Technical Papers - Container Handling
Kuenz has been working on rail mounted gantry (RMG) cranes for intermodal terminals and river harbor terminals for many decades. As the market leader throughout Europe and North America, Kuenz has installed several hundred cranes throughout the world. Kuenz engineers in 2014 recognized that designing a RMG had become harder for the following reason: The cranes had become bigger. The largest Kuenz Cranes have a main girder length of over 140 metres, stack one over five, and their weight is over 700 tonnes. They are also faster, as the gantry speed for such a crane is 120 metres per minute, and trolley speed is 150 metres per minute. The wind surface of the structures had increased because of new codes and regulations. Customers were operating the cranes with wind speeds up to 28 metres per second.
As volumes have found their way up again, and additional terminal capacity is not easily realized, terminals return to seeking improvements in their internal processes. Based on our experience, which covers over 50 terminals where we assisted in performance improvement programs, it is possible to make substantial performance gains for internal processes. This is also recognized by the terminals themselves. A recent survey by Navis indicates that 76% of the respondents put process improvement as a ‘number one priority’ for terminal operations. Process improvements may be seen through productivity increases, gains in service levels, for example the reliability of port stay, capacity enhancement due to using space more effectively, and cost reductions. Without a doubt, double digit improvements can be attained in the performance-cost index.
The much trumpeted container weighing regulation which exercised much of the freight industry last year is hoped to be the mere overture to a concerted effort to bring about significant behavioural change. This paper assesses the degree of compliance with the VGM regulation that has been achieved but also looks forward to what needs to be done to further ensure safety and sustainability in the global supply chain.
Cargo travels through ports increasingly with the aid of automation. As automation evolves and becomes more sophisticated, terminal operators realize efficiencies that help increase throughput, reduce turnaround time and increase revenue generation. Many are unsure of what level of automation to use, if any.
Maintenance costs and time are getting more and more vital in automated terminals, so beside the cost, the human risk is increased when people need to enter an automated terminal to tend to cranes. Therefore, we have a long-term commitment to long lasting components and several developments have been made in the area of maintenance with regard to critical parts such as ropes and wheels.
The most dramatic evolution in recent years is the automation of terminals. This started in the ports and will now be implemented step-by-step in other areas. For example, in the intermodal yards. Part of the technology which has been developed for the ports can be also used in intermodal facilities, new solutions for challenges need to be developed and then maybe it can also be used again in the ports to further increase efficiency and safety in the terminals.
Shipping lines are also increasingly operating in global alliances, giving them scope to optimize their services and increase their buying power. For container terminals this has resulted in noticeable reductions in handling rates, larger operational peaks and more idle time in waterside operations.