is part of the Informa Markets Division of Informa PLC
This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.
During this past October’s TOC Americas Virtual Expo, Steven Detré – Sales Director at Camco Technologies took part in the ‘Automation Debate Part 2’ – a webinar session that deep dived into the challenges ports and terminals face when implementing increased automation technologies and processes.
A seasoned terminal automation specialist and responsible for the LATAM and European regions at Camco, Steven has been assessing terminal operations for global operators across all continents, and has vast experience in terminal processes, image capturing and location-based technologies, helping terminals implement the most appropriate solutions for improving their efficiency.
Here we share Steven’s Q&A highlights from the session:
Q: Are you delivering a complete TOS?
A: “Camco does not provide TOS systems but Gate Operating Systems and systems that support crane OCR and Job-stepping.”
Q: Can we understand the automation process in phases? In other words, can I automate the dock but the yard later, or just automate the door process, without having automated the yard? Or is it necessary to implement certain automations at the same time because they are dependent?
A: “All of Camco’s solutions can be installed individually, so you can start installing OCR systems on STS cranes, and do gate automation or Rail OCR another time. Important is to look which areas have most issues and where most improvements can be made with a certain budget. Of course, in case several areas are automated, further automation can be achieved by linking these areas.”
Q: Are you taking care of all logistic processes on container terminals?
A: “Camco provides solutions for automating the hand-over process (truck gate, rail, stack, STS…)”
Q: What do you consider to be the main barrier in Latin America for automation? Government regulations or cost of labor?
A: “There are no barriers for automation in Latin America. The business cases might differ from other countries, but labor conditions and governmental regulations are applicable in each country. This does not mean there aren’t any specific challenges (e.g. condition of the trucks and license plates, security checks, customs papers…) but nothing that would prevent a terminal from implementing automation.”
Q: What is the tolerance for STS cranes in terms of height and speed to identify the container?
A: “Camco’s BoxCatcher rail can cover flight paths up to 42 meters. The speed of the BC goes up to 6 m/s. Camco’s BC is equipped with its proper lighting in order be able to operate day and night.”
Q: When a trucker is announced to be 2 hours late, to what extend can the landside part of the yard planning still be adapted to accommodate that single trucker? To
what extend can the CTO´s partly invoice the cost of dropped yard productivity to the truck company?
A: “It is the terminals who decide what are the rules regarding appointments. It is in fact a commercial and operational question and not a technical question. If it is a one-time occurrence most terminals do not charge any cost. The result will be that the trucking company needs to make a new appointment.
In case it seems to be a structural problem with a certain trucking company, some terminals dare to charge additional costs or fines to these trucking companies.”
Q: Are Camco systems adapted for larger containers? For instance in the US, 45, 48, 52'
A: “Yes, Our truck camera systems also support super-B’s.”
Q: Are you able to identify twistlocks at the container?
A: “We assume this question is related to crane OCR. The answer is yes but only during day time.”
Q: Are remote operations necessary for automation? In other words, removing personnel from the site and relocating them to a "control tower" - is this justifiable?
A: “Automation is a very broad concept. In my presentation I highlighted one aspect of automation, nl. The human factor. However automation can also help in increasing efficiency, reducing errors, etc. Also in case you are talking about the human factor, automation does not so much mean as relocating personnel from the site to a control tower, but removing personnel with low added value and replacing it with automation systems that can automatically take decision based on pre-defined algorithms. Only in case a decision cannot be made automatically (e.g. container presented at the gate does not for stack location), that human interaction (from the control tower) is required.”
“This means that you need less but higher skilled personnel. Whether this is financially, technically or ethically justifiable is up to the terminal to decide. People in a remote control tower are in any case not subjected to poisonous exhaust fumes.”
Q: Why automation is not as fast or faster than human driven terminals today?
A: “Could you indicate why you are stating this? In fully automated terminals, the gate-in process can be as quick as 45 seconds, and turn-around times can be as short as 20 minutes. If you compare with US terminals which mainly have digitized their processes rather than automated it is normal that such processes take the same time or longer due to communication boundaries (oral communication via intercom)."
If you would like more information about Camco Technologies, their range of products or further information following their presentation at TOC Americas Virtual Expo, contact: