Ports: Terminal Operating Systems Key to Efficiency
Thousands of international maritime experts met this past week at the Terminal Operations Conference and Exhibition (TOC Europe) to discuss recent industry developments. Fraunhofer CML was represented at the three-day conference, presenting its new study, "Terminal Operating Systems 2014". It is an updated edition of the 2012 investigation of the same name.
The study provides a detailed overview of the opaque market for terminal operating systems (TOS), their functional scope, and current market trends. Altering its focus to user perspectives, Fraunhofer experts offer all potential TOS users of "Terminal Operating Systems 2014" a basis for deciding the system best suited for them.
Terminal operating systems are at the heart of a successful terminal business. They are the key to operational excellence, as well as the efficient utilization of resources. Accordingly, TOS suppliers are constantly upgrading their software, steered by market trends. On one end, this is useful and necessary; on the other end, however, it makes choosing a system difficult for terminal operators.
Dipl. Ing. Susanne Kellberger, presenter of the study, has researched this topic intensively.
"In the new edition of our study, we have focused explicitly on the perspective of the user and offer comprehensive insights into the application of the systems", says Prof. Carlos Jahn, head of the CML. Numerous TOS users were interviewed, targeting their satisfaction level with their current software solution. They described their personal experience and offered a first-hand perspective on areas that needed improvement.
A primary result of the investigation revealed that users value optimization and support for decision-making processes as a major component of the TOS. Though, this is the area which users voiced the greatest level of displeasure. Such functions were categorized as inadequate serving as a clear signal to the software suppliers.
Jahn states, “Our study specifically supports the terminal operators in their decision in favour of a system update or completely new software."
He adds, "At the same time, however, there are clear recommendations for software suppliers on how their systems need to be modified or expanded in order to best meet the needs of the customers."