There is an inherent interrelation between technology and trade – whereby inducing advancements in technology instigates further growth of globalization. With containerization playing an integral role in this process, it is critical to understand that the global supply chain has become incredibly dependent on terminals to fuel the economy. Countries worldwide who are working towards a more sustainable economy, hint that terminals, regardless of their size or type of cargo they manage, must expedite their presence in the Container Handling Industry to participate as well as attribute to the growth in the economy. Therefore, all terminals must ensure their operations are always executed at the optimum and adopt a Terminal Operating System (TOS) that is best tailored to their current and future needs at a cost-effective price.
The purpose of a TOS is to accommodate to all operations and processes which provide palpable insight to assist in planning and heed greater visibility over the performance of terminal operations. Selecting a static TOS that only satisfies current projected requirements is an illustration of tactical planning that centralizes only on short-term goals. Although tactical planning can generate immediate results, it may also pose as a barrier to prospective success. Terminals, as a result, must be diligent when selecting a TOS that not only fulfills specialized needs but reinforces both tactical planning and strategic planning to conjure functionalities that are also future proofed. As a terminal grows, their operations and objectives inevitably change, requiring a flexible TOS that can easily accommodate to these scalabilities without incurring irrational expenses or fuss.
Rejecting a TOS with comprehensive functionalities conform to the narrow mindset that limits future opportunities and paves a broader stream for operations becoming obsolete or ineffective. Instead, terminal operators should take prudence and care when selecting a TOS such that it adheres to these following elements:
- Scalable – easily add memory and various modules such as Automation, Artificial Intelligence (AI), Optimization, etc. when terminals encounter a change in objectives or respectively experience higher throughput and growth
- Flexible – an open TOS system that can interface with any third-party systems such as Gate Operating Systems (GOS), DGPS, automated CHEs, etc. to support automation, business intelligence, and IoT strategies
- Future proofed – avoid TOS’s which integrate just enough functionalities to satisfy current needs as it may be lacking in capabilities due to poor and redundant infrastructure. Seek for a TOS that has all-inclusive functions that accounts for every possible container operation on the spectrum to increase efficiency and limit unproductivity
- Cost-effective – the pool of TOS’s that can concurrently perform exceptionally, offer various and comprehensive functionalities, and provide services at a low price is extremely limited and difficult to discover in the market. Terminal operators should, therefore, consider adopting a true cloud-based TOS to leverage all these benefits without compromising their financial resources
The overarching inference warrants that a terminal operating system in the cloud is the most viable choice as it encompasses all factors ranging from scalability in functionalities to the most imperative; future proofing. When a TOS has purely manifested a cloud architecture, it is embedded with the capabilities to integrate any additional modules and ingest data in any manner which alleviates the need to adopt other external systems and data sources to operate. Any sentiments challenging this conception is a direct indication that the proclaimed cloud TOS is built on a forged infrastructure which is resource intensive and consequently cannot afford adhering to a pay-as-you-go model to offering cost-effective prices.
Although it may not be critical to the operations now, does not excuse it from being crucial for the future. Limit the pool of providers and instill a reliable web-based TOS that truly cares about your future. Never settle for less and find a TOS provider that is committed to your success.