New Report: Planning for Automation of Container Terminals

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.

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TIC 4.0 – Member Interview Series: Harry Nguyen, CEO of Realtime Business Solutions Pty. Ltd

1. What do you think is the current status of standardization in the container terminal industry, what are the points not addressed yet?

Process, operation, and information standardization are still in their earlier stages within our industry. These circumstances reveal the current port landscape of operation methods becoming complicated due to fine-tuning to meet their unique objectives. Therefore, developing a standard language to become applicable for all customers pose a challenge for equipment and software manufacturers. Furthermore, it is more difficult for customers to innovate and expand their technology capabilities in the future without encountering any potential system integration issues or incurring fees due to high system customization requirements and constantly “re-inventing” interfaces. As a result, standardization will fortify communication and collaboration between customer and solution provider by driving synchronized understanding in information data exchange, evolving the global supply chain.

With concerted efforts in establishing a common set of standards to facilitate advancements in all aspects technologically and operationally, TIC 4.0 and iTerminals have already contributed significant strides in closing the existing gap between where we want to be and where we are currently. By addressing prevalent issues within the industry and promoting high collaboration amongst all peers, establishing an agreed methodology and language to communicate develops a strong foundation that readily accepts technological advancements.

2. From your point of view, why are standards important moving forward in the 4th industrial revolution and IoT?

In a world constant of rapid technological advancements, achieving standardization is crucial to maintaining consistency in operations and performance. Reinforcing a common language and methodology protects operational performance from information and communication discrepancies. IT infrastructures prevalent vary according to several factors that span from size to software and equipment provider, allowing boundless approaches to implement. Without standardization, these IT infrastructures vary too much that it can create incompatibility between systems, and hence, IoT or any technologies in that matter are not supported or implementation is costly and time consuming.

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What are Container Terminals?

container-terminals-fundamental-terminsContainer 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.

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TIC4.0 – Interview series: Mark Wootton, CIO Yilport Holding about standardization in the container terminal industry

1. What do you think is the current status of standardization in the container terminal industry, what are the points not addressed yet?

A lot of work has been done in the standardization of message flows between industry participants, mainly terminal operators, shipping lines and customs authorities. Although the underlying technologies may need to be updated (or are being updated) from traditional EDI to webservices, the format and exchange of data is quite mature. Where the focus is currently is to bring this level of maturity to the exchange of data between equipment/machines and operational and planning systems.

2. From your point of view, why are standards important moving forward in the 4th industrial revolution and IoT?

In order not to have to build from scratch the interfaces between sensors and equipment and operational systems, these standards should be developed and adopted by the industry. The effort to develop these on a per project basis make this a costly and time-consuming exercise which slows down the adoption of technology into the industry which will improve safety as well as efficiency.

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Digital port as base for big pictures

Prof. Dr. Holger. Schütt speaks in the online interview about the digitalisation as a base for big pictures which will allow you to revolutionise your port processes. He explains why digitalisation is an ongoing process!

Wouldn’t it be nice to have a view at your container terminal like if you look out of the window? A 3D-view of your terminal is not just a game, it is a vital opportunity to vividly improve your port economics.

Enjoy the interview from Black Sea Ports & Shipping Conference 2020 in Instanbul (postponed to 2021) about digital port opportunities.

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