Utilisation of automation technology in ports and container terminals
Alimohammadi, N and Emad, GR and Eidani, M, Utilisation of automation technology in ports and container terminals, Proceedings of the 20th Marine Industries Conference (MIC2018), 12 December 2018, Tehran, Iran (2018) [Refereed Conference Paper]
Ports play a crucial role in the global economy. They as a major industry are under continuous change impacted by introduction of advanced technologies. The maritime domain including port organisations and shipping companies need to proactively embrace these changes to be able to maintain its relevancy. As the global trade expands so the demand on ports and shipping companies to deliver more at lower cost. In the shipping sector in the last decade we witnessed the merging of major shipping companies to become even larger players. In the meanwhile, ships are getting larger in size in order to take advantage of economy of scale. All of these created a huge mandate for ports which are already in the serious competition with other ports for a larger share of the shipping market. The ports not only need to increase in size and facilities but they need to incorporate advanced technology to support and augment the growth. This leads to automation and automated port technology. Today majority of ports and specifically container terminals are either planning or already started to take advantage of the automation technology to gain or maintain their competitiveness. Nowadays, the question for ports and terminals is not whether to get automated but to decide to what level they need to automate. It is predicted that in a decade all the terminals around the world will use some level of automation in their processes. This article is look at the automation technology and how it affects the port industry and how the introduction of technology might help improving their competitiveness.