Technology Companies Set Up Automation Taskforce


By The Maritime Executive 11-16-2017 05:22:43

Navis, Microsoft China, terminal equipment manufacturer Shanghai Zhenhua Heavy Industries (ZPMC) and global infrastructure advisory firm Moffatt & Nichol have formed a joint taskforce to deliver a single, integrated solution for future terminal automation projects and to automate existing terminal infrastructure.

The taskforce members gathered on November 7 at ZPMC’s Smart Terminal Solutions Forum in Shanghai to outline the approach. 

With the global automated container terminal market expected to grow 25 percent by 2021 according to research from Technavio, there is a significant need to support terminals as they work to achieve excellence in various phases of automation, says the taskforce.

The taskforce has the potential to further extend Navis’ footprint and involvement in a majority of the world’s automated projects, including sites that are just getting started, as well as those like QQCTN on the cutting edge of terminal innovation, said Mark Welles, VP and General Manager, Asia Pacific, of Navis. “While much has been achieved to date, our experience tells us that the collective industry as a whole still faces challenges ahead in order to achieve the full potential offered by automation.”

Navis already offers the N4 terminal system and the XVELA cloud-based collaboration platform for terminal operators and ocean carriers.

ZPMC provides turnkey solutions that span planning, simulation, equipment, logistics, warehousing, software, system commissioning, operation and maintenance. The company is supported by the China Communications Construction Company which has extensive terminal construction experience as well as China's Belt and Road Initiative.

Microsoft is a leader in cloud computing, internet of things, artificial intelligence, and Moffatt & Nichol offers services that include automated container terminal planning and simulation. 

In September, Navis announced the delivery of the first OneTerminal automation solution to International Container Terminal Services Incorporated (ICTSI) at the Port of Melbourne, Australia. The deployment was completed ahead of schedule, making Victoria International Container Terminal (VICT) the world’s first fully automated international container handling facility. 

The 35-hectare terminal has an annual capacity of one million plus TEUs and an additional 400,000 TEUs on full build. VICT has a straight berth of 660 meters, which can accommodate two large vessels with capacities of up to 8,000-12,500 TEUs at once. VICT includes the Kalmar Automatic Stacking Crane system with 20 automatic stacking cranes, 11 Kalmar AutoShuttles, Kalmar Automated Truck Handling, Kalmar Terminal Logistics System and the Navis N4 Terminal System.