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Panama Canal upgrades its vessel-scheduling systems

Wed 15 Mar 2017 by Karen Thomas

Panama Canal upgrades its vessel-scheduling systems
Jose Quijano: a proud legacy of innovation

The Panama Canal is to launch a vessel scheduling and maritime resource-management system to optimise costs, improve safety and increase efficiency and reliability as the expanded waterway handles a growing number of ships.

Quintiq’s system aims to transform how the Panama Canal plans and schedules transit operations, allowing the authority to execute a completely integrated operating plan for its tugboats, pilots and line handlers. It uses advanced modelling language to leverage path-optimisation algorithms and mathematical, constraint and graphical programming to optimise scheduling and use of resources.

The Panama Canal Authority (ACP) says that by improving situational awareness and by having more accurate data, “the new system will allow for better decisionmaking, which will in turn help mitigate operational risk”.

It will optimise the way the waterway allocates its resources, which in turn will help the authority to cut its costs. Customers will benefit from shorter vessel waiting times and from a potential increase in the number of daily transit slots.

Quintiq is a Dutch company owned by Dassault Systemes that produces supply chain planning and optimisation software for the maritime, transportation and logistics industries. ACP will integrate the new system into its operations over the next two years. The module that manages the canal’s vessel scheduling should go live in September.

“For more than a century, the Panama Canal has enjoyed a proud legacy of innovation,” said Panama Canal administrator Jorge Quijano. “This system will help carry that legacy forward, allowing us to tap the potential of technology to provide better solutions for our customers as we increasingly manage more transits and adapt to shifts in global trade.”

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