European tank terminal operator Evos has begun using a digital connection to the Hamburg Port Authority (HPA). Via a new interface to a cloud communication service, the tank terminal and the HPA now exchange train data fully automatically – manual entry and transfer by employees are no longer necessary. The solution was developed and implemented by the specialist for tank terminal software solutions, Implico.
Every year, thousands of railcars are handled at the Evos terminal in the port of Hamburg. These ensure the rail-based supply of various hydrocarbon products from different refineries and terminals. Until now, an incoming freight train meant a lot of manual work for the Evos team: The employees had to record each arriving railcar by hand, including the associated master data. Based on this information, they generated the required unloading order. This process was both time-consuming and error-prone. Now that the HPA and the terminal management system OpenTAS Blue Edition used by Evos are connected, the terminal operators receive all information about incoming freight trains in advance: The data is imported into the system via an interface and the unloading order is generated automatically.
To further digitalise the remaining safety check of the railcars, Evos has planned the introduction of additional mobile devices. These handhelds will be integrated into the terminal management system. They allow the terminal crew to check the railcars directly and digitally – from the master data to the sequence of the wagons to the visual security inspection via checklist. This increases safety as the employees cannot overlook anything. In addition, the use of handhelds eliminates redundant tasks and supports the field staff optimally with state-of-the-art technology. Consequently, it makes the process much more efficient.
Sebastian Palandt, Manager IT and OT at Evos Hamburg, explains: ‘With the new interface and the planned handhelds, we take a big step towards the further digitalization of our processes. For the deliveries that reach us by rail, we now receive all relevant information in advance – be it the actual wagon data, the order data or the details of the products loaded. Furthermore, the usage of mobile devices directly on site at the train significantly increases the level of transparency and security’.
Newest technology for future-proof digitisation
The data exchange between the HPA system TransPORTRail and the terminal management system OpenTAS used by Evos is carried out via the innovative web service ‘iGOS Data Exchange’ from the tank terminal IT specialist Implico. In the implementation of the project, the experts used many innovations, such as the state-of-the-art cloud technologies Docker and Kubernetes.
Thomas Roller, Head of Sales, Marketing & Business Development at Implico, outlines the background: ‘Implico develops cloud-based solutions that find usage along the entire oil and gas supply chain. Since these web services are extremely flexible, companies can implement them quickly and use them easily. The rail interface used by Evos is part of a broad portfolio and marks an important step in the digitalisation of tank terminals’.