ABP Newport

3 min read
Dec 21, 2023 11:08:14 AM

abp-logo-1Associated British Ports (ABP) is the UK’s leading ports group. With twenty-one ports and other transport-related businesses, they have created a unique national network, capable of handling a vast array of cargo. Each year, they contribute £7.5 billion to the UK economy and support over 119,000 jobs.  

ABP was seeking a software partner to help manage agribulk operations at their terminal in Newport, South Wales. As part of their drive for wider standardisation and connectivity across their portfolio, they were looking for a system that would allow them to streamline their operation, as well as integrate their manual and automatic assets, personnel, and management information across all sites. 

TBA Group is a leading provider of software for ports, terminals and warehouses with over 150 live installations worldwide. Following successful implementations at ABP terminals in Teignmouth, Hull and King’s Lynn, TBA’s CommTrac system was again identified as the best solution. 

The CommTrac bulk terminal operating system (TOS) optimises non-containerised cargo management. Highly scalable, CommTrac provides the tools, precision, and management information essential to simplify cargo operations. 


Strong collaboration

Working alongside TBA’s experienced team, ABP Newport established a comprehensive framework agreement to ensure maximum collaboration with the stakeholders at all aspects of the project were delivered on time and on budget.

"The deployment of CommTrac V4 at ABP Newport has been a seamless transition, thanks to the strong collaboration between ABP's operational and IT teams and outstanding support from TBA Group. ABP's customers and hauliers have already provided positive feedback on the new system and reports, and ABP is eager to continue improving bulk-handling operations with CommTrac V4."

Tom Batchelor (Head of Operations, Newport)

Since going live in February 2023, the improvements to the Newport site have been felt at every level of the operation. Core features of CommTrac have led to: far more accurate records of vessel details, berthing locations, dates and times; detailed and easily accessible manifest data; collection tickets that offer more detail and clarity; an improved ability to evidence and capture additional invoicing requirements, ensuring greater profitability; and, crucially, a dramatically improved turnaround time for the port’s customers.

There is now a sophisticated and deep understanding and visibility of stock levels, locations and commodity dwell time, as well as improvements in quality assurance, particularly when assembling discharge orders.

And when things do wrong, such as mechanical breakdowns, weather events or staff shortages, these can also be recorded and analysed to help inform and maintain ABP’s culture of continuous improvement.


Increasing value and visibility

An important objective of the project from the start was increased value and visibility for ABP’s customers. CommTrac not only allows staff to monitor and react accordingly to live information, it also provides their customers with 24/7 access to this information with a greater degree of accuracy and confidence.

It is fair to say that the deployment of the CommTrac system has been a huge success. Within just a few days, ABP’s hauliers and customers were already commenting on the benefits of the new system and highlighting the improvements it has made possible.

Before the implementation of CommTrac, ABP Newport was unable to track any meaningful KPIs on the performance of the port. They now have the ability to create their own custom dashboards, providing both business intelligence to the management team as well as their customers. General reporting is also much richer in detail, quicker to generate and far more accurate.

Finally, a core aspect of ABP’s business plan is their ‘Ready For Tomorrow’ sustainability strategy, which commits the business to being Net Zero by 2040. Greater efficiency through the adoption of systems such as CommTrac also have a contribution to make to this important goal by reducing fuel consumption and waste.

"The alliance between ABP and TBA Group has enabled us to seamlessly collaborate and establish a sturdy framework agreement that fully aligns with ABP's goal of standardising their bulk cargo terminals. With the successful deployment of CommTrac in five ABP terminals, we continue to fine-tune the system, resulting in increased value and reduced lead times.”
David Trueman - Managing Director, TBA Group

Find out more about our CommTrac solutions for bulk cargo ports.