Automation driven by big players

Dr Eldar Sheykh-Zade Dr Eldar Sheykh-Zade: "The majority of conversation around automation is driven by big terminals"
Industry Database

The majority of medium and small-sized terminals are not involved in conversation about automation because it is expensive and the return on investment is not clear.

This is the message from Dr Eldar Sheykh-Zade, chief executive at smart-Tecs, who spoke exclusively to Port Strategy at TOC Europe about automation and its development.

He stated: “Everyone thinks that automation is so important for terminals, which is true but the majority of conversation around automation is driven by big terminals, greenfield terminals and big companies.”

He added that medium and small terminals should have some element of automation and its development means there are various options for different-sized terminals.

However, he stated even big fully automated terminals still use a significant amount of manual operation, so there is still plenty of evolution left in automation.

“That’s why I think automation is a big challenge,” he commented.

He believes other challenges facing the industry currently include cyber security and information networks.

“We’re more and more about the Internet of Things (IoT) and analytical tools etc. It is a lot of pressure on networks.”

Technology is mostly outsourced now because it is cheaper but if once per year there is some major interruption of network it could do some damage for a substantial period, he said.

Security is also important to address as terminals are so vulnerable to hackers and quality is compromised.

“There is less and less quality and sometimes this is driven by the terminal itself as it tries to squeeze the price of software.”

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