Panama Canal

Panama Canal to launch vessel scheduling and maritime resources management system

Quintiq will be fully integrated into Canal operations over the course of the next two years.

By Patrick Burnson, Executive Editor · March 21, 2017

Just as ocean cargo carriers prepare to introduce new alliances and services next month, several “optimization” technology companies have been announcing new products and services.

One of the biggest surprises to surface in this arena may be the news released today that Quintiq – a Dassault Systèmes brand – 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 service is designed to transform Panama Canal planning and scheduleing transit operations.

According to spokesmen, 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.

Chris Rogers is the research director for Panjiva, an online search engine with detailed information on global suppliers and manufacturers. He says It’s interesting to see the Panama Canal Authority making the move to a third party provider.

“It’s another sign of the rising technology stakes in the logistics industry,” he adds. “It’s always difficult to compare supply chain software companies as they are generally bespoke applications…put another way two disparate companies could solve the same solution from different directions.

Beneficial Cargo Owners (BCOs) may benefit as well, says the ACP, as  Quintiq applications can shorten vessel waiting times, increase the number of potentially available vessel slots each day and improve the overall reliability of the route.

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.

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