The container terminal business consists of a wide scope of individual services which are provided to the customers (liners) and which need to be charged with individual prices and/or standard tariffs. The invoicing can be made for individual vessels or based on liners or services.
An invoicing system needs to take into account the specific and individual contracts with the customers who all follow specific criteria which has influence on the tariffs and corresponding billing processes.
Pricing based on standard tariffs is quite rare and is more an exceptional case.
Due to the above described situation an invoicing system requests a high level of flexibility regarding the configuration of contracts and tariffs, in particular taking into account specific discounts, bonus or malus systems, etc. In that perspective an invoicing system also supports the overall sales process of a terminal.
Some TOS systems provide an automatic billing system with a customer-billing component integrated with operational activities and calculates container yard activity charges, full container storage charges, empty container storage charges, Terminal Handling charges and vessel charges. Customer billing details are interfaced to corporate accounting and invoicing systems for revenue accrual and tracking.
Current invoicing systems normally support multiple currencies and already use both paper based invoices and electronic invoices via EDI.