WIT Press

Preparing Port Container Terminals For The Future: Making The Most Of Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS)


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WIT Press


K. McGinley


Governments and legislators all over the world view ports and terminals as vital infrastructure assets as they play a critical role in economic growth by attracting and generating trade. A port that does not have the ability to cope with rapidly advancing technologies will not be in a position to foster the development of the trade sector. Their ability to ‘go green’ by reducing their carbon footprint and by being more sensitive to environmental considerations is vital to their success. The future is bringing increased demands for greater efficiency and for more sustainable designs in cargo handling technologies. Moreover, the scarcity of land is forcing port companies to realise higher area utilizations. With the arrival of the next generation ultra-large Triple-E vessels carrying 18,000 TEU (twenty foot equivalent unit), it is important to investigate the opportunities to introduce innovation in the development of terminal operations and the logistics chain. The crucial terminal management problem is how to balance the integration of the current technology with the new state of the art technology such as the Intelligent Autonomous Vehicle (IAV). Although the IAV is not exactly new, what makes it different is that it does not require a guidance system such as rails or transponders set into the ground, to reach its destination. Traffic management and space optimization is a problem with the future development of container terminals. The problem can be solved by having a remote ‘traffic control centre’ directing vehicles to marshalling areas where the containers are handled by IAV’s. The challenge is to find innovative solutions to balance service requirements while integrating automated and non-automated cargo handling equipment in container terminals to ensure sustainability, safety and security.


Intelligent Transport Systems, automated cargo handling equipment, non-automated cargo handling equipment, intelligent traffic management.