The Ever-Increasing Role of Laser-Based Technology



Adam Gardner, Director, Sentek


Faster, better, cheaper is today an overriding mantra. Nowhere is this phrase more relevant in terms of consequence and actuality than in container port logistics. As containership capacities increase by the month and expectations for vessel turnaround remain at 48 hours, throughputs of 500+ TEU an hour are demanded. Clearly, increased productivity can be accomplished by throwing manpower at the problem; however, this increases costs and can result in health and safety issues.

Considering most operations are already running 24/7, the only practical solution is automation. Whilst automation is credited with many benefits, the summation of these is essentially economic; in short, it delivers higher levels of output at a lower unit cost.

Benefits include:
• Reduced cycle time
• Reduced workforce
• More efficient land use
• Improved safety for workforce, containers and equipment
• Improved working practices and environment
• Lower environmental impact
• Improved load flexibility (ability to ramp up or down with minimal on cost)

In some respects container handling …

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