Logistics and terminals service provider DP World has opened its first “remote pinning station” in Southampton, UK, in a move intended to improve safety and productivity at the hub port.

Pinning is the crucial process of placing twist lock mechanisms into the corners of containers, allowing them to be stacked and remain in place at sea. This has historically been a manual process, but one fraught with danger, as port workers have to operate among heavy machinery and often underneath suspended containers.

The remote pinning station will create a much safer environment for stevedores as containers will be placed on raised berths by straddle carriers before pins are inserted and the carriers remove the containers.

The station is said to be the first of its kind at a straddle carrier port.

As well as removing the risk of working underneath suspended containers, the station is nearly 140m away from the dock itself, again reducing the potential for accidents. This will allow more manoeuvrability by straddling cranes rather than relying on quay cranes.

DP World port operations director Steve McCrindle said: ‘’We are delighted that our remote pinning station will make Southampton the first port of its kind to operate this way anywhere in the world. 

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“Along with providing the safest possible environment for our vital staff, we are confident it will also lead to improved productivity, maintaining Southampton’s status as Britain’s most productive port, giving customers a faster service than any of our competitors and driving our end-to-end logistics offering.”

The new operation will hope to increase the container handling capability at Southampton Port, with the target of achieving 35 container moves per hour.