The potential benefits of terminal automation are becoming a necessity in the future for many terminal operators worldwide. It is almost 25 years since the first automated terminal was created at Rotterdam, and today there are a growing number of semi and fully automated ports around the world. As terminals seek to become smarter, shifting to automation is increasingly on the agenda. This can mean unmanned, remote control equipment, automated processes and gate checks; there is a wide range of automated solutions for container terminal operators.
Improving terminal capacity, predictability and safety
With terminal automation new business and operating models are being revealed that offer great opportunities for the terminal operator – such as maximising container yard capacity on the same footprint in comparison to manually operated yards.
The key commercial benefit to automation is that it creates far greater stability and predictability in a terminal’s operational performance. It also becomes easier to meet client contractual agreements and deliver a seamless service to shipping lines.
Automation delivers stable, reliable performance.
Automation also drives significant gains in safety. Separation between people and machinery is widely seen as the way to reduce major accidents and ensure staff go home safe. In an automated terminal, employee roles are mostly in supervision and process management rather than machine operation.