Automating ports

01/19/05

Europe's ports are where land and sea traffic meet – and ways of managing them differ greatly. A variety of data and operations must be handled, from the control of crane movements and parking of lorries to loading freight onto ships.

EUREKA project E! 2351 LOGCHAIN GHADIS tackled this logistical complexity by developing a graphic database system to make the management, administration, optimisation and communications of port operations simple and efficient, saving time and reducing costs.

The Graphical Harbour Disposition and Information System (GHADIS) replaces, with graphic screens and drag-and-drop functionality, functions currently performed manually. "GHADIS is easy to use and saves time by using visual information and intuitive systems rather than tables or written information," says Horst Pahl, Managing Director of Travemünder Datenverbund GmbH (TraDaV), the project's German lead partner.

GHADIS allows the user to visualise the different harbour processes and can be used to plan and control tasks. It shows an overview of the whole terminal as well as two independent, detailed views with zoom functionality. The system represents the estimated situation in the harbour in the chosen time frame and the user can use the intuitive drag-and-drop interface to simulate the impact of operations. "GHADIS automatically generates messages and instructions, gathers information and spreads knowledge via its intuitive graphic displays," says Pahl.

The system can, for example, create crane orders to co ordinate and manage the loading and unloading of cargo from trains, trucks and ships, allowing for special handling of dangerous and perishable goods.

While TraDav developed the computer system, the Port of Trelleborg acted as both consultant and test facility; the Port of Lübeck was the first client. According to the Port of Lübeck, GHADIS "makes communication within the conveyor chain more efficient and reduces transaction costs."

GHADIS has been designed to be easily implemented on almost any existing port computer system and works independently of the operating system and the port's existing database management system.

Testing of the new system is complete and marketing has begun at exhibitions in Gothenburg and throughout Germany. It has also been presented at the high level meetings of the Baltic Sea Forum, TEDIM.

EUREKA made this development possible. "EUREKA created the partnership with the Port of Trelleborg and helped us to secure national funding," says Pahl.

The partners are now looking to expand the market for the new system beyond ports. "GHADIS could be used in any other field where graphic data could be interpreted more easily than a printed version or on-screen tables," says Horst.

Source: Eurekalert & others

Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 21 Feb 2009
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