Automation, new technology and new uses of existing technology are set to boom in the ports industry in the next decade as ports seek to cut costs, which occurred as a result of the shrink in global volumes, according to the Journal of Commerce.
A report released recently by DP World for United Arab Emirates Nation Day identifies technologies such as the Internet of Things (IoT), Big Data, robotics and simulation software as being key to port growth and innovation.
The report said: “The ports and logistics sector has already embraced technology to a certain extent. However, over the next decade the sector will witness more substantive changes as automation becomes more widespread and operations are increasingly directed and optimized in real time by sensors and intelligent software.
Read a Technical Paper by Dr Yvo Saanen at TBA on virtual games training for automated terminals
“The extent of automation varies considerably across ports. Shanghai, the world’s busiest container port, is almost entirely manual, while Rotterdam’s Maasvlakte II terminal, which opened in April 2015, has no personnel inside its cargo-handling section, thereby boosting efficiency and reducing the risk of accidents. Automation is easiest to implement at greenfield sites such as this, but can be partially or fully retrofitted at existing terminals.”
PTI previously reported that Big Data and the IoT are tools which could be used together to allow companies to share data across a number of devices connected to the IoT’s ‘cloud’ network.
For example, sensor technology on port equipment means that data can be collected and allow ports and logistics companies to track the performance of their equipment and prepare for errors.