Transnet Port Terminals (TPT) says the Port of Cotonou in Benin has experienced a 20% improvement in port efficiencies since the deployment of a skilled TPT team in January this year.

TPT has a contract with the BeniSA Maritime Project which, among others, includes redesigning the SOBEMAP’s port yard to assist container volume growth and increase productivity, as well as the installation of TPT’s in-house-developed GCOS3 terminal operating system.

The Project is part of the Transnet global expansion strategy, which entails growing Transnet’s customer base, diversifying its income streams and looking for new business opportunities in Southern Africa.

TPT Country Manager for BeniSA, Lulamile Mtetweni, says the TPT’s GCOS3 team has successfully completed comprehensive peer review testing on the container module that will be used at SOBEMAP.

She adds that SOBEMAP’s business process flows have been reviewed against the tested system, with the necessary server equipment being couriered to Benin. User acceptance testing will soon commence at the terminal.

“Our goal is to improve operational performance by streamlining current processes at the Port of Cotonou, which entails the migration of many of their manual systems to become fully automated. The introduction of GCOS3™ is a key component to this exercise as the modules have functionality for receiving and dispatching cargo, stack planning, cargo tracking and inventory management. It can also integrate into other port’s community systems – allowing interfacing with government departments, shipping agents, cargo agents, cargo owners, transporters and other trading partners and ERP systems,” explained Mtetweni.

TPT’s CE, Karl Socikwa, adds that the objective is for TPT to be recognised as a leading logistics service provider in sub-Saharan Africa. “We are confident the results of this project will attest to that,” he says.

The next phase of the Project to be implemented is the skills development of SOBEMAP employees through personalised training at the Transnet Maritime School of Excellence, which will allow for a sustained operation in the medium to long term and training will include general management, operations and supervisory training.