Automatic for the (Terminal) People

Did you know that by 2020 only 5% of all container terminals will be fully or semi-automated? Doesn’t sound like much, does it? Frankly it isn’t, so is that figure particularly surprising?

Well, perhaps not if the evidence is first considered. Since 2000, global tonnage has risen across major maritime cargo sectors by 66% overall and of this, containers are the major demand driver, with volumes almost tripling since 2000 and a total increase of 50% since the Global Financial Crisis.

As a result, container ships have been getting bigger, there has been re-grouping of liner alliances and further shipping line consolidation is expected – all while terminals seek to improve terminal operating efficiencies, invest in capacity and keep a tight control of operating expenses.

So, as terminal automation can deliver improved productivity, offer a safer working environment, lower emissions and reduce operating costs, all while providing consistency of the operation, then the move to automation is a logical step that should be occurring. Right?


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