Reap rewards of uninterrupted port operations

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Industry Database

Ports should capitalise on the ‘no interruption’ benefits of remote control and automation of cranes, according to ABB.

ABB Ports area sales manager Clara Holmgren, speaking exclusively to Port Strategy, said that automated operations can be handled by a “centralised team”, with no need for interruptions for meal breaks, transport within the yard or shift changes. This enables port operators to boost net production time quickly and cheaply, she said.

“In the yard today, we see double as well as single cantilever cranes being introduced, and we see that both in the small gateway terminals as well as in the large transhipment hubs,” Ms Holmgren said. “The cranes become wider and they can stack higher, and by that they need to be able to handle the bigger blocks — and they can do that by being more autonomous and thereby more efficient.”

Introducing automatic truck handling — automatic landing of containers on road trucks and optimising the deployment of the cranes both inside the block and in the complete yard — can lead to substantial increases in productivity, Ms Holmgren added. She also noted an uptake in digitalisation in terminals today.

Digitalisation coupled with automation can result in “safer, greener and more productive terminals”, ABB Ports senior vice president Uno Bryfors added. “[This] also enables the introduction of intelligent machines which are optimising production based on real-time data.

“In the industry today, there are actually very few terminals which have reached this stage, but we will see that in the next decade, this penetration will increase very fast, both when it comes to yard automation and to the [ship-to-shore cranes].”

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