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The future of integrating with Master Terminal

By Rebecca Rowley, Solutions Architect, Jade Logistics

With the constantly evolving landscape of terminal operating systems and their role within wider supply chain management, Jade Logistics has recently reviewed their API offering to ensure it continues to support easy and cost-effective integration with third party systems and excellent performance at scale.

The increase in demand for agile application development — providing applications which can be built quickly to explore new ideas, ways of working and growth opportunities — paves the way for an integration strategy that provides clear, concise APIs that require little system knowledge, have a low maintenance burden, are easily extendable and simple to interact with.

EDI continues to be a staple of the logistics industry and Master Terminal’s existing capabilities in this area are an important aspect of the TOS solution. As well as FTP drop and operator upload, the Master Terminal SOAP web service supports EDI data transfer via a SOAP interface and this existing web service will be maintained. This mechanism works well for this type of data transfer and is already a standalone web service endpoint which does not require frequent definition updates, and as such requires little support beyond the initial integration development.

An increasingly important area of data for port operators is real-time, event-driven updates. Jade Logistics will continue to use, and further enhance, the Event Stream framework for event driven data transfer direct from Master Terminal. As this data is driven from the existing SQL extract mappings, it is an ideal interface to provide information into a data warehouse for targeted, customer specific, BI analysis.

For data integration beyond the port environment and into the wider supply chain, Master Terminal integrates directly with CargoChain. This ensures information about cargo and its movements generated at the terminal is available to all supply chain participants, eliminating the need for complex point-to-point data sharing and providing one integrated view of cargo. Third-party applications can take advantage of this by using CargoChain to redefine the global information supply chain, safe in the knowledge that the relevant Master Terminal activity will be captured by CargoChain.

Master Terminal currently exposes a user interface SOAP web service, which will continue to be supported and used by both Jade Logistics applications and third parties. However, in the future new integrations will be supported by REST web services.

The Master Terminal REST API suite is designed with the single responsibility principle at its heart; specific interfaces are responsible for single functions, producing loosely-coupled modular systems with scope for extension without impacting existing services. This reduces the maintenance burden and provides an uninterrupted API service for third parties, removing barriers to upgrade.

The Master Terminal REST API suite supports both JSON and XML data output enabling easy integration. In keeping with the separation of concerns principle, only the object data relating to a specific interface is transferred. This reduces the size of data transmitted as well as providing a clear and concise interface. Where as the existing SOAP Web service data objects are tightly coupled to the Master Terminal implementation, this is decoupled in the REST APIs providing a user-friendly interface requiring less system knowledge to integrate.

At Jade Logistics, we appreciate that every port is unique, with different workflows and handling procedures. Customers with specific and unique integration requirements, for example to assist in implementing custom applications for terminal functions, will have a specific REST API developed to meet their needs. This can be used in conjunction with the Master Terminal REST APIs to provide the functional coverage required to build a bespoke application.

It is important to Jade Logistics that port operators can choose the third-party applications on the periphery of their TOS (such as an external VBS System) that work best for their business, while still being able to easily integrate these systems with Master Terminal. The Master Terminal REST API suite includes generic interfaces for commonly required functions. If additional feature support is required, an application specific interface can be developed with little overhead.

MASTER TERMINAL API OFFERING

 

WHY REST?

REST interfaces now represent more than 70% of public APIs. This popularity is because REST, with JSON data, is simpler to interact with and faster to integrate to. Highly extendable, flexible and fast, REST is ideal for APIs in today’s agile environment.

The size of a REST API call and data transmission is significantly smaller than a SOAP request. This improves performance and requires less bandwidth, reducing load on the system. REST calls are lightweight and simple, allowing easy, quick calls to a URL for fast return responses.

REST inherently supports a variety of data formats, but the predominant use of JSON means better support for browser clients. JSON data is easily serialized into application specific objects without the need for a full service definition and intermediary proxy classes. This greatly simplifies the development required to interact with the client interface as well as removing the need to update a previous definition when changes are made, providing backwards compatibility.

Because REST is stateless, the same request can be made multiple times with the same response. This is ideal for mobile applications, allowing the process to be retried without major interruption in case connectivity is lost, as well as supporting caching of the results.

With REST web services, the client and server are loosely coupled. This means the server (i.e. the web service provider) can extend or modify the exposed interfaces without impacting the client (i.e. the application calling the web service). This is in stark contrast with SOAP web services, where the published API (web service definition) must be kept in sync and any changes must be made by both the client and server at the same time. This is a significant barrier to continuing enhancements and agile development.

If you would like to learn more about our TOS, Master Terminal, please contact us.

 

man in vehicle at port using app

Web apps put the power of information at your fingertips

All ports face a digital transformation. It’s not a matter of if, but when. The maritime ecosystem is growing, players are changing, cargo volumes are increasing and customers are demanding better service and efficiency. The only way for ports to survive this transforming environment is to grow along with it. The greatest influencer of this transformation is technology, so it’s not surprising that the number one prediction for the shipping supply chain in 2019 is more budget allocated to IT spend, according to the Navis Business Bellwether Report[1]. Much of that budget is expected to be targeted at new technologies to improve operational performance.

Tallyman confirms stow cargo  Master Terminal Mobile Apps duotone image of a man talking into a portable radio while on a terminal.

Traditionally a conservative bunch, Port Operators can’t argue the deafening demand for improved operations. Marco Neelsen, chief executive of Malaysia’s Port of Tanjung Pelepas (PTP) said at TOC Asia 2018: “It’s about how efficient you are, how quickly and how cost efficiently you can move the container from A to B.” [2]Ports that are brave enough to explore this digital world further, will benefit enormously, with even the smallest of steps forward.

A key part of the digital transformation driving smarter ports are mobile applications, or browser–based web apps, that complement your terminal operating system (TOS). These apps offer a user–friendly way to improve logistics management and cargo activities in real time, putting the power of information at your fingertips.

At Jade Logistics, we understand the importance of ensuring that technology is not a distraction, but a tool that allows users to be more efficient and ports to deliver better service to their customers. Our TOS, Master Terminal, is complemented by a Web Apps Suite that has been designed to make mobilizing your workforce a cost-effective solution that delivers real productivity and efficiency gains across your operation. These web apps support a ports’ deployment of TOS functionality at different levels and roles on the terminal, as well as providing choice with respect to compatible hardware devices. Automatic updates for the apps are provided in each release of Master Terminal and occur at the server level, eliminating the need for disruptive software upgrades and ensuring effortless maintenance.

Master Terminal’s comprehensive Web Apps Suite enable you to make informed business decisions using real-time data so that you can work smarter, not harder.

WEB PORTAL
Master Terminal Web Portal provides transparency of information to the wider supply chain, freeing up port staff to focus on core operational tasks. Offer your customers (including truckers, consignors, consignees, shipping companies, customs and government officials) access to selected Master Terminal functionality via a web browser. Empower your customers by providing access to real-time information about the status of their cargo and other relevant services.

VEHICLE BOOKING SYSTEM
Master Terminal’s Vehicle Booking System (VBS) allows you to easily manage the flow of vehicles throughout your gate operations. The VBS allows you to control vehicle arrival times to match your terminal’s work schedule, ensuring less downtime and congestion at the terminal gate.​ Schedule when transport operator vehicles can visit your terminal to evenly distribute the flow of vehicles throughout the hours of operation, and make better use of cargo handling machinery on the port.

VEHICLE APP
Increase driver productivity with the Master Terminal Vehicle app. Our vehicle app was designed with your drivers in mind, ensuring those at the coalface of the port are provided with real-time information that allows them to  seamlessly perform their work. Featuring an intuitive and easy to navigate interface with large buttons, the vehicle app is user-friendly and quick to learn, regardless of the user’s technical ability.

HANDHELD APPS
Extend your TOS functionality with Master Terminal’s cost-effective Handheld apps. There is an ever increasing need for real-time information and fulfilment. For terminal operators this means operating as efficiently as possible and optimizing turnaround times. Master Terminal’s suite of handheld apps allow you to make informed business decisions with accurate up-to-the-minute information, provide real-time monitoring and reporting, reduced human error, and ultimately offer better customer service.

TALLYMAN
Master Terminal Tallyman accurately captures final cargo stowage on a vessel in real time, online and offline. Working with Roll-On/Roll-Off (RORO) and Lift-On/Lift-Off (LOLO) planning in Jade Logistics’ Master Terminal, Tallyman operates on modern devices (optimized for screens greater than 7”) and web browsers. Even when working out of range of your terminal network (e.g. the hold of a ship), Tallyman’s offline store and forward capability ensures all data is captured and recorded. Tallyman assists in creating a more complete picture of cargo transactions, enabling ports to operate more efficiently.

Ensure you are port smart with web apps that can help you reduce delays and cost, while increasing throughput and efficiencies. A digital transformation can help you better manage your resources and ensure you remain competitive. Secure and embrace your smarter future!

If you would like to learn more about our Web Apps Suite and how Master Terminal can help you get port smart, please contact us.

 

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[1] Navis Business Bellwether Report (Download BPI Network Study). (2018, November). Retrieved February 22, 2019, from http://www.bpinetwork.org/thought-leadership/studies/69

[2] Neelsen, M. (2018, June 7). Port Strategy | Digitalisation more important than automation. Retrieved February 22, 2019, from https://www.portstrategy.com/news101/port-operations/planning-and-design/digitalisation-more-important-than-automation

Jade Logistics booth at TOC Europe

That’s a wrap! TOC Asia 2019 recap

Jade Logistics recently attended TOC Asia 2019 in Singapore, where we showcased our terminal operating system, Master Terminal.

Automation, Digitization and Standardization were the themes at TOC Asia this year.

Running alongside the exhibition was the high-level industry conference, Tech TOC, where a range of topics were discussed and debated by industry experts. These sessions address challenges in the industry and present an opportunity for attendees to learn about trends in the future. This year’s focus was on how best to use technology to save money and time, with an emphasis on collaboration (digitally and otherwise) with customers, cargo owners and landside supply chain operators.

These themes continued through the conversations we had with visitors to our booth, where we discussed degrees of automation at a port, and how terminal operators can best take advantage of the technology options available without investing in expensive capital infrastructure.

Thank you to our clients who came to see us, and to all new visitors to our booth – it was a pleasure to meet you. For those who did not get an opportunity to see us at TOC Asia, but would like to learn more about our terminal operating system (TOS), Master Terminal, we would like to extend an invitation to you to connect with Alexia Lyons, Jade Logistics Asia/Pacific Business Manager: alyons@jadelogistics.com

 

 

 

 

Jade Logistics booth at TOC Europe

TOC Europe 2018: Recap and highlights

Jade Logistics recently attended TOC Europe 2018 in Rotterdam, The Netherlands, where we showcased our terminal operating system, Master Terminal.

TOC Europe is the biggest event of the year for us and was especially exciting this year as we proudly displayed our rebranded visual identity on our booth. It was a busy three days and we enjoyed meeting so many of you there. Here is a short recap of our booth for those who want to know more:

New look Jade Logistics

This year we made a bold (40sqm!) statement with our presence, which allowed us to highlight the various aspects of Master Terminal – the leading terminal operating system (TOS) for mixed cargo ports.

Tony Davis, Director of Marketing, reported there was a high level of interest in Master Terminal, particularly in the mixed cargo space which is seeing continued growth, with a record number of demonstrations given by the team.

Jade Logistics Booth at TOC Europe 2018

Operating smarter: case study with Australian Amalgamated Terminals

Speaking at one of the TOC Europe Sessions was Vincent Macheda, General Manager – Systems & Strategy, Australian Amalgamated Terminals (AAT). Vincent spoke about how the use of innovative, agile and integrated technology, such as Master Terminal, has helped them increase efficiency and streamline processes at their mixed cargo terminal. This presentation was well received by attendees.

Port of Jade Logistics: Master Terminal is the dedicated TOS for mixed cargo terminals

A recurring topic of conversation at TOC Europe was the importance of a dedicated TOS for the mixed cargo market, given the challenges that mixed cargo presents to port operators.

Many visitors to our booth were drawn in by our Port of Jade Logistics illustration which allowed our team to show how Master Terminal works across a port’s entire operations. Designed for mixed cargo, Master Terminal provides a single integrated, real-time view of all operations and data, resulting in improved productivity and operational efficiency.

Live demos on the booth further proved this critical functionality.
The Port of Jade Logistics - map showing how Master Terminal TOS works across port operations.

Thank you – and see you next year!

Finally, thank you to everyone who stopped by and said hello during TOC Europe! If you missed us here, you can see us at Breakbulk Americas in Houston, 2-4 October, 2018.

Thanks for visiting the Master Terminal team!

Jade Logistics makes the case for mobile apps in ports

World Cargo News recently talked to us about the launch of our suite of new mobile apps. The article is reproduced below.

Jade Logistics has launched a suite of 30 new web-based hand-held mobile apps for its Master Terminal TOS. The apps deploy mobile functionality and data capture ability to any internet-connected mobile device running the Microsoft, Android or Apple operating systems.

With the new apps, Jade is ready to support ports’ deployment of TOS functionality at different levels to different roles on the terminal, without requiring proprietary ruggedised devices that it views as expensive and lacking flexibility.

The apps include a vehicle app for mobile equipment operators. Depending on the task, and the driver’s preference, various views are available including a graphical view and a list view. Among other features, users can toggle night mode, select twinmode and customise the app to display the most important information in the most prominent areas on screen.

Like all the Jade apps, the Vehicle app is updated at the server level, so there are no software updates needed at the device level to maintain the app.

Delphine Ducaruge, product manager, said the need for 30 different apps reflects the diversity of specific roles at marine terminals, and each app is for a specific purpose, such as truck checking at a gate, or reefer container monitoring. There is, she added, no risk that the number of apps could become a source of frustration to people on the ground using the Jade Master Terminal TOS. An administrator decides who has access to what apps, and most users will typically have access to only “a couple”, and will stay in a single app for several hours while they work.

Grupo CICE in Veracruz was part of the beta programme to test the new Master Terminal web-based mobile apps. “The suite of 30 web apps spans CICE’s entire port operation, from splitting and merging cargo, through to loading or unloading a truck, and replaces their long-serving Windows applications,” stated Jade. “CICE, who are forwardthinking technology enthusiasts, rigorously tested the new apps over a two-month period, working closely with Jade Logistics to ensure the functionality developed would deliver real benefits to their port.”

Genaro Mendez, director of information technology at CICE commented that the new web-based apps were a welcome addition to the company. “Today’s terminals must be more responsive,” he said. “They must adapt to new technology quickly to remain competitive. We recognised the benefits the web apps would deliver, and made the decision to upgrade as soon as they were released.”

The ability to use commodity hardware also resonated with CICE. “We no longer need to invest in expensive ruggedised equipment. Today’s readily available and inexpensive tablets and smartphones, with a supported web browser, are all that is required to use the apps,” said Mendez.

Using smartphones, tablets or laptops instead of so-called ruggedised devices challenges the conventional wisdom about the working environment in ports. As WorldCargo News has discussed previously, ports often purchase expensive ruggedised devices with high IP and Mil-Spec ratings that have proved to be more durable in industrial applications.

However, the gap between ruggedised and commodity devices has closed significantly in recent years (the iPhone 8 is rated to IP67, for example), and cases/covers can be used for extra protection.

Jade believes its apps can replace mobile computers connected to a TOS, across virtually the whole terminal. The STS cranes are the exception, and Ducaruge noted that, for safety reasons, “ports don’t want to add extra technology to the STS cranes”…

Published World Cargo News: November 2017.

Mobile Apps in action at CICE in Mexico

Jade Logistics recently released a suite of web-based mobile apps. The apps were put through rigorous testing by our customers, including CICE, a mixed cargo port in Mexico who have now implemented them across their operation.

We recently caught up with CICE to see how the apps are performing on their terminals.

Master Terminal at Breakbulk Americas

Our Jade Logistics, Master Terminal team will be exhibiting at Breakbulk Americas in Houston Texas from 17-19 October at booth 1305. 

This year we are also major sponsors of the TECHZONE where we will be showcasing our new suite of mobile apps. These new apps are designed to run on any modern tablet or smartphone with a supported web browser, without downloads or updates, making them very cost effective.

The apps feature a modern and intuitive user interface, from splitting and merging cargo right through to interterminal transfers, ensuring fast learning times. Data is recorded in real time so you can make smarter decisions faster.

Come along and see how our new apps can give you access to the information you need when you need it, saving time and helping you deliver excellent service to your customers.

Ready to learn more?  Visit us at Booth 1305 or get in touch with us at info@jadelogistics.com

Jade Logistics launches suite of mobile apps

Published on Breakbulk.com  June 18, 2017

Jade has announced the release of 30 new handheld apps to put more power in the hands of its users.

Running on any modern tablet or smartphone with a supported web browser, the handheld apps will give users on the terminal greater flexibility. Events are recorded in real time, allowing a terminal to make informed business decisions, provide accurate reporting and ultimately offer better customer service. For more information, view our handheld apps fact sheet.

Read the full article on the Breakbulk.com website.

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Jade plays host

Published on WorldCargo News, November 2016

Jade Logistics has implemented the first SaaS application of its Master Terminal terminal operating system (TOS) running on the cloud using Amazon Web Services (AWS). The system is operating at the Port of Everett in Washington State, a longstanding customer of Jade.

Speaking with WorldCargo News, Kaustubh Dalvi, Jade Logistics’ president of global sales, said he believes the time is right for terminals, particularly smaller facilities, to embrace SaaS for TOS delivery. “There can be a 40% reduction in cost – there is no two ways about it,” he said in an interview. Most of this is generated from savings in purchasing and supporting hardware.

A hosted TOS is certainly not a new concept, but WorldCargo News has noted several times that terminals have been reluctant to embrace the concept. Dalvi said one of the reasons it made sense for Everett was that Jade was already managing the TOS for the port onsite, including performing upgrades.“They have been comfortable with us for many years,” said Dalvi. While AWS will host the software on its servers, Jade will still manage the TOS fully for Everett.

Jade is now putting forward the SaaS option for customers to consider, but Dalvi stressed that they have to be comfortable with the concept, and some facilities want to see it proven elsewhere first.TOS applications, he added, are actually quite demanding in terms of their transactional load.

Another big concern is that putting software on the cloud leaves the terminal vulnerable to an interruption in internet service. Dalvi said this is a very real concern, with ports often at the edge of infrastructure networks, in areas where there is regular construction and redevelopment. The contractor that makes a mistake with a backhoe and cuts service, he added, is not just a hypothetical situation – real terminals have actually encountered this problem.

Redundancy is important, and how this is managed depends on the particular terminal, and its ability to access redundant connections. Dalvi noted that backup options can include cellular networks to send data, something Jade has experience with, as some of its customers use cellular services, rather than WiFi, to send information to the TOS at the terminal.

Depending on the size of the terminal, one option might be a hybrid system, where some aspects of the TOS are hosted locally to allow it to keep running in the event of a disruption.

Read the full article from WorldCargo News: Jade plays host.

Increase port yard safety with Master Terminal

How can you avoid employee injuries and fines at your port? 

Consequences of poor port safety: A poor safety record and ill-conceived processes are not only detrimental to personnel, but can result in negative publicity, legal cases, and fines for safety breaches which can severely affect your bottom line.

When an Ellesmere Port man’s hand was crushed at Cammell Laird shipyard, Cammell Laird was fined £400,000 for breaching the Health and Safety at Work Act. Although they had a Health and Safety Management System (HSMS) in place, it wasn’t implemented effectively across the organization.

This is a tragic and timely reminder that only having basic technology in place isn’t enough to create a safe and compliant port. Jade recommends using a three-pronged approach involving technology, people, and communication between the two.

Here are three ways to ensure Health and Safety compliance.

  1. Choose a terminal operating system (TOS) that includes a health and safety component.
  2. Ensure that technology-backed processes to minimize hazards are put in place and followed by a safety-conscious workforce.
  3. Separate machinery and labor in the yard. Port staff who operate heavy machinery need to receive notifications warning them of the areas where they can’t operate.

Regarding the Ellesmere Port incident, the Health and Safety Executive inspector said “If the HSMS had been followed this accident may not have occurred.”

Through working with local ports, Jade recognized the difficulty to action safety procedures. This knowledge led to the development of Master Terminal’s Labor On Block functionality. The guiding principal is that when ‘Labor is On the Block’, machinery is not allowed to enter an area.

Learn about how Labor On Block improves the safety of port yard workers and visitors and ensures procedures are being followed in our Yard Safety fact sheet.

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