APM Terminals Bahrain has launched the 'Lift' portal which allows customers to track and trace their goods, check the status of shipments and vessels and schedule deliveries - 24 hours per day, seven days a week.
Lift works to optimize operations by allowing customers real-time visibility into the status of the cargo in a container facility, enabling them to manage all aspects of the terminal process and improving their business at the same time. The new system is seen as being a major step in the digitization of logistical services.
Using a user-friendly interface, Lift connects users to the terminal and allows them to access up-to-date data from any device. Appointments for destuffing containers can be scheduled, invoices received and payments made, all online.
By enabling customers to use these services online, the system eliminates the need for agents to be present in person, saving time and reducing costs. It also creates transparency surrounding the readiness of their shipments which supports improved efficiency for importers.
The Lift system has been launched by APM Terminals Bahrain, which operates Khalifa Bin Salman Port (KBSP), a multi-purpose facility for domestic cargo and cruise traffic and a trans-shipment hub for the growing Gulf shipping market.
Improving user experience
The portal was inaugurated by transportation and telecommunications minister Kamal Ahmed during a ceremony at Wyndham Grand Hotel. The minister praised the port operator for introducing advanced digital systems to improve user-experience and operations and for selecting Bahrain as one of two countries globally for the pilot launch of the Lift platform.
APM Terminals Bahrain managing director Mark Hardiman said new technologies are helping to modernise ports.
“With supply chains becoming global, technology is having a major impact on improving accessibility and efficiency for the port sector. We are committed to investing in KBSP's digital future to support Bahrain's transportation and logistics sector-growth," he said.
“By enabling customers to access services online, we are eliminating the need for agents to be present in person, saving time and related costs. The portal also creates real-time visibility of shipments and available slots which helps importers to better plan their business."
Customer feedback of the new system has been very positive and commercial uptake strong.
"Lift is a perfect solution for my business as it is not only easy to use and spares the physical effort of travelling to the port, but also provides the much required transparency for my customers on the availability of appointment slots," said Lathish Nair, Managing Director of Samson Freight. Previously administrators would have to visit the terminal twice every day to book and pay for services but Lift has cut this to one trip in the last month.
Credit card payments improve cash flow
"With the use of credit card payments, we now benefit from the administration of cash management and get a credit period before payment through the card provider which improves our working capital," said Shehbaz Ameen, senior manager freight at Agility.
Mondelez, the company behind Oreo cookies and many other brands, is benefiting from "increased visibility and planning upsides through information on Lift which was previously unavailable" according to Jose Llagan, the production and logistics manager at Mondelez International.