Planning for automation of container terminals
Together with some 45 experts in the field of Automation in Container Terminals I had the honour to work in the previous two years on the report about the “Planning for Automation of Container Terminals”. It was organised by the Maritime Navigation Commission (MarCom) under the umbrella of PIANC – The World Association for Waterborne Transport Infrastructure (www.PIANC.org).
The report provides 85 pages on a holistic view regarding the topics:
- fundamental definitions: a closer look
- providing the business case including a financial model, by also having a look at the environment and social impacts
- planning phase including operation modes, terminal layout, and equipment sizing
- holistic view also including the management of the integration on all terminal areas
- finally, the engineering, implementation and last but not least the operation of the terminal.
The report shows, that simulation and emulation technologies are highly required to secure the work in all phases. It provides an overview of simulation software – including the CHESSCON family that is specialized in container terminal operations.
Container Terminals – overview of fundamentally terms
During a training session about the simulation tool CHESSCON for the Indonesian university “Shipbuilding Institute of Polytechnic Surabaya” Prof. Dr. Ing. Holger Schütt held a presentation about container terminal operation in general. It is based on his lessons at the University of Applied Sciences Bremerhaven.
He explained fundamentally terms as quay side, horizontal transport and hinterland as well as some innovations like blok beam or the container ropeway. Besides that, he gives an overview about typical processes and the various equipment types at the terminal. To visualize the topics, he uses photos from his visits to terminals all over the world (e.g. Shanghai, Busan, Jebel Ali, Tacoma, Long Beach, Durban and others).
Easy to understand and vividly presented.
Robust supply chain with ports and terminals
These days almost everybody seems to work from home practicing social distancing and #stayathome. Supporting this approach and call everybody to do the best to control the spread of Corona, is what we all need to do these days.
Working e.g. from home makes you think about many different things such as: “How does this impact my business?” or “How does this impact the business of my clients?”. In the first days and weeks with the pace things are evolving, it might not be the right point in time to take long-term decisions. Sure, mitigating the first impact on business is the first priority for management now. But what (comes) will be afterwards? Will our business be the same and will it just recover after some month and move on? Isn’t the crisis also a good point to rethink business strategies from a new angle? Especially in logistics and port business completely driven by the global economy moving physical goods, we might need to go for a new way of thinking. On the one hand the supply chain takes a critical role in such a crisis delivering goods where they are needed most – from medical products to toilet paper. On the other hand, we experience the global just-in-time supply chain, as being more vulnerable than probably anticipated. Perhaps even in the case that Corona would not have been spread outside China to becoming a global pandemic. A more local scenario like this would still have hit many industry sectors across the rest of the world, “just” because one piece in the puzzle is not inline or in sequence anymore.
From system hardening and network zoning to active security monitoring
This blog article reproduces the presentation by Ralf Kempf at the event “Cybersecurity for Maritime Infrastructures” organized by Maritimes Cluster Norddeutschland e.V. (“Northern German Maritime Cluster”, held October 30, 2019, in Bremerhaven).
Today, cyberattacks on companies can easily cause damage in eight or even nine figures. Such attacks often take the form of spam e-mail, written with perfect spelling and grammar, that appears to have been sent by a colleague or a friend. The recipient is usually instructed to click a link or enter a password. And then it’s already too late: The malware spreads throughout the company.
Yet companies can protect themselves even against such professionally prepared attacks. I repeatedly encounter cases where companies spend lots of money on physical access protection, but leave all doors wide open when it comes to e-mail. If someone wants to enter the building, they have to show their ID – but anyone can gain access via e-mail or USB stick. There will always be an employee who clicks an enticing link – that’s just human nature – but it’s negligent for companies to give them the opportunity to do so in the first place. IT security can be vastly improved with just a few, very simple security precautions. You could prevent e-mails with Office attachments from being delivered right away, for example. Instead, these e-mails could initially be placed in quarantine for review. Another simple step is the deactivation of macros. In short, companies should always ask the following key question:
Could blockchain technology be an effective approach to protecting systems?
When it comes to safety and security in maritime logistics, cybersecurity is the central focus. Incidents like the NotPetya attack on Maersk are impressive signs that we can’t let our guard down. To the contrary: sustained efforts will be needed to defend against cyberattacks. In a current position paper, the Institute of Shipping Economics and Logistics (ISL) in Bremen tackles this subject and describes the measures needed to mitigate the risks from cyberspace.