Whitepaper: Automation Fails, but can Win Big



Daniel Reiss, President; and DrJoseph H. Discenza, Ph.D., Automated Terminal Systems, Virginia, USA


Daniel Reiss, President of Automated Terminal Systems, and Dr Joseph H. Discenza have composed a joint whitepaper exploring how automation “does not deliver on its promises” yet, if it follows the correct formula, can.

Automation has been heralded as the port panacea, offering numerous benefits such as increased productivity, cheaper costs, environmental efficiency and safer practice.

Mr Reiss and Dr Discenza highlight the existing problems with terminal design and introduce the integrated automated container terminal system in its next generation form as the concept that will see automation fulfil the potential that has long been wished for:

Read the whitepaper intro below:

With the increase in vessel sizes, terminal operators have finally realised that they will no longer be able to handle mega-ships in an efficient and economical manner without some level of automation. Some operators have sought to meet this challenge by ‘automating’ specific portions of their operations; adding CCD-TV, GPS devices, sensors and automatic steering to RTG cranes and straddle carriers.

Automated Guided Vehicles [AGVs] have been elaborated and even gate systems have become more complex. Others have ‘gone-all-in’ and adopted versions of a RMG system based on a design introduced by HHLA at Altenwerder. However, even the most automated terminals that have come online have not fulfilled expectations of lower operating costs and increased berth and yard efficiency.

As Ed DeNike, President of SSA Containers, observed in an April, 2015 American Shipper Article1: “We haven’t seen an automated terminal that really improved ship productivity. In fact no one we know…has equaled the productivity they had before [they went to automation].” And neither have we2…

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