The business world revolves around efficiency. Clients want to know exactly when their container will arrive at port. Or even better, at what time it will be ready for collection. After all, this significantly affects all the chain's subsequent steps. So, there's a great need to share information about this. Hutchison Ports ECT Rotterdam (ECT) has introduced a new digital platform that makes that possible.
MyTerminal gives you insight into when a container arrives at Rotterdam harbor in the Netherlands. It also predicts when it will be ready for collection. "Ships are growing in size. It can, therefore, take days before a container is unloaded," begins Paul Ham, ECT's Production Development General Manager.
Visual of MyTerminal display
"Unloading times are important, especially for fresh fruit and vegetable products. You want to know that in well in advance." People often want logistical information to be shared. Importers and exporters, as well as forwarders, shippers, barge operators, and carriers, need this data.
Access to container details, anytime, anywhere
Whilst developing this new platform, ECT initially focused on the fresh market. They wanted to understand companies' wishes and needs better. And they wanted to translate these into a new platform. So, ECT worked closely with various client group representatives. "Our old platform's been around for over 20 years. It was increasingly failing to meet our clients' current needs. It's all about efficiency now," MyTerminal's product owner, Ana Duškov, adds.
"We considered this when developing MyTerminal. How it works is, you log in and enter a container and possibly an exemption number, only once. Then, you can see all the current container data at a glance. This information is real-time information. You can also receive push notifications, so you won't miss a thing. Another advantage is that you don't have to reenter all your data each time. The system saves it."
So, MyTerminal shares real-time information. It also predicts when a container is available for pick-up. And it's user-friendly. But that's not all. Its API solution is another major advantage. API allows you to make this new platform's information available to other systems. This could be an item or container status.
"That means clients can integrate our data in their systems. They don't have to log in separately to MyTerminal. They have all information directly available in their system," explains Ana. "We're also working on making the use of additional services available to clients. These are things like an accelerated pick-up."
Security, first and foremost
This new digital platform answers many questions. When will my container be unloaded? When can I pick it up (without hindrances and with the correct documentation)? When will my container leave the port? Then clients can estimate its arrival time. "This is what everyone wants to know, and all in a secure way. Nobody wants data to end up in the wrong hands. Security was, therefore, an important starting point in the new platform's development," Ana says.
Companies of all kinds, with multiple users, can register themselves. Container information is available to the various companies involved in the container in question's logistical process. To guarantee security, MyTerminal adheres to three security values: authentication, identification, and authorization. "We must be familiar with everyone who wants information from us. The people requesting this data must prove they are who they say they are. And we use pin codes. This is the only way we can protect our clients' data," continues Paul.
This new platform is living up to expectations. The many registrations make that clear. It was launched at the beginning of this year. Since then, 3,000 businesses have registered, says Ana. They've already created around 9,000 accounts. "Thousands of people are already using MyTerminal every day. People like various client groups' logistics and warehouse managers. So, the prospects look good. They have to. The old platform expires at the end of this year. I'd say, give it a try; it greatly simplifies the work in the chain," she concludes.