According to Kalmar, a Cargotec company, the design and extensive planning of future-proof container terminals must leverage technology and data “to the maximum”.
The lifting solutions provider’s latest technical paper has underlined how heavy consolidation between shipping lines has led to an increase in average ship capacity at terminals of all sizes, one of several challenges for operators alongside “intense cost pressures” and “demanding eco-efficiency targets”.
Although major investments in technology are not certain to pay off in the short term, Kalmar has asserted that this spending is vital for shaping the operations of future ports.
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To design a successful container terminal, operators must find ways of decreasing costs while improving service quality, as well as ensuring that the facility is adaptable and competitive.
Timo Alho, Vice President of Terminal Design Services at Kalmar, commented: “Often, when designing a terminal – and especially when considering automation – operators can have difficulties in thinking through the full implementation plan.
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“It's easy to take shortcuts and make assumptions such as assuming the productivity figures of an ASC block based on data from another location, without taking into account local conditions and the terminal's own specific traffic profile.”
While there are many variables for terminal operators to consider, Kalmar’s key to a successful terminal design project is a structured design approach that uses technology and data for the best results, including “tools and processes for making more informed design decisions”.
Wim D’haseleer and Dr. Oscar Pernia overview terminal automation design in a recent Port Technology technical paper
Alho added: “In any terminal design project, it is crucial to remember that focusing on the planning phase will actually save money later on.
“By using a structured approach and specialised software tools to support decision-making, multiple scenarios can be evaluated faster and in more detail.
“This enables options to be kept open longer, thus improving the quality of decisions as additional information becomes available.”