Forwarding an article from the local paper…
January 9, 2012 – 6:58pm By BILL POWER Business Reporter [the Chronicle Herald, Halifax Nova Scotia]
A contract for logistics software will allow Nicom Maritime, a division of Nicom IT Solutions Inc., of Halifax, to help officials at Virginia International Terminals in Norfolk track one of North America’s busiest flows of containers, partner Pat d’Entremont said Monday.
“This is a huge seaport, with more than 32,000 feet of track within its facilities,” said d’Entremont.
“Accurate data of container movement is critical.”
He said the terms of the deal with Virginia International Terminals do not allow him to discuss the actual value of the contract except to say it is in the six figures.
“It is not huge, but it is a significant contract for us,” he said.
Completing the project is expected to take months and could potentially lead to more work with other ports in the United States, he said.
Software from Nicom Maritime is used by the Port of Halifax to monitor container traffic and to help port officials determine how fast containers are travelling by rail back-and-forth to southern Ontario and some major U.S. inland destinations.
The challenge with Virginia International Terminals is tracking container movements within the large port facility.
The system will measure container movement throughout the seaport and outward. It will also provide data designed to help the port minimize the amount of time containers sit idle.
Networking opportunities provided at the 2010 annual conference of the American Association of Port Authorities in Halifax helped secure the contract, said d’Entremont.
At that event, he gave a presentation on how Nicom Maritime software was used by the Port of Halifax to help it meet its requirements under a Level of Service Agreement with Canadian National that clocks how long containers sit idle and monitors inland trips to destinations by rail.
“It shows the value of participating in industry-specific events such as this,” d’Entremont said.
Virginia is the firth-largest container port in the U.S., handling about a million containers a year.
“Getting immediate feedback on its usage is a priority,” said d’Entremont.
Nicom Maritime recently added three other new seaport clients: the Port of Saint John’s, the Hamilton Port Authority and the Laurentian Pilotage Authority.
The firm has done other seaport-related work in Atlantic Canada, the Great Lakes region, the Caribbean, Philadelphia, and Jacksonville, Fla., and is on track to open up new markets elsewhere, said d’Entremont.
“Our work in the seaport industry has been the catalyst that has allowed Nicom to grow beyond Atlantic Canada,” he said.
“With new clients in the United States and throughout Canada, we are seeing growth that we expect will continue for years to come.”
Nicom IT Solutions, owned by d’Entremont and David Nicholson, is an information technology professional services firm based in Halifax specializing in IT consulting, software development, technical support, Internet marketing, and web design and development.