Georgia Ports Authority Installs New Break-Bulk Cargo Tracking System
The Georgia Ports Authority (GPA) is implementing a new tracking system “to process break-bulk cargo more quickly, and provide real-time freight tracking” for shippers moving cargo through the Port of Savannah.
“The new system means faster service and better communication with our break-bulk customers,” said GPA Executive Director Curtis Foltz. “It is another facet of our ongoing effort to improve GPA operations and reduce the transit times of cargo flowing across our docks.”
The General Cargo System (GCS) software shows cargo headed to the Port of Savannah and its current stage in transit, enabling the GPA to prepare for and expedite handling of shipments, down to the item level.
Offering faster truck turn times and improved cargo visibility for the authority and its customers, the technology also enables the port authority to detect and order deadline cargo as it becomes available at a Savannah rail yard, Foltz said.
To create GCS, GPA “brought together a diverse team of operational, technical, and financial personnel. The system streamlines business, improves communications, and brings technology to the warehouse floor, resulting in a more flexible and efficient break-bulk operation,” he added.
The system includes automated communications for advanced shipping notices, rail car availability and stuffing orders, as well as improved on-terminal inventory control.
According to Bill Sutton, GPA director of information technology, the aim of implementing the new system “was to collect shipping data prior to cargo arrival,” said “GCS strengthens the efficiency of field operations by recording in real time cargo reception, inventory, and stuffing orders. The result has been dramatic time savings. Railcar ordering that previously took two hours of manual processing now takes only 15 minutes to complete.”
The move “also greatly reduced manual data entry and data lag, while providing information access for management, administrative and field personnel,” said Sutton. “The new tracking system aids planning through early notification of incoming trucks and railcars, as well as the cargo each is carrying.”