In an exclusive paper now available from Port Technology, Julian Galvis of Identec Solutions has pointed to automation technology and the Internet of Things (IoT) as the future of “smart investment” for ports and terminals.
As Galvis underlines, many terminals are already reaping the benefits of automation following some initial pains, its reach now extending from greenfield sites to brownfield terminals.
With this in mind, the paper assesses whether or not automation represents a valuable investment, highlighting that an industry drive towards unmanned operations is not without its hits and misses.
Galvis also comments on the impact of smarter solutions on port and terminal operations, operators seeking to integrate the digital and automated with their existing workforce, platforms and systems.
While there has been some uncertainty about the effect automation could have on employment, Galvis’ paper reveals that freeing up existing labour may help businesses in the maritime sector to provide “value-added services that were not previously considered”.
Edition 81 of the Port Technology journal, focused on the subject of automation and terminal design, is now available
Placing specific focus on the area of reefer shipping, the author reveals that the ability of digital solutions to monitor the levels of energy automatically, before feeding this information to a terminal operating system, could save time, costs and significantly increase efficiency.
While the implementation of smart solutions can be expensive at first, begging the question of when a return on investment is to be expected, it is clear that ports placing their faith in new technologies will be able to offer advantages other companies cannot.
The subject of smart investment and digital solutions will be a key component of discussions at this year’s Container Terminal Automation Conference, which takes place May 7-8, 2019, in London, UK.