Halifax firm expanding market for port logistics software

November 25, 2008 Halifax, Nova Scotia

By BRUCE ERSKINE Business Reporter
Chronicle Herald

Halifax-based Nicom IT Solutions is joining forces with the Maritime Exchange for the Delaware River and Bay to take a port logistics software system global.

“We’re going there anyway and we’re thrilled to be taking the Maritime Exchange along with us,” Nicom partner Pat d’Entremont said in a release on Monday. “They’ve been a delight to work with.”

Nicom recently rebuilt a logistics software system for the Philadelphia-based exchange, a non-profit group that promotes trade at the world’s largest freshwater port.

“We’ve always intended to take our system to other seaports, and Nicom is the organization to do it,” exchange president Dennis Rochford said in a release.

“Nicom has demonstrated to us that their knowledge of the seaport and the IT industry, coupled with their international marketing capabilities, makes for a great partner to help us move our agenda forward.”

Nicom, which beat out bidders from across North America for the contract, has spent the past 10 months integrating diverse software applications into a web-based suite called Maritime On-Line.

Maritime On-Line enables marine exchanges and port authorities to record and report on vessel movement, cargo manifests, customs and border requirements and advanced arrival and departure schedules.

Nicom plans to market Maritime On-Line along with its own seaport-related systems and services, including software to track containers, hazardous goods, port property leases and marine pilots.

“It’s not just about perimeter fencing, cameras and guards,” said Mr. d’Entremont, although he acknowledged the importance of port security.

“Also of great importance are the information networks that ensure all partners in the transportation chain are aware of the shipping and transit information necessary to promote the secure, efficient and safe movement of goods.”

Mr. d’Entremont said in an interview Monday that he sees great market potential for the Maritime On-Line system in the United States, the Caribbean, the U.K., Australia and New Zealand.

He said his firm, which has 25 employees, could handle the production and implementation of another system in-house, but beyond that, he said, it would involve adding five or six people per system, which he said cost about $500,000 to design and implement.

Mr. d’Entremont said the partnership with Maritime Exchange bodes well for Nicom’s future.

“Two years ago, we were not in this marketplace,” he said.

Nicom specializes in web design, electronic commerce application development, technical support services and IT consulting. Its clients include the Halifax Port Authority, the Saint John Port Authority and the Atlantic Pilotage Authority.

Media Contact:
Pat d’Entremont, Nicom Maritime