Richmond Marine Terminal, in Richmond, Virginia, US, has implemented the Navis SPARCS N4 terminal operating system (TOS) as part of an upgrade of its systems at terminals across the state.

Port of Richmond will be the first of six facilities to install SPARCS N4 TOS and the second marine terminal in North America to go live with the system.

Navis’ TOS is also used by Virginia International Terminals, which was previously run by APM Terminals.

Navis president and CEO Bill Walsh said that as larger ships come into play, terminals will be required to improve their productivity and customer service.

"By adopting the SPARCS N4 platform, The Richmond Marine Terminal will be able to deliver significant benefits to its customers that will help the terminal compete in an increasingly competitive marketplace," Walsh said.

Navis SPARCS N4 provides real-time data about cargo en route to the terminal operator and shipper, and unites the terminal’s entire operating system in a single format and provides critical data, in real time, to its users.

It enables the terminal operator to get live information on truck and barge moves at the Port of Richmond, which is a barge port leased by the Virginia Port Authority that manages break-bulk and bulk cargo throughout all modes of transportation.

SPARCS N4, which combines all Navis solutions, was selected by the Port of Virginia for the project, as it also provides API solutions to connect with third party vendor applications.

Richmond Marine Terminal is the first within the Virginia Port Authority (VPA) to launch SPARCS N4.

Since 1994, VPA terminals have been using Navis software on legacy systems; replacing it with SPARCS N4 will help Richmond to improve operational efficiencies, such as manual data entry.

The company said that Norfolk International Terminal in Virginia, US, will be the next facility to install SPARCS N4 in May 2013.