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MPS Introduces New Technology
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With the update and expansion of equipment at the Tema Port, Meridian Port Services (MPS), a container terminal operator in Africa, is radically upgrading Information Technology (IT) Infrastructure to further advance operations in Tema.

MPS, a public-private partnership between Ghana Ports and Harbours Authoruty and Meridian Port Holdings, is also a joint venture with Bollre Africa Logistics and APM Terminals as principal investors.

The Head of IT of MPS, Mr Emil Opare, told journalists in Accra that "MPS has always understood that to drive and operate an effective and efficient terminal, we need to use technology as the business driver".

"We have invested in a modern Terminal Operating System (TOS) called Navis, which is an industry leading product in running a terminal. This, combined with an Electronic Data Interchange (EDI), ensures that our planners on the ground can plan the discharge strategy and yard allocations of each crane effectively", he said.

In addition, MPS has also developed a Gate Application system with a scanning capability that enables staff to scan and capture all incoming transactions through their gates. This eliminates data capture errors, expedites gate transactions, improves data quality and accuracy, leaves audit trails and ultimately ensure the safety of the ground clerks.

It is clear that numerous changes have taken place to overhaul and upgrade MPS' IT systems, including a complete redesign of their WiFi network and the installation of an entire CCTV system but perhaps the most successful change has been the deployment of a new DGPS system, he said.

"This is definitely one of the highlights of this quarter. The Differential Global Position System (DGPS) is used to track in real-time container locations in the yard. DGPS is an enhancement to Global Positioning System (GPS) that will provide improved container location accuracy," said Mr. Opare.

He explained that the DGPS used a network of fixes, ground-based reference stations to broadcast the difference between the containers' positions indicated by the satellite systems and the known fixed positions in the stacks.

A digital correction signal was then broadcast locally over ground-based transmitters which allows the company to track containers in real time and improve data quality.

Most IT systems now in place at MPS are the globally recognized-and deployed-operating systems. However, in some cases, the company has locally developed some systems.

"For the Human Resource Management (Amanfo) and Payroll (Akatua) systems, it has opted for a localized solution with SoftTribe.

"We always look at which system will yield the best results and choose our IT systems accordingly," he stated.

Aside from the the IT systems themselves, MPS is fully committed to the training of staff, ensuring that all IT staff hold Fiber Optics Association (FOA), Fallbrooks, California and USA Certifications.

Each member of staff attends IT and Management workshops to not only develop personally, but fortify the entire IT environment here at MPS," Mr Opare added.


Source: Daily Graphic

Posted: May 23 2013

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