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IT improvements enable CPS to enhance passenger car parking services

CPS undertakes safe keeping of some 75,000 cars while passengers are cruising ex-UK
Cruise and Passenger Services (CPS) has strengthened its position as the UK’s leading valet parking company for serving cruise ship passengers by upgrading bespoke hardware and software systems used by operatives at each of its ports.

CPS has operations at Southampton, Liverpool, Portsmouth, Oban and, from late 2015, Dover, ensuring the safe keeping of some 75,000 cars while passengers are cruising.

Having booked to park and store their vehicles through the dedicated CPS call centre or via the CPS website, cruise passengers arrive at their respective cruise terminals with their details and vehicle information downloaded to CPS operatives who meet them on berth.

By introducing new handsets and upgrading the accompanying software, CPS has increased the scope of check-in and check-out services and improved the operatives’ ability to manage passenger bookings on berth.

CPS Call Centre manager Rob Preston explained: 'The new software has been developed entirely by our in-house IT specialists and is being utilised at both the call centre and on berth. Combined with the new hardware sets, it enables our operatives to carry out their work more efficiently and enhances our service to passengers.'

CPS reception staff on berth use the new Motorola handsets, with upgraded CPS software, to verify booking by entering the vehicle’s registration. A key tag containing a bar code is presented to the customer and the bar code is scanned to confirm receipt of the vehicle. Photographs are then taken of the vehicle to verify any future claims and the vehicles are driven by CPS operatives to nearby secure car parks. Bookings can also be taken on site using a purpose-developed app that links back via the handset to the call centre server.

While their owners are cruising, vehicles can be cleaned and maintenance and minor repairs, ranging from Surestart to tyre and exhaust replacement or windscreen replacement to cosmetic damage repair, carried out before owners collect their vehicles on return.

CPS services around 300 cruise ship calls every year in the UK and is expanding its services to other country-wide ports, employing similar advanced technologies.