Efficient quay planning
Yearly, on average around 3,000 ships dock at the ArcelorMittal Gent quay, delivering raw materials and picking up finished products. In order to maintain an excellent overview of the port activities, we have developed an advanced planning system.
ArcelorMittal Gent’s maritime location is one of our major assets. Through the Ghent-Terneuzen canal and the Western Scheldt river, our company has direct access to the North Sea. We make use of this access to import over 10 million tonnes of raw materials and ship over 1.5 million tonnes of finished products a year. On average, around 60 ships a week dock at our quay. These activities thus obviously require tremendous logistic efforts.
In order to efficiently plan the activities on our quays, we have to take the following into account:
- where can we load or unload the specific cargo?
- have the required cranes and crane drivers been allocated?
- are we meeting customer demands?
- is our way of working cost-efficient?
Software brings salvation
In order to continuously maintain a good overview on the actual planning and its completion, we have developed an impressive software application.
Our quay planning system can interact with other external systems:
- our internal transport system which registers all ordered vessels. Depending on the destination and cargo of the ship, its load is allocated directly to the correct crane and the system furthermore calculates the time needed for loading or unloading. This process only takes a few seconds.
- the Ghent harbour: we are able to see (in real time) the location of vessels before they reach our quay.
- our internal system that monitors all port’ activities. The interaction with this application allows us to monitor the progress of the loading and unloading activities and thus monitors our planning meticulously.
Thanks to the good follow-up of our port activities, every change made in the planning is noticed immediately. Via event-services and an internally developed messaging system, we are able to inform our users of any changes. This way, everyone always has the most recent data.
Efficient quay planning
Efficient planning not only increases the efficiency of our daily operations, but it also has a positive cost impact. When vessels cannot be (un)loaded upon arrival, demurrages are charged. As these demurrages are quite high, it is in our best interest to limit the time vessels spend along our quay.
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