Applies to: Port Authority
Platform: Professional services, eModal™
Function: Collaboration portal
Est. Read Time: 4 min
Strategically positioned on the eastern side of San Francisco Bay, the busy Port of Oakland has been in operation since 1927. Over time, seaport operations have become busier, more complicated and in need of some additional help.
The daily stresses of managing incoming and outgoing port cargo traffic had become more frustrating because the ways in which critical information among the Port’s four terminals was disseminated had not kept up with the times. Chief among these frustrations was the lack of a single place to view, analyze and track cargo data for all shippers, truckers, terminal operators and other stakeholders. Without this data visibility, BCOs and truckers constantly second-guessed the whereabouts of their cargo and extra work started to pile up quickly for those managing the terminals.
That situation changed on May 24, 2018, when the Oakland Portal, “a one-stop, online gateway” to streamline and expedite information sharing, went live.
Designed and engineered by Advent Intermodal Solutions under the direction of the Port Efficiency Task Force (a combination of local port stakeholders), the new digital platform was built on Advent’s eModal® platform, which was already being used by Oakland’s four marine terminal operators. This interface was a customized solution that tackled difficult challenges that are unique to the Port of Oakland. Now, shippers, terminal operators, cargo handlers and other stakeholders are able to access the information they need online, in one location. The portal streamlines terminal operations and facilitates collaboration throughout the Port by providing greater cargo data visibility and transparency.
Advent executive Allen Thomas explains how the portal benefits stakeholders: “Before, people had to go to multiple websites and make phone calls to get this information,” he said. “With this community 'port portal' template, both port authorities and their terminal operators can channel all the critical information kept in the eModal® platform to guide users through a simple, customizable interface that they control.”
One of the changes the Port of Oakland wanted to make was to simplify the search for information so that port customers could pick up and deliver cargo more efficiently. Now stakeholders can visit a single site to:
The cutting edge, online gateway is designed to significantly streamline landside cargo operations and reduce truck turn times at marine terminals.
Ships, trucks and trains converge at the Port of Oakland’s four terminals, which are operated by separate companies. Incoming and outgoing cargo arrives and must be sent to the proper destination, whether that is aboard a vessel leaving for Singapore or on a truck bound for Las Vegas. Through the new Oakland Portal, a unified customer interface is available to all four marine terminals and will eventually extend to any facility that cargo flows within the port complex. Cargo owners and their supply chain stakeholders can find out when to expect cargo availability. Trucking companies can schedule container pickup.
For Advent, creating a state-of-the-art digital collaboration platform for a world-class port was business as usual. Whether it involves finding a vessel in port by facility, checking a container status via a custom Watchlist or making an appointment to pick up cargo, the new terminal operations software is designed to make each workday run more smoothly for Port of Oakland customers and stakeholders alike. The standard features are publicly available to all users, and more specialized and password-protected eModal functions about their cargo, such as the ability to make terminal pickup appointments and pay fees, require company and user registration and validation by Advent resources. The Portal is live now and new features are already funded for phased deployments planned through 2018 which include incorporating performance metrics and KPI dashboards for users as well as real time turn time calculations citing any congestion at all terminals.
Improving the flow of information among its terminals is vital to the efficiency of a major port. In Oakland, the feeling is that by using the new online gateway, shippers will be able to manage international supply chains with greater ease and efficiency. While the Oakland Portal is thought to be the first digitized platform of its kind in the realm of seaport operations, other ports are expected to follow suit.
“We hope that the Oakland Portal will meet the needs of our stakeholders to improve efficiency and the flow of information,” said Port of Oakland Maritime Director John Driscoll. “If we are successful, it could be something other ports replicate.”
For more information, visit portofoakland.emodal.com.