Peel Ports Group is applying air traffic control technology to boost efficiency in a UK-first for a commercial port group.
The port operator is investing £2.7M (US$3.5M) across its network of seven Statutory Harbour Authorities to streamline marine operations.
The package of technologies includes vessel identification and tracking, solid-state radar and weather stations. It will be complemented by a new online booking system for its customers and a comprehensive people development programme.
All marine operations will transition over the coming months and will be managed centrally from a new industry-leading command centre at the company’s headquarters in Liverpool. There will be supporting control operations and smaller satellite operations throughout the company’s port network.
The centralised traffic control technology has been proven in the airline industry and at the Maritime and Coastguard Agency’s National Maritime Operations Centre.
Peel Ports deputy chief operating officer David Huck said “This is a huge advance for our customers, our people and port operations generally. The technology will allow us to provide a more efficient, more resilient and safer service and will ensure that Peel Ports Group has a port control platform aligned to the group’s future growth plans. Having already introduced AutoGates in Liverpool and the Navis N4 terminal operating system across our network, including the new Liverpool2 deepwater container terminal, we are leading the way in using technology to transform how ports work.”
To support the change the business has commenced some small-scale restructuring and both new and existing staff members will be trained to manage the systems as part of a new centralised team to be created throughout the group.
Key features of the investment include: