New Zealand’s Ports of Auckland (POAL) has signed a software service level agreement (SLA) with Konecranes for its new automated straddle carriers.

As part of the SLA, Konecranes will provide 24/7 software technical support once POAL’s new Noell Automated Straddle Carriers (A-STRADs) start operations.

Konecranes will offer an expert hotline service to establish a secure remote connection to the POAL A-STRADs from anywhere in the world. The company will also provide continuous access to its service desk and updated information on all the system software.

The SLA will cover 27 new Konecranes A-STRADs ordered by POAL last year. The order includes the retrofitting of 21 manually operated Konecranes Noell straddle carriers to fully automated operations.

“Our upgrade to automated straddles is essential to increasing our capacity so that we can handle the future freight needs.”

Ports of Auckland chief executive Tony Gibson said: “Our upgrade to automated straddles is essential to increasing our capacity so that we can handle the future freight needs of a rapidly growing Auckland city.

“In order to deliver for the city, we need to have confidence that any problems with the automation software will be resolved quickly and efficiently.”

Earlier this month, POAL received three mega cranes to handle the biggest ships visiting the port.

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A sum of NZD60m ($39m) was invested to buy the cranes, which have a height of 82.3m each, and their supporting equipment.

Weighting 2,100t each, the cranes are designed to serve ships of over 11,000 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEU).