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Australian Bulk Handling Review

August 2013

Information technology: the aid for optimising bulk terminal logistics

Information technology (IT) is a useful tool for improving the handling efficiency of bulk terminals and consequently reducing costs. To achieve this objective it is essential that the IT system is embedded into process flow and integrated into the operation system and considered as a part of the whole system, rather than treated merely as a tool for financial and administrative purposes. This paper explains why an optimal IT architecture ought to be selected, and how it is built and integrated into the terminal operation system at bulk terminals. Together with other significant aspects such as process flow mapping, real time data obtained through interfaces to other systems (e.g. automation, weighing) this optimal IT architecture shows improvements in handling efficiency and cost saving. In addition, three case studies that show the successful examples in real practice are presented. These case studies demonstrate how various operational issues can be solved by well-considered and well-implemented information technology systems.