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The Journal of Ports & Terminals – Top 30 Technical Papers 2014-2016

Edition 72 is a special hardback collector's edition collating the Top 30 Papers from 2014-2016, covering cutting-edge automation, mega-ship challenges and supply chain trends. Chosen from PTI's library of over 1,400 technical papers, the top 30 have been chosen based on their popularity with our readers in terms of downloads, views and shares.

Papers in this edition:


Update: Dry Bulk Terminal Capacity Planning

In 2012, the international seaborne trade for dry bulk cargo continued to grow: an overall growth of 5.7 percent, within which was a 7.2 percent increase rate for major bulks. Unlike other types of terminals (e.g. container terminals, general cargo terminals), for dry bulk terminals it is important to distinguish if they are export or import terminals. Because of the differences in objectives (i.e. export or import dry bulks), an export bulk terminal is designed rather differently from an import bulk terminal

Automation Fails, But Can Win Big

With the increase in vessel sizes, terminal operators have finally realised that they will no longer be able to handle mega-ships in an efficient and economical manner without some level of automation. Some operators have sought to meet this challenge by ‘automating’ specific portions of their operations; adding CCD-TV, GPS devices, sensors and automatic steering to RTG cranes and straddle carriers

Update: Ports of the Future

For the port of the future, bigger vessels, broader carrier alliances, container capacity consolidation and larger hub and spoke port networks will be changing costs and revolutionising the way in which profits are generated from operations. Simultaneously, the port of the future will manage increased investment along with demands for improved productivity and higher level of service

Update: Automated Container Terminal Planning

What does an “automated” marine container terminal look like in 2016? Straddle carriers and RTGs can be automated but these are rarely used as the backbone for an automated terminal due to lack of densityor poor performance from a rubber tyred interface compared with steel wheels running on a steel rail.

Update: SmartPort: Information in Your Hands

In recent decades, ports have been going through a continuous transition of becoming more open to their communities. They have evolved from being civil works managers to service providers, and this transformation has led to more and more information being exchanged between the port and its environment. Thus, port authorities began to exchange information electronically with their partners, first using electronic data interchange (EDI), and later implementing port community systems (PCS). With the development of the internet, ports also started to publish information on their websites, first static data and subsequently dynamic information, creating a communication channel with its environment that is firmly consolidated. This opening up process has affected the interaction with ports’ business partners, like ship agents, terminals, shipping lines etc. and also the relationship with its local community. A vast number of ports are located in the vicinity or heart of cities. This fact has meant that the opening up of the ports has needed to respond to pressure from citizens wanting to know about the port as a part of their home city. In this spirit, a lot of port-city integration projects have been developed all around the globe.

Update: The Return of Iranian Ports

The Islamic Republic of Iran is a unique country in terms of geo-economics and geo-politics. As the largest nation in the Middle East and Central Asia, Iran is an economic powerhouse in terms of international trade, industry and agriculture, energy and natural resources, science and technology, and tourism and logistics.

Update: Maritime Sector Logistics 4.0

The steam engine. Electricity. Automation. The Internet of Things: these 4 terms describe the evolution of industrial progress in roughly the last 2 eras. The Internet of Things – also addressed as the fourth wave in industrial development, or as the ‘digitisation’ of industry – offers various opportunities to the port sector.

Update: The New Era of Mega-Ports

Ports have been ever-present throughout human civilisation, yet only in recent times have we witnessed the emergence of mega-ports. Mega-ports can be considered truly indispensable nodes of the current globalised economic system. But what are mega-ports, who needs them, how does a port become one of them, and should we be glad about them; these are the questions that this paper seeks to address

Update: Threats of Port Cyber Security

Ports are critical infrastructures. Unavailability of a large port could present a major economic incident for a state or countr. ,A solid cyber security plan is a must in any modern port. How ready are you?

Update: The Great Freight Rate Race

Despite persistent volume growth, in recent years many lines have seen poor financial performance. Underlying adverse market conditions have been the imbalance between supply and demand, causing major fluctuations in freight rates.

Update: PSA: Mega-Terminal Operations

In container shipping, the idea that “big is beautiful” seems to be in vogue. Ever since the invention of the humble container in the 1950s revolutionised the face of global manufacturing, international trade flows have only grown bigger. More than 60% of seaborne trade now is containerised, with Drewry estimating that over 600 million TEU was moved worldwide in 2014.

Update: Handling Mega-Ships

Bigger ships mean more moves per call, which in turn means a logical requirement for additional berth capacity, or so conventional wisdom would state. This article contends that upgrading berth capacity alone in order to tackle mega-ships will lead to congestion throughout yard facilities. I believe that additional capacity can be achieved whilst avoiding the spectre of congestion by improving the efficiency of each quay crane at a berth and by increasing the number of quay cranes on one ship

Update: Container Weight Verification: Opportunities and Challenges

The process within the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) to implement the mandatory verification of a container weight before it is loaded on to a vessel is progressing as expected. In a May 2014 meeting, the Maritime Safety Committee (MSC) approved draft amendments to SOLAS (the International Convention for Safety of Life at Sea) chapter VI to require the mandatory verification of the gross mass of containers, either by weighing a packed container, or by weighing all packages and cargo items and adding the tare mass. The requirements are expected to enter into force in July 2016. It is clearly stated in the draft amendment that the responsibility for obtaining and documenting the container weight lies with the shipper. This means that the burden to comply with the new regulations is not with terminal operators as such, but the situation - where many shippers will not have access to the facilities needed to fulfill their duties - provides terminal operators with an opportunity to offer such a service to shippers.

Update: Singapore’s Next Gen Mega-Port

The port industry is a very dynamic industry. The modern Port of Singapore, being a forward-looking mega-port, is a good demonstration of how dynamic the port sector is. Singapore was established as an independent and sovereign republic in 1965. 2015 marks the country’s fiftieth anniversary, and within a relatively short time span of less than 50 years, the case of Singapore shows the development of a port from almost nothing back in the 1960s to the largest transhipment hub in the world today.

Update: Digital Container Terminals

We are living interesting times at the dawn of the next industrial revolution: Industry 4.0. How can container terminals be prepared for the era of cyber physical systems, the Internet of Things and the Internet of Services?

Update: RTG Automation for Every Unique Terminal

Automated container handling is a recognised megatrend in the container handling industry. It started back in the early 1990s, when the ECT Delta Terminal, Rotterdam, began to use unmanned rail mounted gantry cranes in their container yard, with considerable success. The industry noticed, and investment in new automated terminals grew. Automated container handling technology developed quickly, concentrating on the cranes handling the intermediate storage of containers in the yard

Update: Big Data and its Applications

In this paper, Rodrigo Garro, Project Manager of gate automation provider Orbita, defines the term 'Big Data' in the commercial space and explains how port operators can apply Big Data practices to ensure that they can plan-ahead to make their operations more efficient and error-free.

Update: Container Weight Verification

There are now less than six months remaining before the implementation of the amended Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) rules requiring that any container to be loaded onto a vessel to which these regulations apply, must have its gross mass determined in advance through weighing – there are no exceptions. While the onus is upon the shipper to fulfil this obligation, the most practical location at which weighing can take place is at the ports and terminals, where lifting is a part of the existing cargo handling process.

Update: Mega-Alliance Impact

Ports and terminals are facing unprecedented challenges as a result of two inter-related factors: the deployment of ever larger container ships as carriers seek economies of scale and the resultant formation of ever larger carrier alliances in order to fill these ships. Bigger ships create well documented pressures for ports in terms of the need for deeper water, larger cranes and longer berths. They also mean that box exchanges per vessel call are larger and there is more peaking pressure on terminals.

Update: The Changing Face of Automation

It has been over 12 months since my last look at the port and terminal market when I addressed how market forces were driving change and noted the demand for increased automation across the industry. I had a very good response to that initial paper, with over 1,000 requests coming from the terminal market. I have taken the time to review various comments that touched on the hot-button issues in the industry at present, and now I want to take a much more focused look at some of the specific areas that can be improved within the terminal market with the deployment of advanced applications.