Anti-collision Measures



Walter Schneider, Technical Industry Manager, Ports & Cranes, SICK AG, Waldkirch, Germany


Investments in crane technology could be said to fall into two broad, and sometimes overlapping, categories: those that enhance productivity and those that prevent accidents. Of course, investment in productivity, with its focus on the return on investment, will always be more quantifiable and, therefore, more immediately justifiable for boardrooms. However, anti-collision enhancement measures are a more difficult proposition. Incidents in individual container yards may be infrequent, even if they are high on a wider industry level. Businesses with a focus on a traditional measure of productivity – the speed with which containers are moved – can often lose sight of these unpredictable but preventable accidents.

The container port sector has invested extensively over the last quarter of a century in automation in its pursuit of higher efficiency and productivity. The potential of advances such as the Internet of Things – the transfer of data and connectivity between objects – will add a new dimension to this exposure. However, there are sound arguments why operators should invest in anti-collision technology, too. There is the long-term financial and reputational benefit of reducing injuries and damage costs over the life of a crane. Downtime for equipment and operations affected by incidents can be very costly, while the reputational impact of an accident on ship operators can come at a huge cost as well. Insurers have taken a lead to encourage investment in anticollision measures. The TT Club has waived the deductible fee from policies for crane operators that have installed non-contact, anti-collision systems. TT Club has stated that the specialist insurer maintains that fitting sensors to quay cranes can save the industry millions of dollars from reduced damage and operational downtime…

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