Intelligence: Spreading Through the Hierarchy



Björn Henriksson, Global Technology Manager, ABB Ports, Västerås, Sweden


Many terminal operators are currently making the necessary investments to meet the challenge of larger ships and the subsequent higher peaks of containers that need to be handled. It is essential to be able to toggle between low activity and high peak periods. Clearly, container terminals will need to keep on top of productivity under these circumstances in order to stay competitive. In adapting to the new operating environment, automation and information technologies play the key role.

Considering the changes in the operating environment and the new opportunities provided by technologies, it is more than relevant to ask whether a different approach to the organisation of the tasks within and between the systems and equipment in container terminals would serve a modern, automated container terminal better. Our analysis suggests that as more or less all equipment in a container terminal is now ‘system-enabled’ and communicates with other systems and equipment in real-time, it is now time to reevaluate the system architecture. Reorganising system architecture will help terminals to gain the full benefits of automation, information technologies and connectivity. This article presents an architecture that considers all these aspects. We call it node automation architecture based on distributed intelligence.


Let us start by looking at modern organisations where highly educated and self-motivated specialists work with complex tasks and with special knowledge. In such organisations managers can no longer know everything in detail and they need to rely on their teams. Traditional management methods form an obstacle, hindering the organisation to perform at its full potential. How should such organisations be managed and led? The answer is…

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