Freight News, Sea

Panama Canal to launch state-of-the-art vessel scheduling and maritime resources management system

[ March 29, 2017   //   ]

Quintiq, a Dassault Systèmes brand and global leader in supply chain planning and optimization (SCP&O), recently announced that its software has been selected by the Panama Canal Authority (ACP) to plan, schedule and optimize all vessels transit operations through the Canal to reduce costs, improve safety and increase overall efficiency and reliability.

“For more than a century, the Panama Canal has enjoyed a proud legacy of innovation,” said Panama Canal Administrator Jorge L. Quijano. “This system will help carry that legacy forward, allowing us to tap the potential of technology to provide better solutions for our customers as we increasingly manage more transits and adapt to shifts in global trade.”

The Quintiq solution will transform how the Panama Canal plans and schedules transit operations. For the first time, the Canal will be able to execute a completely integrated operating plan for all of its critical resources, including tugboats, pilots and line handlers. Improved situational awareness and data can inform better decision-making, which in turn will help mitigate operational risk. Further, Quintiq will help reduce costs by optimizing the way in which the Canal plans and programs its resources.

Canal customers will benefit as well. The Quintiq solution will impact shippers looking to transit the waterway by shortening vessel waiting times, increasing the number of potentially available vessel slots each day and improving the overall reliability of the route.

The decision to adopt Quintiq was simple. Following the successful opening of the Expansion last year, the Canal has experienced a surge in cargo and transits by larger Neopanamax vessels and in fact, has set several monthly tonnage records already. At times, the influx in activity has called for additional resources to ensure that the Canal’s high performance and safety standards are met. However, once implemented, the new solution will enable the Canal to manage this greater demand and capacity as efficiently as possible.

”Using advanced modeling language, we’ll be able to leverage path optimization algorithms and mathematical, constraint and graphical programming to optimize scheduling and resource utilization,” said Arnoldo Cano, Panama Canal Program Manager for the ACP Renewal of Processes and Core Systems. “Simply put, the technology is best in class and we’re excited to work with our partners at Quintiq to bring it to bear for the Canal and its customers.”

According to Camilo Gaviria, Director of Quintiq Latin America: “The Panama Canal’s planning puzzle gives us the opportunity to prove how Quintiq’s record-breaking optimization technology can help recover business value. High efficiency is critical to the Canal’s operations and a more streamlined planning process will ultimately enable it to offer its customers a significantly improved level of service.”

Rob van Egmond, Quintiq CEO, commented: “We are honored to have been selected by ACP as its planning system. We are confident that the Quintiq solution will help the Panama Canal achieve greater profits and help many more ships transit the Canal in the coming years.”

Quintiq will be fully integrated into Canal operations over the course of the next two years. The module responsible for managing the Canal’s vessel scheduling is expected to be operational by the end of their fiscal year on September 2017.