Interest in electric horizontal transportation at terminals is growing rapidly. At terminals utilising automated stacking cranes (ASC), the options are the automated guided vehicle (AGV) or the shuttle carrier, either manually operated or automated. As container movement between the quay and container yard is a potential bottleneck, the Kalmar FastCharge shuttle carrier offers a major advantage by fully decoupling activities at both ends. This concept provides greater added value depends on the characteristics and requirements of the terminal.
In recent decades, container volumes handled worldwide have grown dramatically. Larger ships place a heavy demand on terminal infrastructure, and fast loading and unloading requires close cooperation between STS cranes and the container stack. For many years, the straddle carrier and terminal tractors were the default options for horizontal transportation, with straddle carriers also capable of handling stacking.
In the 1990s, the flatbed AGV was the first driverless horizontal transportation system at terminals. Today, the high productivity of STS cranes can be limited by the AGV’s need to be present to load and unload containers. Generally, each STS crane requires a minimum of five AGVs. The ideal decoupling buffer is created by placing containers on the ground at the interchange area next to the STS. By decoupling the STS and ASC, one shuttle carrier can achieve the same productivity as two AGVs.
The Kalmar shuttle carrier can transport single 20 foot and 40 foot containers as well as two 20 foot boxes in twin-lift. With the ability to pick up any container rather than only the outermost, and to stack containers two high, the AutoShuttle enables fast… ..