Terminal operators continue to search for ways to cut costs, increase efficiency and productivity, and maintain a competitive advantage. One solution to address these issues is to look to technology upgrades, in particular the terminal operating system (TOS) or Conteiner Terminal Management System (CTMS).

As terminal operators look to modernise technology, it is important to evaluate the ability of the TOS to meet their specific needs. Multi-terminal operators often look for TOS solutions with a centralized database structure so they can efficiently manage multiple terminal locations and aggregate information across several sites. Some terminals want TOS solutions that offer complete or partial automation. A cautious approach should be taken in evaluating automation options, as there is often a point of diminishing returns. For instance, while the implementation of automated guided vehicles (AGVs) may provide tangible benefits for a larger terminal, the same technology may not produce the desired ROI for a medium to small facility.

TOS solution for the management of a dry bulk, breakbulk and liquid bulk terminal offers very extended ways to manage all aspects of stevedoring. From warehouse management to order processing, from shift planning and reporting to the management of all individual processes, like activities, customs, invoicing.  Marine ports operators with multiple terminals will benefit from fully integrated system for ship planning, yard planning, gate and warehousing [operations] all built into the same system and running on the same database.

Because terminals vary in size and change over time, operators need a system that provides a low total cost of ownership (TCO) and can effectively scale with changing cargo volumes. Terminals should select a technology partner who understands their business and will help make recommendations that are best suited for the operator's particular circumstances. For critical needs, it is important to choose a proven supplier that is able to deliver results on time and with the ability to provide local support.