Port of New Orleans Record Port of New Orleans Record March-April : Page 9

Crane Maintenance technician Jim Stanton monitors the diagnostic screen and live closed-circuit video inside the maintenance cab of one of the Port’s two new post-Panamax cranes. The 100-foot-guage gantry cranes run on state-of-the-art software provided by ABB Crane Systems. “You talk about rail cars, warehousing, ocean containers – everyone wants transparency and visibility through the supply chain.” Jim Henderson, New Orleans Cold Storage General Sales Manager drivers, TCI, a full-service logistics and packaging provider with operations in New Orleans, Houston, Dallas, Baltimore and Mobile, had to deploy inspectors to terminals across the country in order to execute safety inspections. They would then call the drivers from their routes to the terminal where drivers waited to find out if the truck was cleared for service. “It could really ruin a guy’s week,” says TCI president Christian Jensen. “Now we can tell the driver if he’s out of service right then and there. He gets new tires, takes pictures of the tread, and he’s back on the road. It’s a huge productivity gain.” photo by renee aragon dolese The tablets were introduced in 2011 as part of TCI’s new amped up operating system, which they call TOPS (for TCI Ops), a data repository that tracks all TCI’s trucks. An existing system was converted to an Android operating system and Galaxy tablets were issued to drivers. Bluetooth transmitters were also connected to the engines of TCI-owned trucks, sending real-time data from the truck such as if the driver slams on the brakes, speeds or goes out of route. A third leg of the IT upgrade included a customer web portal where customers can track their containers at any time via GPS. The integrated system enabled TCI to do what more and more transportation companies are making a top priority – minimizing manual data entry, tracing assets and providing visibility – all in real time. Real-Time Visibility Across the industry, companies and ports are looking for ways to be more efficient and more productive. And in anticipation of the Panama Canal widening, infrastructure improvements are front and center. But industry leaders say investing in operating systems that offer visibility is just as important if you want to compete. “You talk about rail cars, warehousing, ocean containers – everyone wants transparency and visibility through the supply chain,” says Jim Henderson, General Sales Manager at New Orleans Cold Storage. NOCS is constructing a state of the art facility at the Port of New Orleans that will incorporate innovative refrigeration technology such as the energy-saving blast freezing system that quickly freezes product by pulling air out instead of forcing air through. But beyond the facility’s innovations, he says supply chain visibility systems are also a priority of NOCS customers. “Where cold storage and warehousing are concerned, especially as the products are perishable and have short shelf lives, we want to be as transparent as possible with refrigeration and temperature recording, to allow customers to see their product through the many steps in the process,” Henderson says. “There’s a lot of technology out there for product tracking. Some of our customers are experimenting with RFID (radio frequency identification) tracking and other technology used to follow product throughout the supply chain. As we are the terminal operator, we follow, advise and help as they test new systems.” Refrigerated cargo is not the only segment at the Port of New Orleans implementing March/April 2012 | www.portno.com 9

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