Technical Papers - Container Handling
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.
Today’s trainee is Rory, and it's his very first time operating a ship-to-shore crane. Yet, in gusting 40mph winds in a cab 53 metres from the Liverpool quayside, he's already moved five stacks of 40ft containers from a mega-ship sitting in the River Mersey to a waiting trailer below on the new £400m Liverpool2 container terminal.
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