May 31, 2018

Tianjin Port Group Completes N4 Go Live Across Six Terminals in Record Time

Following Fastest Implementation, Tianjin Recognized as Largest N4 Terminal Complex by TEU to Date

Navis announced that Tianjin Port Group has completed the cutover and go live of N4 across its six terminals in record time. Following implementation at the sixth and final terminal, Tianjin Orient Container Terminal (TOCT), Tianjin Ports is now the largest N4 terminal complex by TEU – with an annual TEU of 15 million. 

Tianjin Port is a 300,000-ton artificial deep-water port centrally located at the intersection of the Beijing-Tianjin City Band and the Bohai-Rim Economic Circle, which connects Northeast, Central and Western Asia. The port offers a unique operational advantage, as it is a dual-purpose waterway that can support up to four ships entering and leaving the port simultaneously, including the world’s largest container ships. As an important foreign trade port, Tianjin is bustling with activity, reporting an average of 30 moves per hour.

Since signing the official contract in August 2017, Tianjin Port transitioned to N4 across its entire terminal network, achieving fully integrated terminal operation and management in less than eight months. Prior to implementing N4, Tianjin Port’s six container terminals operated on three different terminal operating systems and six different versions, which added to the complexity of planning and executing a smooth transition under an aggressive timeline. The project plan for Tianjin Port was the quickest implementation turnaround ever undertaken by Navis, but the professionalism, dedication and collaboration between the Tianjin Port and Navis teams made it possible to hit project milestones every step of the way. At completion, successful go-lives took place in record time at: Five-continents International Container Terminal, Tianjin Pacific International Container Terminals, Tianjin Alliance International Container Terminal, Tianjin Euro-Asia International Container Terminals, Tianjin Port Container Terminal and Tianjin Orient Container Terminal. 

“As we continue to grow and expand our services, it was critical that we implement a plan to consolidate and integrate all container terminal operations and support our multi-facility network under a single database. In our search for a TOS provider, we also had high expectations for system stability and scalability and needed a partner who could support our clear roadmap to automation – we knew that Navis would be able to deliver on most of our goals,” said Zhao Decheng, head of Tianjin Port Information Technology CO., LTD.  “In the end, we got exactly what we expected and thanks to the preparedness of the project team, including Navis’ operational consultants, we accomplished the transition faster than we ever could have hoped.”

Under its previously fragmented system, Tianjin Port faced many operational challenges including a lack of shared resources and uniform technical architecture across terminals, siloed information that resulted in the lack of data standardization, risks to data security and integrity and separate backup systems at each terminal leading to huge capital investment.  

“There were several challenges associated with a multi-terminal go-live of this size and multiple operational issues that needed to be planned for and addressed,” said Mark Welles, VP and General Manager APAC of Navis. “The Navis and Tianjin teams worked tirelessly to complete a seamless transition and as a result, the port can now support the operations of all six container terminals through a single application portfolio and unified database. The implementation of the integrated system has improved the overall security of the application system and reduced the operating risk and operating costs. At the same time, the data standardization under N4 has provided a solid foundation for big data analysis to help with future planning.