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The industry is evolving at an incredible pace and the need to reduce carbon emissions is of increasing importance. Governments, local and regional authorities around the world are rapidly deploying regulations and initiatives to support the adoption of eco-efficient technologies and try to shift ports and terminals away from the heavy diesel-powered equipment that it currently uses. Now, hybrid and electrical systems are viewed as solutions to replace the heaviest transportation equipment in ports and terminals and ensure that emission targets are reached but how much progress is being made in delivering an eco-efficient port and terminal.
Rapid advances in information technology and in particular digitalization, machine learning, and Internet of Things have created new possibilities, but also challenges for the cargo handling industry. Meanwhile it is under pressure to perform and to run its operations in an efficient way. The equipment, systems and solution are more and more connected. A busy terminal has many simultaneous processes taking place which require attention and new technologies and innovative ideas available on the high-tech market can provide a drastic improvement in container terminal operations.
There are now over a dozen ways to automate a terminal, and diversification continues. What is working? Where are the challenges? What are the true Key Performance Indicators? What still needs work? Why isn’t automation universal? Where should we go next? This concise snapshot of the industry will shine a clear light along the path forward, so that we can focus on what truly needs to be done.
In response to the key growth drivers of automation and digitalisation, many terminals are turning to modern solutions and asset management systems or converting to either full or semi-automated terminals to meet the next-generation requirements. In the age of digitalisation, new technologies and AI can now reach higher levels of reliability and productivity due to the flexibility, scalability and low cost of these concepts.