In the overall architecture of port terminals, there has long been a heavy focus on investment in upgrading ships and the onwards logistics chain to meet global supply needs.
Now it is time to turn the spotlight on dockside autonomous mobility to create increased productivity, efficiencies and crucially sustainable resiliency to establish ports fit for the future.
Shipping has received several dedicated improvements including regulatory emissions cuts and the introduction of 5G to advance localisation and to deliver the capacity to sail autonomously. In turn the latter improvement has substantially enhanced timings, scheduling and turnaround periods.
In addition to the recent sustainability shift and automation of ships, the onwards logistics chain has historically been a point of focus to improve shipments from the ports in terms of infrastructure, transport, warehousing and logistics.
One of the missing links in the Artificial Intelligence (AI)-enabled autonomous automation process has been, and still is, the huge fleets of trucks which operate dockside in ports. As we plan future AI-enabled autonomous solutions in ports, we need to incorporate the use of autonomous mobility automation to streamline the dockside transport methods where unloading and loading take place simultaneously with yard side operations optimisation.
Current dockside mobility is fraught with inefficiencies, is a high emission producer and has sub-optimal productivity. Ports need trucks which can run 24 hours a day to match the arrival and departure of ships day and night.
The trucks need to be self-aware in terms of maintenance requirements to cease the current scheduled downtimes and instead, only stop when errors arise. Only when this type of AI-enabled autonomous horizontal transport is widespread in dockside operations can ports really start to see their terminal operations truly optimise.
In this latest technical paper from Aidrivers, Dr. Rafiq Swash, Founder of the company, gives us the latest on dockside autonomous mobility and how AI-enabled solutions can be the key to increasing productivity.