Norfolk – A two-year effort of planning, training and work culminated today as The Port of Virginia went live with Navis N4, a new terminal operating system that will help drive efficiencies and lay the ground work for a more modern technology infrastructure at Norfolk International Terminals (NIT).
"The Port of Virginia is a growing, deep-water container port capable of handling the largest vessels in the East Coast trade," said John F. Reinhart, CEO and executive director of the Virginia Port Authority. "Our ability to efficiently service those vessels and their accompanying cargo volumes dictates that we update our terminal operating system now.
"As volumes increase we must have technology solutions in place that can help us plan, manage and forecast operational needs. Further, this technology upgrade will operate in unison with a program of long-term capital upgrades."
The software package was originally scheduled to be put into service on July 4, but the work and preparation of the port's N4 team allowed for an earlier go-live date. Reinhart said the sooner the system is responsibly implemented, the sooner we will begin to see positive results.
When compared with the current terminal operating system, N4 will provide some very real advantages. Most importantly, it replaces a 25-year-old legacy system that has reached the end of its usefulness. Operationally speaking, N4 will provide real-time visibility across all areas of the operation at NIT; it provides short- and long-term planning capability and is flexible, allowing us to customize features as demand requires.
"For our ocean, rail and motor-carrier partners, the processes of bringing in and loading or unloading vessels, trains and trucks to NIT is unchanged," Reinhart said. "A high-level of productivity, a fully-staffed labor force and solid customer service will continue to be the norm. Over time, what we will see is a more efficient operation that in the end will benefit our stakeholders and customers."
For more than two years, the port's N4 team planned, trained and tested the system to ensure work in all areas of the operation run smoothly. The necessary manpower resources are in-place for today and they will remain in place well afterward to support the transition. This team has done everything to minimize disruption to the terminal's operations and will provide around-the-clock support to the terminal throughout the go live process. The resources include the port's well-trained N4 team supported by a Navis team composed of a diverse mix of skill and expertise needed to make the experience as seamless as possible.
"Our goal is to make this a smooth transition for all stakeholders in The Port of Virginia," Reinhart said. "We are confident in our preparation for this transition. This is an investment in the future competitiveness of the port."