The Port of Virginia has launched its Navis N4 terminal operating system at Norfolk International Terminals two weeks ahead of the scheduled July 4 start date.
The Navis N4 system at NIT is being introduced in parallel with other improvements, including the phase-in of an appointment system aimed at smoothing peaks and valleys in the terminal’s truck traffic.
“At NIT, we now have the technology infrastructure in place for a 21st century terminal operating system,” said John Reinhart, the Virginia Port Authority’s CEO and executive director.
Migration to the new system began Friday, and the launch has gone smoothly, Reinhart said. N4 was used for terminal and rail operations Saturday, and to work vessels Saturday night.
“There were no reportable incidents, and the team was very comfortable in this new environment,” Reinhart said. “Now the team is in the stage of building familiarity with the technology, and based on their training and preparation, we are encouraged by the progress.”
The Navis N4 system at NIT was two years in development. It replaces a 25-year-old legacy system. Port officials say N4 will provide real-time visibility throughout NIT’s operation, short- and long-term planning capacity, and flexibility to customize features as demand requires.
The new terminal operating system is designed to allow NIT to mesh with automated truck gates being installed to support the phase-in of a truck appointment system.
The truck appointment system’s first phase, introduced May 1, was voluntary and designed to help everyone become comfortable with the system. Truckers were permitted to make reservations, but there have been penalties.
The next phase, scheduled to be introduced Aug. 18, will require truckers to advise of plans to make pickups or deliveries within a certain time span on a particular day, such as 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Thursday.
Drivers will be required to make pickups or deliveries on the scheduled day, but adherence to specific time slots won’t be required until after new gate system is installed and tested.