A vision of the future

Industry Database

Just 20 years ahead and ports will be offshore, quay cranes will be remote controlled and automated rubber-tyred gantry cranes will be commonplace.

That’s the thinking of a number of equipment specialists speaking at TOC Middle East in Dubai.

Kalmar’s Elmar Hendriks prophesised that automated RTGs “will be the future”, especially for smaller terminals.

He added: “More than 20 years ahead there will be more and more solutions where we will use the sun as our energy supplier, there will be more efficient use of space maybe via underground systems, and there will be more and more real-time planning from a TOS perspective. These trends are close by in the coming years.”

Bechtel’s Marco Pluijm wants to bring the port to the ship rather than the other way around: “We see the multi-user offshore hub as a solution based on a fully integrated approach; the advantage for the end user is massive. We think the same concept will work for containers in other parts of the world.”

On the ship-to-shore crane innovation front, ABB’s Paul Mair said that the supplier has been “taken by surprise” on remote quay crane demand. However, the benefits offered by RC cranes are easier to digest: “Once you remove the operator from the crane you remove the limitations on speed and ramp times,” said Mr Mair. “The operators today hardly ever utilise the crane to its full capacity.”

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