Landside Information Control

The shipping industry is demanding better and faster information utilizing electronic data interchange with all marine terminals. These demands and increasing competition are forcing the smaller marine terminals to consider computer and automation systems that were once the domain of only the largest terminals. These systems are now available to the smaller terminals because powerful computers are available at dramatically reduced costs. In addition, packaged computer programs using industry standard software are available. In order to obtain the full benefits of the computer system, the smaller terminal must find a total computer solution that can be installed in the current terminal operation. Once installed, the computer system should support the terminal's growth from the current operation to as automated an operation as is economically justified. This paper examines the typical growth path for the marine terminal's computer system from simple bookkeeping needs into a computer directed operation. It reviews the computer hardware and software considerations that support this growth. In the software area, recent industry standards are examined which allow the terminal operator to pull total computer solutions together. Finally, the paper reviews state of the art software architectures that allow the terminal operator to maintain the computer software directly, without the help of a computer professional.