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MiRO Seeing Through SEABERTH

February 27, 2014

Miro Seeing Through SEABERTH – Introduction

As activity at the Karlsruhe terminal in Germany steadily increased, management recognised the need not only to make new investment in infrastructure but to identify a more sophisticated and streamlined approach to the management challenge. In recent years, the terminal, operated by MiRO on behalf of ConocoPhillips, ExxonMobil, Ruhr Oel and Shell, had become a key axis in their supply chains. As a result, throughput had virtually doubled, leading to increased complexities in the scheduling of the harbour, while customer dissatisfaction was growing, caused by longer waiting times and the associated higher demurrage costs.

In addition to a number of technical improvements to the port, MiRO also sought to take its berthing processes to a new level, moving on from an exclusive reliance on Excel spreadsheets, SAP tools and the experience of its managers, to the latest generation of technology enabled procedures. Consequently, MiRO acquired SEABERTH, the unique web based berth scheduling and planning tool as well as strategic decision support system, developed by Cirrus Logistics.

Transparent Operations

Since both the schedulers of the incoming vessels and the ship dispatchers shared the same clear overview through their computer screens, they were able to easily identify available capacities in the harbour at any one time. Furthermore, MiRO’s partners could track the status of their ships at anytime via an Intranet and, then, using SAP, communicate with the terminal manager to ensure the best possible berthing arrangement.

Collective Communications

The enhanced communication and coordination between all parties proved a major bonus. The highly graphic way that SEABERTH illustrates activity meant that operations and the implications of constraints and changes were easily understood by MiRO employees and, where planning with partners had previously involved fax, phone or letter, SEABERTH replaced this with real time electronic communications substantially reducing administration.

Looking into the Future

Most recently, MiRO has applied SEABERTH’s simulation capabilities to run a series of ‘What if?’ scenarios in the computer environment assessing the implications of future change in the operation, from a jetty unavailable due to repair work through to the effect on waiting times for ships if throughput increases further. As MiRO populated SEABERTH with historic information, an accurate reflection of the current situation was built up. The ‘What if?’ simulations were then synthesised from this benchmark and these can continue to be run, building on lessons learnt in each exercise until an optimal operation is determined for the future.

“SEABERTH helps us make better scheduling decisions because we can see the real situation in a way that our managers, despite their experience, simply could not. In most cases, SEABERTH makes proposals that our users agree with. The point is we can now see why and that gives us confidence in our decisions.”
Christoph Moser
Head of the Scheduling and Shipping