Autonomous straddle carrier boosts efficiency

ZPMC container straddle carrier The straddle carrier’s driverless technology features integrated navigation and positioning. Credit: ZPMC

A container straddle carrier with an autonomous navigation system is helping improve operational efficiency during its final testing phase.

Developed by China-headquartered Shanghai Zhenhua Heavy Industry Co., Ltd. (ZPMC), the straddle carrier can undertake self-repositioning, handling, stacking, loading and unloading, as well as transporting empty containers. The benefits of automating these tasks include energy savings, lower maintenance costs, environmental protection and regulatory compliance. The straddle carrier has high mobility and flexibility, enabling modular retrofit for current operations in existing terminals.

ZPMC North America Inc.’s President Larry Li, said: “ZPMC’S ability to deploy automated straddle carriers as a cost-efficient, modular retrofit solution unlocks new opportunities, not only for current straddle carrier operations but also for current RTG terminal operations.”

Good navigation

The straddle carrier’s driverless technology features integrated navigation and positioning alongside modular design, diesel and battery hybrid capability, wheel-side synchronous motor drive and eight-wheel hydraulic independent steering.

As the machine is dual operation, it can be switched freely between manual driving and driverless modes, depending on the situation.

Automated straddle carriers currently account for less than 5% of the container terminal straddle carrier market, however, Mr Li stated: “A conservative estimate indicates that automated straddle carriers will reach 20 percent of the global market in the next five to 10 years.

“At ZPMC, we are continuing to innovate our port machinery to achieve the seamless integration of artificial intelligence and port efficiency, and the driverless straddle carrier is our benchmark product. We look forward to implementing this new technology in ports around the world.”

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