Wouter Tielemans +32 475 94 40 10

PSA Antwerp

Planning software juggles the schedules of Antwerp dockers

Planning the work in a port is not easy. Dockers are day-labourers: their work has to be scheduled every day. Moreover, there are a number of unpredictable factors such as the weather at sea, or the speed of the other ports. Transhipment company PSA Antwerp decided to tackle two challenges simultaneously: optimize the planning of the port workers and reinforce the communication between the dockers and PSA. PSA joined forces with Ordina to do this. The solution: a flexible planning and communication platform, seamlessly integrated with other systems.

PSA Antwerp Contact Contact Wouter Tielemans


Transhipment company PSA Antwerp is a subsidiary of PSA International, one of the largest port groups in the world. PSA has a global network of 20 port projects spread across 11 countries, including Singapore, Belgium, China, Europe, India, South Korea and Japan. In 2002, PSA HNN was created by a merger of two terminal operators and a takeover by the PSA group. This made the company the largest loader and unloader of containers in the port of Antwerp. In 2010, PSA HNN was renamed PSA Antwerp.


Previously, PSA HNN - the name by which PSA Antwerp was then known - relied on the services of the 'Central Automatic Dispatch System’ (CADS). The terminals sent their requests for dockers to the dispatch system. They drew up the planning schedule and sent back the result. After more than ten years, however, that system was showing its limitations. The implementation of the dockers’ schedules sometimes changed at the last minute, for example, because ships were delayed. Therefore, PSA could not see immediately the costs incurred for customers. That entailed a lot of extra work afterwards. Also, communication with the dockers was very labour-intensive. Their schedule was notified over the phone. Finally, the training or supervision of the dockers was planned manually - and therefore less quickly.


Via a partnership with Ordina, PSA opted for the Quintiq Advanced Planning & Scheduling (APS) software. This enables the dispatch department to plan the schedules of several thousand dockers centrally. The system also serves as a flexible communication platform for the dockers. On a portal, they can now view their schedule, indicate their availability or request holidays. They can receive their schedule by text message. To confirm their schedule they can call a toll-free number. The 'interactive voice response' system – ‘the talking lady' - does the rest. The system was integrated with numerous other applications. For example, the planning is linked to the payroll calculation for the dockers. And using the link to the HR system, the system automatically schedules coaches for training courses or supervision.


The system not only enables PSA to plan efficiently, but also to monitor the actual work done by the dockers. This shows the planners the real cost of operations for customers. Every day, the operational departments receive performance reports. Where necessary, they can take corrective action immediately. The dockers are totally in agreement with the digital revolution. Thanks to the range of new communication channels, they can also work more efficiently and conveniently. The professional communication also strengthens their commitment to their employer. 90 to 95% of the planning is now done automatically, and therefore much faster than before. Peaks and troughs in the workload - inevitable in ports - are therefore handled effectively.