Transnet Port Terminals (TPT) has confirmed that South Africa’s container terminals will close from 6am tomorrow morning until the same time Sunday, May 16, for a software upgrade.
Responding to a notification circulated via social media, TPT corrected the information which stated that the ports would be closed for the whole weekend.
“TPT will temporarily shut down operations for 24 hours at the country’s nine container terminals to upgrade their current operating system to the latest version of Navis N4 Sparks 3.7,” according to a revised statement sent to Freight News.
The last upgrade, to 2.6, was done two years ago.
Tomorrow’s upgrade was aimed at improving efficiencies at all container terminals in the country, TPT said.
“This is a maintenance practice occurring every two years where both the company and its customers plan in advance for the 24-hour shutdown.”
TPT financial officer Sharla Chetty said the upgrade introduced improved performance, reliability, security and scalability.
Elaborating on the software used to manage container operations at the country’s ports, Chetty added that TPT had been using Navis N4 at its terminals for 14 years.
She said the software upgrade to version 3.7 would set the new architectural foundation for enhanced features and capabilities.
The Navis Smart platform would bring in apps such as the truck booking application and real-time operations insights together with other optimised features such as berth and equipment optimisation, she said.
Discussions with industry were ongoing to ensure integrated planning as the Durban, Port Elizabeth and Ngqura container terminals this month began the seasonal export of citrus fruit.
“We have contingency plans in place in the event of any unforeseen delays.”
TPT did not say what these contingency plans might entail.
Chetty emphasised that the ICT team would be remotely supported by an experienced team of Navis engineers from around the world.
“During the cut-over and support period both teams will ensure timeous resolution should any issues be experienced. The teams have collaboratively rehearsed the upgrade on multiple occasions, adopting a remote working approach, the results of which have been successful.”