Automation: The Solution to Carrier Demands



Dirk Visser, Dynamar, Alkmaar, the Netherlands


Main container trades, ports and terminals

North Europe-Far East and Transatlantic are the two major trades connecting with North Europe. The services of the eighteen carriers operating in these two trades are calling at a total of seventeen ports in the Gothenburg-Sines range (including the UK). In 2014, these seventeen ports had a total throughput of 53 million TEU, an increase of nearly 5% over 2013. This was a much higher year-on-year growth than was seen in 2013 and 2012 with their 2.2% and 0.2%, respectively. As matters are, the overall prospects for 2015 are looking a bit less rosy.

These seventeen ports comprise 55 different container terminals equipped with ship-to-shore gantry cranes, which are all subject of Dynamar’s recent report ‘Container Volumes and Terminal Capacity in North Europe II’. As of 31, December 2014, they had a combined box handling capacity of 86 million TEU. The resulting occupancy, i.e. throughput divided by capacity, of 62% may seem to run counter to congestion having plagued so many ports.


The main reason for this congestion phenomenon was and is that demand doesn’t come in nice regular identical volumes to be discharged and loaded every day. On the contrary, even the largest ships remain prone to the elements, which are sometimes causing havoc to schedule integrity. Early in the year, nearly a third of more than 9,900 vessel arrivals ……

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