Panama Canal rolls out new vessel scheduling system

Sarah Carter
Sarah Carter

16 March 2017


In response to growing traffic through the waterway, the Panama Canal announced today that it will launch a state-of-the-art vessel scheduling and maritime resource management system to further optimise costs, improve safety and increase the overall efficiency and reliability of the service it provides. Panama Canal Administrator Jorge L. Quijano said: "This system will help carry that legacy forward, allowing us to tap the potential of technology to provide better solutions for our customers as we increasingly manage more transits and adapt to shifts in global trade." The recently announced system will transform how the Panama Canal plans and schedules transit operations. For the first time, the Canal will be able to execute a completely integrated operating plan for all of its critical resources, including tugboats, pilots and line handlers. By improving situational awareness and by having more accurate data, the new system will allow for better decision-making, which will in turn help mitigate operational risk. Further, the system will help reduce costs by optimising resource allocation. The new technology will also benefit Canal customers, including shippers, by shortening vessel waiting times, increasing the number of potentially available vessel slots each day and improving the overall reliability of the route. "Using advanced modeling language, we'll be able to leverage path-optimisation algorithms and mathematical, constraint and graphical programming to optimise scheduling and resource utilisation," said Arnoldo Cano, Panama Canal Program Manager for the ACP Renewal of Processes and Core Systems. "Simply put, the technology is best-in-class, and we're excited to work with our partners at Quintiq to bring it to bear for the Canal and its customers." Quintiq is a company part of Dassault Systèmes, which has specialised in delivering supply chain planning and optimisation software to the maritime, transportation and logistics industries for more than 20 years.