Kalmar: Automation to Grow Massively in Asia


Container terminal automation is expected to develop rapidly across the Asia-Pacific region, according to a new blog post from Kalmar’s Vice President of Solution Sales APAC, Ismo Matinlauri.

While the technological movement is still “in an early stage” across much of Asia, the first fully-automated terminal has begun operating in Australia, and more growth is anticipated for the future. This does depend, however, on “many external issues”.

In order to demonstrate his point, Matinlauri has highlighted statistics on the types of container handling systems being used across 420 of the main terminal facilities in Asia.

To view Kalmar's solutions for the ports and terminals sector, visit their page on PTI's Approved Industry Suppliers portal

The automation expert reveals that rubber-tyred gantry (RTGs) cranes are utilized in 60% of these locations, yet the largest terminals are mostly using rail-mounted gantry (RMGs) cranes and automated stacking cranes (ASCs) to complete container moves.

A key driver of terminal automation then, especially for facilities in mainland Asia, will be the rise of RTG automation.

This may be a technology that is moving more slowly than other forms of automation, but Matinlauri predicts that automated RTGs will dominate the market in a few years’ time.


The growth of container terminal automation, and how it can be implemented successfully, will be explored by industry experts at #CTAC19: book your place today!


The reason for this could be attributed to a number of different factors, including the stepwise approach that is available for automating RTGs, enabling terminals to upgrade their operations gradually and without the pressure of massive expenditure.

Also strengthening this movement is the fact that wireless data transfer supported by 5G networks is “coming at an adequate speed level to meet the automation needs”.

Timo Lehto, Jari Hamalainen and Heimo Poutanen, Kalmar, discuss terminal automation in a recent Port Technology technical paper

In addition to this, safety solutions have been created that are “practical to use and do not reduce operational efficiency or flexibility”, according to Matinlauri.

China is one of the Asian nations where the number of automated terminals is growing very quickly, although the number of highly automated terminals is still limited.



The Kalmar Vice President has recognized that, although interest in automation is high across the APAC segment, “any changes in the global economy will have an impact on decision making for automation investments”.

Although less than 5% of container terminals in Asia are currently automated, a significant growth before 2060 is expected for a number of reasons; there are “clear and measurable benefits” to adopting automation, a number of options on the market, and several different approaches available to terminals wishing to upgrade.

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