CST: “mega trends” shaping ports’ future

11 Jul 2017
Five major trends are already challenging ports and terminal operators and will have an effect on ports in the future

Five major trends are already challenging ports and terminal operators and will have an effect on ports in the future

Continental Commercial Specialty Tires (CST) has identified five “mega trends” that it believes are set to shape the future of ports.

According to the tyre manufacturer, scale, speed, safety, sustainability and smartness make up the ‘Big five’ that are already challenging ports and terminal operators and will have an effect on ports in the future.

Julian Alexander, product line manager material handling at CST, explained how these trends impact upon the port industry.

With regard to the first of the five, scale, Mr Alexander said that the current focus by ports on large ships results in bigger, but also fewer ports and carriers.

He added: “Subsequently, operations in harbours get more and more diverse and complex. Loads become even heavier and bigger and distances become larger and larger.

“Yet, the task remains the same: Incoming vessels and freights need to be smoothly and quickly connected with the hinterland.”

Concerning the second trend, speed, he said: “Time is money. This is also true for ports where a precise planning of processes and operations is even more important given the enormous impact of the tides and the costs for dockage.”

Safety is another trend set to affect the future of ports. According to the British Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH)’s Global container terminals study, 70% of dockworkers surveyed felt that their safety was at risk, while a third had experienced injuries during the previous year.

CST also identified sustainability as a key player in the future of ports, with Mr Alexander explaining that it is necessary for ports to be green in order for them to retain their ‘license to operate’.

Commenting on the final trend, smartness, he said: “New technologies and innovations, such as the Internet of Things, will optimise the flow of information and goods.

“All devices will be interconnected and communicate with each other.”

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