Trelleborg: ‘Worrying Gap’ in Automation Attitudes


Trelleborg Marine Systems (TMS) President Richard Hepworth has highlighted a “worrying gap” in attitudes towards automation in his latest Marine Insight.

In its Preparing for the Port of the Future Report, Trelleborg found that a little more than a third of ports and terminals claim to have experienced increased pressure from shipping lines to automate, which Hepworth has warned “mustn’t widen” after different marine audiences expressed varying attitudes towards the adoption of smart technologies. 

Hepworth said: “There was a definite appetite among shipping lines for ports and terminals to keep up with the pace of change and implement digital technologies more widely.

“Vessel stakeholders seem to have woken up to the value of automation and while landside operations have also matured, the survey results indicate facilities haven’t been as quickly upgraded on the jetty side.

The report has revealed that the “key to success” will be taking small steps in specific areas, with the support of a trusted partner.

However, this partner must have data enabled products, technologies and infrastructure to “enhance specific port operations for maximum efficiency”.

Hepworth also highlighted that developments such as Wartsila’s have revealed how ports and terminals are only going to face increasing pressure to adopt smart technologies and to keep up with advancing on-board technology.

An important step in automated procedures was recently taken by Wärtsilä as its latest innovation, SmartPredict, aims to provide safer and more efficient vessel operations by reducing the risks associated with manoeuvring.

Hepworth added: “Half of shipping lines felt ports and terminals were immature in the implementation of smart technologies and lagged behind available technology, but noticeably, little more than a third of ports and terminals claim to have experienced increased pressure from shipping lines to automate.”

Hepworth is set to be one of the many specialist speakers Port Technology’s upcoming Terminal Automation & Training Conference in London, UK, on April 19-20, 2017.

He recently spoke to Port Technology in the second in a series of insights regarding how Trelleborg Marine Systems is benefitting from its research into automation as digitized operations become more vital in gaining efficiencies.

See the video below:


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