Port Technology International April 2016
Why Automation Fails to Deliver on Its Promises - But Can - Big Time!
With the increase in vessel sizes, terminal operators have nally realised that they will no longer be able to handle mega- ships in an efficient and economical manner without some level of automation. Some operators have sought to meet this challenge by ‘automating’ specific portions of their operations; adding CCD-TV, GPS devices, sensors and automatic steering to RTG cranes and straddle carriers.
However, even the most automated terminals that have come online have not fulfilled expectations of lower operating costs and increased berth and yard efficiency.
As Ed DeNike, President of SSA
Containers, observed in an April, 2015
American Shipper Ar cle1: “We haven’t
seen an automated terminal that really
improved ship produc vity. In fact
no one we know . . .has equaled the productivity they had before [they went to automation].” And neither have we.
We examine why that is by looking at the most commonly voiced complaints about automation, or the rationalizations for not adopting automation, putting aside for the moment the obvious problem of confronting the reoccurring opposition by labour.
The complaints surrounding automa on are that it is: