PIANC WG 208 Planning for Automation of Container Terminals – Progress Report

PIANC A-NZ Member Carsten Varming was selected for participation in the new PIANC Mar-Com WG208 Planning for Automation of Container Terminals.


Although most large container terminals are currently operating the “old” way with conventional equipment, continuous technology development is reducing the capital cost of automation and providing increased productivity.

Most new large terminals which are under construction, are planning for a semi- or fully automated operation. As initial costs decrease, even some medium and small terminals are being semi or fully automated.

Yet several automated terminals have failed to recognise the importance of system integration within the terminal and this has led to poor performance and regular outages of these terminals.

 

Carsten Varming, who is NSW Ports Development Manager, brings a wealth of Australian and international experience to the Working Group, which includes members from Canada, England, Japan, the Netherlands, Spain and USA.

The first gathering of WG208 was held 31 January 2019 at PIANC headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, with eleven of the fifteen members able to attend this crucial meeting in person. The Chair is Ashebir Jacob (USA) and the Secretary is Juan Manuel Suárez (Spain). Mentorship is being provided to the WG by Ron Heffron (USA). The day was devoted to discussing and planning the contents of the report, keeping in mind audience needs and expectations.

The aim of WG208 is to prepare a publication that deals with the majority of matters likely to be considered by a terminal developer, before they decide to embark on automation of a new or existing container terminal.

It is not meant to be a complete guideline on how to develop an automated container terminal but to be a reference for the type of considerations and decisions that should be undertaken when developing a new container terminal or converting an existing container terminal.

Carsten reports that it became clear from discussions at the kick-off meeting that the most difficult part of automated terminals developments lies in the control systems and the human side of the terminal development and operations, and less so in the infrastructure and mechanical equipment.

Several automated terminals have failed to recognise the importance of system integration within the terminal and this has led to poor performance and regular outages of these terminals. The WG208 publication aims therefore to avoid a focus on the matters that are already well understood within the industry and concentrate their focus on key challenges.

To aid in the research and preparation of the publication, a member of the WG was appointed as the person responsible for the preparation of each section. Carsten was appointed as Section Lead for Operations of Automated Terminals.

The various sections as well as the section lead is shown  below.

WG 208 Publication Section and Section Leads

0    Preface:  Ashebir Jacob
1    Executive Summary: Ashebir Jacob
2    Semi-Automated and fully Automated Terminals:  Tom Ward
3    Developing a Business Case for Terminal Automation:  Ben-Jaap Pielage
4    Planning:  Dimitrios Pachakis
5    Integration Management: Sylvia Wong
6    Operations of Automated terminals:  Carsten Varming
7    Conclusions: Ashebir Jacob