Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Using advanced algorithms and modeling, the new state-of-the-art vessel scheduling and maritime resources management system will help the Panama Canal reduce transit waiting times, optimize costs and increase the capacity, efficiency and reliability of the route.

In response to g[ds_preview]rowing traffic through the waterway, the Panama Canal announced that it will launch a state-of-the-art vessel scheduling and maritime resource management system to further optimize costs, improve safety and increase the overall efficiency and reliability of the service it provides.

The recently announced system will transform how the Panama Canal plans and schedules transit operations. For the first time, the Canal will be able to execute a completely integrated operating plan for all of its critical resources, including tugboats, pilots and line handlers. By improving situational awareness and by having more accurate data, the new system will allow for better decision-making, which will in turn help mitigate operational risk. Further, the system will help reduce costs by optimizing resource allocation.

According to the canal authority, the new technology will also benefit Canal customers, including shippers, by shortening vessel waiting times, increasing the number of potentially available vessel slots each day and improving the overall reliability of the route.

Managing increased volumes and vessel numbers

Following the successful opening of the Expansion last year, the Canal has experienced a surge in cargo and the number of transits by larger Neopanamax vessels. In fact, the Canal has set several monthly tonnage records already. At times, the Canal has needed to allocate more resources to guarantee high performance and safety standards amid the influx in activity. Once implemented, the new system will enable the Canal to more efficiently manage this greater demand and capacity.

»Using advanced modeling language, we’ll be able to leverage path-optimization algorithms and mathematical, constraint and graphical programming to optimize scheduling and resource utilization,« said Arnoldo Cano, Panama Canal Program Manager for the ACP Renewal of Processes and Core Systems. »Simply put, the technology is best-in-class, and we’re excited to work with our partners at Quintiq to bring it to bear for the Canal and its customers.«

Quintiq is a Dutch company owned by Dassault Systemes, which has specialized in delivering supply chain planning and optimization software to the maritime, transportation and logistics industries for more than 20 years.

The new system will be fully integrated into Canal operations over the course of the next two years, with the module responsible for managing the Canal’s vessel scheduling expected to be operational by the end of the fiscal year in September 2017, ACP stated.