EDI

MPET  “Montova are the lungs of our company. We focus on our growth, they do the rest.”

reading time: 3 minutes
10.12.2020
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Eric Peeters
Head of IT & Automation

Why Montova is critical for running the largest container terminal in Europe

MPET – central hub for MSC’s container ships    

 MSC PSA European Terminal (MPET) is the largest container terminal in Europe. Located in the Port of Antwerp, it acts as the central hub in Northern Europe for the MSC shipping line. Some of the largest container ships in the world are loaded and unloaded at MPET. The terminal accounts for more than 65% of the container volume in Antwerp.

In 2020, amidst the challenging COVID-pandemic, MPET kept on growing. They broke their own volume record and managed a throughput of 7.6 million TEU. To give an idea, a standard 20-foot container has a capacity of 1 TEU.  

For a company this size, the smooth and flexible exchange of electronic messages is critical. MPET relies on more than sixty partners with which it exchanges messages, such as barge, rail and truck companies, the customs and Antwerp Port authorities, and of course its own customers.

 

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The legacy challenge

The technology used at MPET was at the limits of its possibilities. It proved no longer robust and able to scale with the continuing growth of the company.

In addition, in the maritime ecosystem, partners change the formats and contents of messages all the time. In fact, change seems to be the only constant. As a result, any new system would have to generate, handle and process messages with maximum flexibility. It should, critically, allow the operators to apply changes without having to rely on IT expertise.

 

On top, it had become expensive and really labor intensive to integrate MPET’s messaging with the various IT systems of all the partners. Also, the legacy system proved to be too much of a black box, with limited visibility what went on inside. That is a feature that is cumbersome in the best of times, but really worrisome when operational issues or errors arise.

 

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The Montova solution

Montova’s experts studied the requirements at MPET and integrated a new system at the heart of the company’s business. A cloud solution that can grow, that is flexible, that can easily be kept up-to-date, and that seamlessly and effortlessly scales with MPET’s growth. At the same time, it remains compatible with MPET’s older systems, such as the TOS, the Terminal Operating System. TOS is the ERP of container terminals.

Montova is an open connectivity platform, meaning it doesn’t force the customers into specific formats. Whichever format or communication the partners want to use, Montova allows them easy access, with no impact on their way of working.

“Montova takes care of exchanging all necessary data with our many business partners. This flow of information is the force that keeps the heart of our company beating. As we will continue growing for the foreseeable future, we need partners that are able to scale up in line with our expectations. Montova has proven to be the perfect match.”

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With its EDI desk tool, the operators at MPET can implement changes on the fly. This allows them to adapt quickly to the circumstances and keep the company’s container flow running without downtime.

Montova is a managed solution. So MPET can be assured that it will run smoothly at all times without having to keep IT experts available around the clock. The result for MPET are lower operational costs and a much reduced need for accidental, last-minute interventions. 

Montova is transparent; the flow of the messages can be followed in detail. This makes it possible to examine and audit processes, in much greater detail than used to be the case.

Critical for MPET

Montova is reliable and robust. An accurate, continuous, on-time flow of information is vital for tracking, planning and control at the container terminal. Being a cloud solution, Montova has the exact performance required by MPET. Always. Fast communication ensures that the ships can be unloaded without delay. That is crucial because the operational impact of any lost time is considerable.