How FInest can help addressing Unexpected Challenges in Transport & Logistics
- Published on Tuesday, 21 February 2012 14:11
Winston Churchill said that a plan is nothing, planning is everything. In the past six months this has counted very well for transport and logistics providers operating on the west coast of Norway.
Re-planning of activities and services has to be done much more frequently than normal:
Example 1: The Coastal Steamer accident in the Port of Aalesund area
On the 15th of September 2011,a terrible accident happened just outside the Port of Aalesund involving the coastal steamer "Nordlys". Fortunately the accident did not escalate to be a big catastrophe, thanks to luck, good weather and good work procedures by the involved staff and rescue personnel. The ship was tugged to the Port of Aalesund and almost sank due to water leakage coming from a big hole in the hull. The Port of Aalesund played a central role in the rescue operation of "Nordlys". They provided the quay including facilities and resources, and hosted also the command center during the first stage of the operation.
In a period of several weeks "Nordlys" occupied the quay area, which is one of the most frequently used in Aalesund, resulting in new plans for both the terminal operators as well as the Port Authorities. Another challenge for the Port was to re-plan the resources they are in charge of, perform the daily work and operations as good as possible, while at the same time facilitating an optimal performance for the rescue operation.
Example 2: The rough weather in the North Sea
The last half year has been very challenging regarding operations in the North Sea basin, as rough weather with hurricanes and storms has struck with frequent intervals. This has of course resulted in some delays and damages to cargo, and has also resulted in re-planning and needs to find new transport corridors for the goods to be transported in some cases. Monitoring shipment contracts has also been on the list of important issues for the carriers. The rough weather has also been a problem on the main roads between western and eastern Norway, with complete closure for periods of time. The North Sea Container line (NCL) has managed to meet the challenges in a very good way, re-planning operations and informing their customers accordingly.
Still they see the needs of having good planning tools that can be used to find alternatives when deviations to the original plans occur, as well as documenting the weather and all statuses on the goods they are transporting. One of the conclusions from NCL is to do re-planning with as much real time data as possible regarding tracing of goods and services, verify the contractual issues, as well as proactive thinking, like the use of weather forecast to calculate risk for deviations and the handling of deviations that have occurred in a professional manner.
Example 3: Hurricane "Dagmar" visited Aalesund
During the Christmas days the hurricane Dagmar struck the west coast of Norway and resulted in lots of damages. The terminal operated by Tyrholm & Farstad was among those that had to clean up the mess after the extreme forces struck; it had blown away 40 feet containers from the stacks like it was made of paper.
This of course resulted in some hectic days where they had to repair damages while serving scheduled transports and finding the best possible solutions for maintaining daily operations.
Lesson learned and identified requirements to the FInest project
Those three very recent examples clearly demonstrate that we should always be prepared to re-plan transport and services. Every prognosis tells us that the weather in the coming years will be rougher, and the transport industry should take this into consideration. There will be occasionally accidents and other obstacles that cause a need for re-planning. Although these kinds of incidents are well handled in the maritime transport sector, there remains a significant opportunity to reduce the delays and additional work imposed by re-planning. Improving coordination of information and resources and increasing the speed in information exchange – which all will be made possible by Future Internet technology – constitute key enablers for such improved efficiency. FInest, by bringing together novel capabilities for FI-enabled Transport Planning, E-Contracting, Event Processing, and Business Collaboration will help the T&L sector to identify statuses, identify risk and forecasts, identify contractual issues, orchestrate the transport and take care of the business collaboration issues, and give solutions to easily re-plan a transport when a unwanted situation occurs