Netherland-based APM Terminals has outlined the concept of container terminal design by module and the importance of integrated automation and information sharing across every aspect of terminal cargo handling to make operations safer and better.
The new concept will be helpful in the wake of larger vessels entering into service and the organic growth of global trade.
These trends are mounting pressure on terminal operations to avoid congestion during peak cargo-handling periods of high activity, and have become an increasingly important aspect of future terminal operations planning.
APM Terminals terminal design and automation head Alex Duca said: "The biggest business opportunity is in retrofitting existing terminals with the automation of key processes to enhance our current operational performance.
"This is where you can evaluate some of the specific modules within a container terminal to see which processes can be improved through automation."
Duca has outlined the concept of terminal automation at TOC Europe’s 40th annual industry gathering.
This year, container volume handled by the world’s ports is projected to reach nearly 720 million twenty foot equivalent units (TEU), which is around double the size of global container volume of 13 years ago.
Physical limitations on the number of cranes that can work on any vessel and the need to transport containers out of the terminal without congestion or increased safety risks to the terminal workforce are driving the next phase of terminal design, development and operations.
Recently, APM Terminals completed a new truck safety pilot programme at five terminals in Rotterdam, the Netherlands; Los Angeles, US; Mumbai, India; Callao, Peru and Apapa, Nigeria.
Image: APM Terminals outlines terminal module design concept at port terminals. Photo: courtesy of APM Terminals.