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Embracing Automation

Edition 70, entitled Embracing Automation, is one of PTI’s most expansive editions ever and features a wide range of papers centred round the latest automated practices and technologies and queries the pros, cons and misconceptions of automation in the contemporary age.

The edition features a Global Issues section which looks at automation both critically and conceptually, with papers from Drewry’s Neil Davidson on the misconceptions of automation, two executives from DSP looking into the economic justifications for automation projects, and Olaf Merk of the OECD articulating how automating practices and unions can work together.  

The edition then opens up with our largest ever Automation and Optimisation section with exclusive papers from Navis, ABB, INFORM, CyberLogitec, Kalmar, 1-Stop Connections, and a joint paper from TBA and DP World.

Port Planning features papers focusing on how ports can plan for mega-ships, and Mark Sisson of AECOM writes a paper on planning for an automated container terminal. This section also contains the edition centrepiece: a special whitepaper length study from DrYvo Saanen of TBA offering a qualitative and quantitative analysis of the benefits of AGVs, Lift-AGVs and ALV’s.

Papers in this edition:


Method, Risk and Regulation: A Container Weighing Insight

This article will elaborate on one of the things that risks being unforeseen by the regulatory authorities when defining the accuracy requirements: the difference between “equipment accuracy” and accuracy of the actual container weight. It will also look at some of the characteristics of the two main equipment options available to weigh the container in the terminal to establish the VGM. What are the benefits and what are the negatives related to them

The Options for Ports Offering VGM Compliance

There are numerous candidate systems and technologies that are capable of delivering the required accuracy of measurement required under the new SOLAS regulations. Not all, however, are particularly practical in terms of their ability to operate as a part of the existing flow of cargo between consignor and recipient. This paper reviews the options available to ports with some of the considerations that port operators may take into account when making choices about how to provide a VGM service

Landing Made Smart and Easy

Austria-based crane manufacturer Hans Kuenz GmbH is well known in the intermodal industry for its state of the art container handling equipment. Kuenz designs, manufactures, delivers and installs its products all around the world, providing its customers with reliable machinery that is safe to operate and easy to maintain

Innovative Technology for Modern Terminals

Liebherr Maritime Cranes estimates that the reach-stacker market will increase slightly in the future. The prediction is that European rail-and-inland waterway traffic will further develop especially. This trend shall cause an increase of the intermodal sector once more and on the basis of these predicted market developments, Liebherr has developed a new reach-stacker series

Advanced Driver Assistance: Container Cranes Evolution

The level of automation and safety in container handling has increased significantly in the last years. Many greenfield projects target full automation in ports, yet many of the existing container ports have manual machine operations. Since the beginning of trade, the port itself has been a dangerous workplace where accidents can be deadly. This is why it is necessary to provide assistance to the crane driver in order to ensure the safest working conditions – the same applies to people working around the cranes.

The New Era of Container Ports: The Industrial Internet

A new era is beginning in the container handling industry thanks to the rise of the Industrial Internet, the world’s hyper-connectivity, and the automation of container terminal operations. New business and operating models are being revealed that offer great opportunities. With that new risks are also being revealed. Opportunities can be exploited and risks can be minimised by building a sound IT network architecture

Ports Must Adapt to Mega-Ships

The uptake of mega-ships continues to rise steadily, with cost savings to shipping companies providing further impetus for fewer, larger ships on key trade routes. Port infrastructure and cargo handling technology appears to be constantly playing ‘catch-up’ to ship building innovations. However, port operators able to adapt to this disruptive change will reap the benefits of joining mega-ship trade routes

Automated Container Terminal Planning

Although much seems to be settled in 2016 for automated terminal design, there are still opportunities for innovation and improvement. Differences in terminal shape, cargo mix, labour cost and productivity, and other considerations will continue to push terminal development in different directions as more terminals around the world make the leap to automated operations

AGV Versus Lift AGV Versus ALV

It is a recurring question in the planning of automated terminals: what is the ‘best’ mode of horizontal transportation? For many, horizontal transportation is seen as one of the most complex components of terminal robotisation, and this is right in my view. The question we aim to answer in this article is: What is the most costeffective automated transportation system, with the today available technology?

Container Weighing: Are you IT Ready?

One of the most pressing issues for all parties involved in container logistics is the new requirement from SOLAS that calls on shippers to obtain the verified gross mass (VGM) of all maritime containers before shipping. The main considerations with regard to this that one has to take into account are as follows

Efficient Terminal Transportation

Interest in electric horizontal transportation at terminals is growing rapidly. At terminals utilising automated stacking cranes (ASC), the options are the automated guided vehicle (AGV) or the shuttle carrier, either manually operated or automated. As container movement between the quay and container yard is a potential bottleneck, the Kalmar FastCharge shuttle carrier offers a major advantage by fully decoupling activities at both ends. This concept provides greater added value depends on the characteristics and requirements of the terminal.

RTLS Technologies in Terminals

In this paper are some of the existing RTLS technologies and their pros and cons, as well as an insight into how they are used in various types of terminals

Productivity Through Decision Making

Decision makers need technologies and solutions to support rapid and accelerating change to help them make good decisions based on knowledge, experience, and sound logic, according to Michael Bouari

The Journey of CONTROLS: DP World Antwerp

TBA is proudly celebrating ‘10 years CONTROLS’. In a series of articles, The Journey of CONTROLS will take you around the world, bringing you to various terminals who are using emulation and sharing their stories. In this second episode, we will write about the usage of CONTROLS at DP World (DPW) Antwerp

The Panama Canal Expansion: Completion is Finally Upon Us

For more than a century now, the Panama Canal has enjoyed a prime location at the crossroads of two oceans and two continents as the fastest all-water route between Asia and the eastern areas of North and South America, it is set for an expansion that could reshape trade flows

Ship-to-Ship Automated Mooring: A Cavotec First

Global engineering group Cavotec recently completed a series of at sea demonstrations (ASDs) of the innovative US Navy Advanced Mooring System (AMS) for novel ship-to-ship mooring applications. Following successful Factory Acceptance Testing (FAT) at Cavotec USA in North Carolina, and System Integration Testing (SIT) at project partner Oceaneering’s facility in Maryland, the ASDs were conducted at US Naval Base Coronado in California

Bleak Outlook for Bulk: A Long Term Perspective

Drewry retains its cautious view over the long term, with a lot dependent on how China’s steel production grows. Drewry forecasts organic growth in infrastructure activities in China in the long term, which will give the much-needed boost to the bigger vessels during that period. However, a shift away from coal in many economies and a shift away from imported coal in India are downside risks for the bigger vessels in the long term

TOS Software Operations at Hams Hall & Immingham

Ongoing expansion and investment since 2002 has seen operational capacity at Hams Hall treble; ABP Hams Hall currently handles around 100,000 containers annually, yet still has capacity to accommodate further growth. Hams Hall spans 11 hectares (110,000m2), is Channel Tunnel SACTIFF securityapproved, has 6,000 TEU of secure storage, four railway sidings and two reception lines.

The Reality of Automation

Shipping, it goes without saying, is a critical industry within the rapidly evolving global economy and one that will be impacted hugely by the evolution of technology. Whilst the shipping industry is a notoriously conservative one, it is not immune to the advances of technology and we cannot avoid embracing it. If current industry players don’t, others will, and we could risk losing our relevance and be replaced. At the same time, shipping itself is already evolving in other ways

Q&A with Transas

In September 2015, Frank Coles joined the maritime technology company Transas as its new CEO. Frank Coles started his career almost 40 years ago when he first went to sea as a merchant navy deck officer. After 12 years of sailing throughout the world, he left the sea and gained an LLM in Legal Aspects of Maritime Affairs and practiced maritine law for 5 years. In more recent years, his roles at Globe Wireless and Inmarsat have seen him at the forefront of the technology revolution in maritime

Securing Port Perimeters: Land and Seaborne Threats

Ports and terminals are a significant part of the UK’s critical infrastructure, directly contributing almost US$14.3 billion a year to the UK economy. However, with the increasing threats of trespassing, vandalism, theft and terrorism from both land and sea, ensuring the security of a port’s border is becoming increasingly difficult. Ports represent a major point of vulnerability that could have a disastrous impact if breached, not only for the industry and businesses alike, but also human life

Port and Border Security: Technology to Transform

The escalating problem of cross-border movement of contraband is driving the need for advanced technology, which not only detects a range of illicit or dangerous items, but also introduces a much higher level of automation. Add to this ever-increasing volumes of traffic at ports and land borders, a requirement for stricter controls and faster clearance times and the list of demands for border security is long and complex

IoT: Piracy and Maritime Cyber Risks

Pirates infiltrate a shipping company’s systems to identify ships with valuable cargoes and minimal onboard security. The vessel is hijacked and only the containers with valuable cargoes are taken. Pirates hand-pick their shipping targets online by tracking the navigation of a vessel through an Automatic Identification System (AIS). Smugglers hack into networked systemsto locate containers with drug contraband and cleanly confiscate the drugs without detection

Providing Ports with Customised, Cost-Efficient Lighting Solutions

As ports look for ways to reduce operating costs, replacement of older lighting equipment can have a positive impact on the bottom line. Some ports operate their lighting over 4,000 hours a year, causing significant maintenance and energy costs. Musco’s lighting systems combine lighting, structural, and electrical components to ensure a trouble-free operation and a costeffective solution.

Condition-Based Maintenance: New Opportunities for Shipping

Preventive maintenance is the common strategy in the shipping industry: according to manufacturer recommendations and classification society requirements, maintenance plans are scheduled in advance so as to reduce downtime. It makes it easier to anticipate and plan resource availability (material, dock, human resources, and so forth). However this preventive approach is not perfect and cannot guarantee zero failure when shipping.