In July of this year, Barge Terminal Tilburg (BTT) switched to a completely new multi-leg and multi-location booking system. Due to the exponential growth that BTT has experienced in recent years, there is a need for increased control over processes and a more accurate registration of costs and revenues. In order to be able to register transport movements in detail, connect multiple (international) locations with one another and better streamline processes, the decision is made to develop a new ICMS system. In this article, we explain which requirements the new system has to meet, the manner in which the development came about and how the various modules ensure complete control over the transport chain as well as insight into costs and results.
Multi-leg system: detailed registration of transport movements
The rapid expansion of the terminal network is making transport movements more complex, fuelling the need for more detailed registration of both the different transport legs and the associated costs. The first consultations to map out BTT’s needs in detail take place in 2019. The manner in which existing processes can be further optimised and/or automated is critically evaluated. Once the wishes of BTT are identified and prioritised, the various options are discussed. The existing system can be upgraded, for example, or a completely new system can be developed. Adjustments to certain modules often have a knock-on effect throughout the entire system and can have a major impact on the operational and administrative processes. Because BTT wishes to switch to a multi-leg and multi-location system, the decision is made to develop a completely new ICMS system.
Fully automated order processing and other optimised modules
The new booking system must ensure that order processing is fully automated. Among other ways, this is achieved by integrating EDI interfaces with the Nexusz CS-Optimizer and various customer systems in addition to the existing client portal. Furthermore, the systems of the various locations in the Netherlands and Poland are connected to the multi-terminal system. The new system also comprises the following modules:
- Graphical train and barge planning, intermodal and continental
- Independent planning for barge transports that is also integrated into the planning system of the West Brabant Corridor
- Truck planning with an external board computer interface
- Customs warehouse module for the direct train link with China
- Gas measurement module with an EWS interface
- Re-use module
- Comprehensive integrated sales and purchasing registration
- Web-based outdoor modules
The graphical truck planning and the board computer interface ensure that drivers directly receive all loading and unloading data digitally via the board computer. Furthermore, processes are better safeguarded and automatic workflows to perform checks are built in. For example, verification takes place as to whether a container that needs to be gas measured does not depart the terminal before this action has been completed. It is also possible to assign user rights to the different locations. For example, the invoicing for the various branches can be viewed from the main location, but not the other way around.
Further growth and optimisation
The basis of the new ICMS system is now fully operational. During the implementation, new wishes regularly arise and the next steps are determined. Recently, an interface was developed together with the party that performs gas measurements. Previously, a container would only be released after the planning department had manually processed the inspection report that was received by e-mail. Following the completion of the interfaces, this almost takes place in real time. Work is also in full swing on the completion of the new BTT site in Bergen op Zoom.
Proud of partnership
We have been involved in BTT’s automation processes since 1997. We are therefore quite proud to be able to develop the new multi-leg ICMS system for BTT and to continue to serve as a growth partner of BTT in the coming years as well!
Would you like to know more about the development of a multi-leg and multi-location booking system? Contact us and we will gladly discuss the details with you.