20 Must-Read Technical Papers


To start the New Year in the way that it intends to finish it, PTI is keen to offer an abundance of technical content. With this in mind, PTI brings to you the top 20 performing Technical Papers in the last two years, which represents some of the best content to appear in its print journal.

The top 20 Technical Papers are:

  1. Embracing automation

This piece by Uno Brufors, Vice President of Crane Systems at ABB, discusses the challenges present in the port industry, such as larger ships calling at ports with higher loads, as well as the industry adopting automation as a response for handling the increase in ship sizes, which is also changing the role of humans at ports.

  1. Next generation terminals

This paper focuses on container storage and retrieval systems for next generation automated container terminals and its configuration. The paper looks at two types of these systems, which are the end-loaded twin automated stacking cranes (ASCs) and the side loaded ASCs, and compares both types for achieving the best results.

  1. Future cargo containers: how smart can they get?

This paper looks at the issues regarding container security and the role that technology plays for assisting ports and terminals with securing containers more effectively. The author points out that risk management tools should be used in conjunction with a single piece of technology to ensure that solutions are based on reliable information.

  1. Security in the Port of Rotterdam

A Technical Paper focusing on the security challenges facing the Port of Rotterdam. The author discusses that, since the Port of Rotterdam is so big, it is nearly impossible and requires creative on the part of port staff for securing the entire port area, as well as the stating that port security should be included within the design process of port facilities for the purpose of efficiency.

  1. Designing the third set of locks

Greg Hillebrenner, Vice President MWH and Design Manager of the Panama Canal’s Third Set of Locks Project, discusses the development work required for completing the third set of locks for the Panama Canal Expansion, which is set to be fully operational by May, 2016.

  1. The advent of autonomy

In this Technical Paper, the author investigates the MUNIN project, which is a European Commission research project aimed at testing the feasibility of a fully-autonomous merchant ship. The ship would be controlled via an on-shore control room and be operated by skilled engineers.

  1. The benefits of offshore ports for the US and Africa

Offshore ports are becoming a much more viable solution for the increase in trade volumes, and Marco Pluijm, Ports and Marine Sector Manager at Bechtel, clearly articulates that offshore ports can be a ‘perfect’ solution for adapting to the rapid changes of trade routes and the bigger class of ship, which are anticipated to change further in light of recent ship orders.

  1. Looking inside the box: the containerisation of commodities

A key paper by Professor Jean-Paul Rodrigue and Professor Theo Notteboom on the rise of containerisation and how it can help global niche markets and small commodity sectors which can more easily access foreign markets with the advent of a containerised market. Niche markets are also expected to be the main focus of containerisation in the future.

  1. Local government in ports: a perfect match?

This paper, written by Olaf Merk, Administrator of Ports and Shipping at the International Transport Forum, asks the question of whether more government involvement is required in order for ports to see a positive impact in their operations. The author looks at four indicators, which include the ownership of these ports by local government and government’s influence on staffing.

  1. The times they are a-changin’: new models in port business

This papers writer, Fox Chu, Director of Infrastructure and Transportation Asia Pacific at Accenture, discusses how the traditional approach fixed-variable cost approach was previously the standard way for a port to analyse its business, but was only effective before port congestion became an issue. As a solution, the author proposes the activity-based cost approach to improve asset efficiency at ports.

  1. RobLog: the future of unloading containers

This paper looks at the EU-funded collaborative RobLog project for handling dry bulk. The machine itself is automated to enable goods to be unloaded safely within efficient unloading times. RobLog makes safe unloading decisions by observing its environment and then picks up an object to remove it safely and efficiently.

  1. Superstorms and rising sea levels

A key paper addressing the issues of rising sea levels and superstorms, as well as how these harsh environmental conditions impact sea ports. Sea levels are anticipated to rise every decade and rise by as much as half a metre by 2050. The authors emphasise the importance of prior planning in order to reduce losses.

  1. Not your grandma’s shipping market

Professor Jean-Paul Rodrigue of Hofstra University in New York wrote this key Technical Paper in Edition 65, in which he talks about the changing dynamics within the port and shipping market, which has been instigated by the economic and commercial changes which took place as a result of the 2009 recession.

  1. The internet of big things

JLT Mobile Computers wrote this Technical Paper to provide a new perspective on how the ‘Internet of Things’ (IoT) can boost productivity at ports. The author states that shipping containers can block wireless signals and that the IoT can boost a port’s productivity if wireless infrastructure is improved.

  1. The future of serious gaming in automated terminals

A Technical Paper written by PTI Preferred partner TBA which outlines its SAFE-T GAME concept to train dispatchers, mechanics and external personnel and is the first virtual reality automated terminal game globally. At the time of publication, the SAFE-T GAME concept was in the testing phase, with TBA fine tuning scenarios.

  1. Ports and terminals in India

This paper looks at India’s ports and terminals as a driver for boosting India’s economic development. India’s ports are gearing ahead in an attempt to achieve the 3.2 billion tonnes of capacity that it hopes to achieve by 2020 with the assistance of private participation.

  1. Freight expectations

The authors of this paper argue that the shipping industry has matured and that it must take more responsibility for its actions in a global market. The authors combine an environmental awareness with regulatory and societal pressures that the shipping industry must adapt to by working together with other businesses.

  1. TOS systems in the bulk sector

The bulk sector is an industry where the requirements for a TOS system are not as clearly established as the container terminal industry. The author discusses two key factors for delivering successful TOS solutions into the bulk sector, in which he argues that integration is vital.

  1. The European container port system

Professor Theo Notteboom’s Technical Paper, which features in PTI edition 67, discusses the current developments in the European container port sector, including the total TEU throughput for 2014, individual port rankings and what is happening in the current situation at a number of European ports.

  1. GCT Bayonne: award winning terminal operations

In the latest edition, Rich Ceci, Project Manager for the GCT Bayonne Expansion Project gives an overview of the expansion plan, which is the first brownfield container terminal in the Western Hemisphere and discusses the technology that has contributed to its award winning operations.

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