EDS was awarded a 12-month contract with the Victorian Department of Infrastructure to run a pilot program to trial new technology designed to dramatically increase cargo movement for the Port of Melbourne by integrating information from thousands of users into one online system.

The program aims to replicate the success of Spain’s Port of Valencia, one of the first in the world to successfully integrate a port’s supply chain into a single information portal.

“The Port of Valencia improved the time to process a container by 50-60 percent in the last five years and provided savings across its port community,” said Chris Mitchell, EDS Australia managing director. “The Spanish have now moved to commercialize this technology and have linked with EDS to introduce the system to other ports around the world.”

The Port of Melbourne currently moves about two million containers annually—almost 40 percent of Australia’s international container trade. With traffic expected to more than double over the next 30 years, the Port of Melbourne is in a position to achieve major improvements in both efficiency and cost.

The 12-month pilot will involve about 10 different organizations, including the Port Authority, shipping and freight companies as well as importers and exporters.

The aim is to integrate information and documentation in key areas such as berth booking, container statues, trade directory, hazardous cargo and ship arrivals and departures. The system will enable participants to be the first to trial improved services to offer their customers, helping them to be more competitive, win cargo and earn customer loyalty by improving their processes.

Melbourne-based IT consulting firm Red Wahoo, which specializes in business-to-business technology and has previously mapped the Port of Melbourne supply chain will work with EDS during the pilot.

“The intention is to provide far greater access to shipping, cargo and transport operations information, remove duplication and achieve higher quality, more reliable data,” Mitchell said. “Cargo transactions involve a broad mix of public and private organizations with varying degrees of IT maturity and legacy systems, and we are looking forward to working with the Victorian Government and the port community on proving the viability of this system to allow future growth at the port.”