Jade wins US ports contract

TAMLYN STEWART
Last updated 07:58 04/02/2013

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Christchurch software firm Jade has secured a major deal with a United States-based ports logistics business that will use Jade's port management software in that market.

Diversified Port Holdings (DPH) will implement Jade's Master Terminal operating system at five of its shipping terminals in the southeastern United States.

Jade Software managing director David Lindsay said the contract was "sizeable in dollar terms" and would expand Jade's footprint in the US.

"One of the things we think they're doing is looking for other port holdings around North and South America. So it's a really good expansion opportunity for us," Lindsay said.

DPH already has ports in Mobile, New Orleans, Port Everglades and two in Jacksonville.

Representatives from the port logistics company had visited New Zealand in July to see Master Terminal in use at Port Nelson, Port Otago and CentrePort in Wellington.

"From our point of view the excitement is obviously around the size of the contract, but for us what we're seeing is a fairly rapid progression for Master Terminal that's really getting us to the point where we have an opportunity to be a leading player in the market on a global stage," Lindsay said.

DPH had wanted a system that had the flexibility to manage mixed cargo, not just container cargo, and Master Terminal provided that, Lindsay said.

"The whole marine terminal market is growing at around 5 per cent but the mixed cargo market, which the smaller ports handle, is growing in excess of 20 per cent per annum so we're really in the right part of the market."

Once its software was in place at DPH's five ports, the US would account for 20 per cent of its Master Terminal business, with 25 per cent coming from the Middle East and 25 per cent from New Zealand. The remainder comes from Europe, Australia and other outlying ports in countries such as Brazil.

Master Terminal generated just more than 20 per cent of Jade's overall revenue and it was growing rapidly, Lindsay said.

Jade's Joob business accounted for about 20 per cent of the software company's total revenue. The mainstay of Jade's earnings was still enterprise development for blue chip customers in Europe and New Zealand.

"That's a very long-term solid revenue stream for us," Lindsay said.

Jade would continue to expand its sales and technical teams in the US over the next few years. At present it has about 10 staff in the US.

DPH chief information officer Dennis Rhodes said that after reviewing the terminal operating systems available, the company had been impressed by the functionality and use of Master Terminal and the capability of the Jade team.

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"We expect, once implemented, that Master Terminal will result in improved efficiency across our terminals and lead to significant savings for the company," Rhodes said. DPH will start implementing Master Terminal at its ports within the next two months.

- The Press

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