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EDS Australia to trial single portal at Port of Melbourne

<p>The Port of Melbourne would trial new technology designed to increase cargo movement by integrating information from thousands of users into one online system, Victorian ports minister Tim Pallas and technology services company EDS Australia said yesterday (Thursday, January 17). </p> <p>The Australian arm of the global IT firm won a Department of Infrastructure 12-month contract that aims to eventually replicate the success of Spain’s Port of Valencia, one of the first in the world to successfully integrate a port’s supply chain into a single information portal.</p> <p>"Efficiencies will be gained by streamlining documents and information via the portal, saving time and reducing the need for duplication," Mr Pallas said.</p> <p>"Since implementing a single information portal, the Port of Valencia has impoved the time to process container movements, providing more than Euro5 in savings per container.</p> <p>"Many of the shipping lines that go through the port of Melbourne also go through the Port of Valencia, so they will be familiar with using this technology."</p> <p>EDS will design, build and operate what will be known as the Electronic Documentation and Information Transfer system (eDIT).</p> <p>EDS Australia managing director Chris Mitchell said the Port of Valencia had improved the time to process a container by 50%-60% in the last five years and provided savings across its port community.</p> <p>&#8220The Spanish have now moved to commercialise this technology and have linked with EDS to introduce the system to other ports around the world,&#8221 he said.</p> <p>The 12-month pilot would involve about 10 different organisations, including the port authority, shipping and freight companies as well as importers and exporters, EDS said.</p> <p>The aim is to integrate their information and documentation in key areas such as berth booking, container status, trade directory, hazardous cargo and ship arrivals and departures. </p> <p>The system will enable participants to be the first to trial improved services to offer their customers, helping them to be more competitive, win cargo and earn customer loyalty by improving their processes.</p> <p>Melbourne-based IT consulting firm Red Wahoo, which specialises in B2B technology and has previously mapped the Port of Melbourne supply chain, will work with EDS during the pilot.</p> <p>While EDS appears to have had a successful and uncontroversial run of government and private outsourcing and IT contracts &#8211 not least with the Goods and Services Tax and the two-year Australian Taxation Office contract extension last October &#8211 the same cannot be said of its British experience.</p> <p>So far this decade, it has run into trouble there with systems for the Child Support Agency, armed forces payroll and tax credits service.</p> <p>An EDS Australia spokeswoman said: "We do operate as a separate entities in the different regions that we operate in. But, of course, we learn from mistakes in other areas as well." </p> <br />