The Panama Canal Authority has announced that it will launch a new vessel scheduling and maritime resource management system in response to increased traffic through the waterway.
The system is expected to shorten vessel waiting times, increasing the number of potentially available vessel slots each day and improving the overall reliability of the route.
For the first time, the Canal will be able to execute a completely integrated operating plan for all 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, says the Authority.
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.
Following the opening of the Expansion last year, the Canal has experienced a surge in cargo and the number of transits by larger Neo-Panamax vessels and has set several monthly tonnage records.
The system is based on technology recognized for breaking multiple world records in solving some of the most complex optimization and scheduling problems.
“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.