologies and services that unlock greater performance and efficiency for the world’s leading organizations across the shipping supply chain, announced that Malta Freeport Terminals, a premier transshipment hub in the Mediterranean, transformed its terminal operations with the Navis N4 terminal operating system. The implementation, part of a large-scale technological upgrade, will boost the terminal’s competitive position in the market, delivering more effective and efficient service to customers.

Malta Freeport has successfully operated for more than 25 years within the Mediterranean containerization market and currently ranks 12th among the top European ports with a current annual capacity of 3.8 million TEU and gross crane productivity of 30 moves per hour. As the third largest transshipment center in its region, the terminal expects to increase capacity to 4.5 million TEUs in the future through various investment projects. Carriers using Malta Freeport Terminals as their transshipment hub enjoy a multitude of benefits including cost-effective operations, guaranteed productivity levels, minimal diversion distances between Gibraltar and the entrance to the Suez Canal, and regular network connections with over 132 ports worldwide.

In 2004, the port was privatized and as part of a 250 million Euro investment program, has since undertaken multiple initiatives to enhance the efficiency of the terminal’s operations including its investment in top-notch technological systems such as N4 and training of personnel. Over the past 18 months, the terminal prepared for the introduction of the N4 system, which was meticulously installed during a 24 hour closing during the Santa Marija public holiday – one of only five days in the year when the Freeport is closed. With Navis’ support, a fully committed team worked around the clock to affect a seamless transition from the old system to N4 and ensure the Freeport was once again fully operational by the next morning. “We carefully planned when would be best to introduce this new technology,” said Jesmond Baldacchino, Head of IT at Malta Freeport, who spearheaded the implementation. “It was important for terminal staff not to be disrupted by this changeover. In fact, when they reported for work in the morning, they could carry on as usual, as even the screens on the container handling equipment they were using previously remained the same.”

Implementing the N4 system was a fundamental step forward for Malta Freeport Terminals to support the terminal's business performance as a whole by optimizing the long-term operational efficiency and strengthening the intelligent movement of cargo through the terminal. The system supports the future growth at the terminal while reducing operational overhead and maintaining customer-focused services.

“Anywhere from 2,000 to 3,500 containers are typically loaded or unloaded when a mainliner berths at Malta Freeport, so getting this upgrade right and ensuring the vessel leaves as early as possible is absolutely essential for a major terminal like ours,” said Alex Montebello, CEO of Malta Freeport Terminals.  “Navis N4 will significantly enhance our ability to do this and enable us to introduce the latest technology which fits in with our overall mission to position Malta Freeport as one of the best in the region.”