The development of the SpotLight App by Transnet Port Terminals (TPT) is a recent innovation that has already received interest and positive feedback from key maritime and transport stakeholders such as the South African Association of Ship Operators and agents (SAASOA) and members of the Harbour Carriers Association. An in-depth demonstration and interactive workshop about TPT’s SpotLight App was hosted on Monday 16th January 2016 at TPT’s Durban Container Terminal to educate the supply chain about how to quickly and easily track and trace vessels, containers and trucks within TPT’s respective container terminal operations through the download and use of the app.

Transnet Port Terminals (TPT) is a critical link in the logistics chain facilitating cargo between South Africa and the rest of the world. With escalating pressures on global supply chain logistics, container terminals around the world need to operate at peak performance to stay competitive and maintain profitability. TPT has identified that technology is an area where they can evolve and adopt digital innovations that will add real value to TPT’s customers and stakeholders.

“In 2017 we are looking to promote the use of our SpotLight App to all customers and stakeholders because we really believe the convenience of this portal will not only add value to the customer, but it will also assist us in improving relations with our customers and clients. Transnet prides itself on a culture of innovation. The SpotLight Application is proof that Transnet aims to consistently improve our customer experience and excel in the customer value creation,” stated Thula Dlamini, TPT KZN Regional Manager: Business Planning and Performance Monitoring.


The SpotLight App, which is available for free on the Google Playstore for Android phones and Apple iTunes for iPhones, was developed internally by TPT over a period of three years and as a result has a number of useful tools for the industry to tap into. The mobile app allows for better planning and awareness of weather conditions that may affect TPT terminals by providing updates on the weather and wind speeds in all major cities. Push notifications have been built into the app to also further assist users with any relevant announcements – such as congestion or delays that are loaded and received instantly via the application. Additionally, a feature called ‘Register Me’, is the first step to enable users to receive personalized messages that are set to enhance the customer experience.


According to the GM of ICT at TPT, Deirdre Ackermann, this app is an exciting first step to realising the desired goal of Intelligent Ports in Durban and other major port cities. “Transnet still has some way to go before our major Ports in South Africa are regarded as Intelligent Ports but our SpotLight App is an important and exciting part of this journey. There are many benefits for stakeholders dealing in containers to enjoy when using this app that includes tracking, planning and the overall streamlining of operations - plus the peace of mind that there is no risk of containers being stolen.


The information provided through the application is the information that transporters have access to now which is real-time,” explained Ackermann.

Ackermann added that the SpotLight App is a further advancement of the TPT IT Strategy that includes the successful Navis upgrade and the rollout of the GCOS system within the Bulk, Break Bulk and Automotive Terminals.


Future development of the SpotLight App will include Track and Trace information from GCOS. All of these projects and innovations are part of TPT’s digitisation strategy, which forms part of Transnet’s Market Demand Strategy (MDS). Other interactive workshops and demonstrations for the SpotLight App will be rolled out by TPT to stakeholders in the coming months around the country, with Cape Town currently being in its testing stage for their Terminal’s Pier 1 and 2.