AGV Versus Lift AGV Versus ALV



Dr Yvo Saanen, Managing Director, TBA, Delft, Netherlands


It is a recurring question in the planning of automated terminals: what is the ‘best’ mode of horizontal transportation? For many, horizontal transportation is seen as one of the most complex components of terminal robotisation, and this is right in my view. The horizontal transportation system connects two (more expensive) pieces of equipment (the stacking system and the quay cranes), and therefore always fulfils the role as a buffer. Furthermore, it consists of many vehicles which are dynamically interacting in a space that is kept as tight as possible. After all, apron space is expensive real estate. The question we aim to answer in this article is: What is the most costeffective automated transportation system, with the today available technology?
Before we do that, we need to discuss the accusation of a possible professional bias we at TBA may have. It is true that since the late nineties, we have carried out many studies with the emphasis on automated guided vehicles (AGVs) of various kinds. This work led to the implementation of the Lift-AGV at the new terminals in Rotterdam. In those studies, however, it was always the Automated Lift Vehicle (ALV) – also addressed as the automated shuttle carrier, or automated sprinter – was part of the comparison. The information with regard to the AGVs mostly came from former Gottwald, nowadays Terex Port Solutions (TPS)…
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