By Richard Hepworth, President of Trelleborg’s marine systems operation
It’s only a couple of weeks until we take part in the second Terminal Automation and Training Conference, organized by Port Technology. I’m proud to be sponsoring the conference for the second year running and really looking forward to some new discussions that are bound to be just as interesting and progressive as last year.
This year, I’ll be taking part in two of the panel sessions over the course of the two day event. The first is ‘Supply Chain Collaboration and Automation’ and the second, ‘Beyond moves per hour and terminals of the future’.
We’ve got a lot to say on both topics! Anyone that reads this blog will have noticed the focus we’ve given to terminal automation over the past few months. I’m looking forward to getting stuck into another debate on the principles and practicalities of better supply chain collaboration especially, and how automated technologies can facilitate and improve it. This topic was discussed by Futurist Gerd Leonhard in our recent report ‘Preparing for the Port of the Future’, and it’s a subject we’ve been giving a lot of thought to since.
The conference brings together thought leaders in automation and training from across the shipping industry. There will be discussion on all stages of terminal automation, as well as the implications on port staff training and the need for simulation to facilitate this.
I’m very much looking forward to attending again, and I hope you’ll join me there.
To find out more and secure your place at the conference, visit: www.porttechnology.org/conference
By Richard Hepworth, president of Trelleborg’s marine systems operation
Technology features in this blog on a regular basis and quite rightly so. Technology is already having a positive impact on our industry in many different ways, from improved communication and collaboration to safety and operational efficiencies. But the recent announcement by technology group, Wartsila, shows just how much further the industry can benefit from advances in automation.
Wartsila’s latest system automates on-board procedures to provide reliable and more efficient vessel manoeuvring which also reduces risk and improves safety. At a time when ship sizes are increasing and the industry as a whole is facing tough times, this is a positive development with obvious benefits. It is also, hopefully, the precursor to greater take up of automating technologies across the industry as a whole, whether on-board, landside or on jetties.
Our own research (see Preparing for the Port of the Future Report) showed how different marine audiences have different attitudes towards the adoption of smart technologies. There was a definite appetite among shipping lines for ports and terminals to keep up with the pace of change and implement digital technologies more widely. Vessel stakeholders seem to have woken up to the value of automation and while landside operations have also matured, the survey results indicate facilities haven’t been as quickly upgraded on the jetty side. Half of shipping lines felt ports and terminals were immature in the implementation of smart technologies and lagged behind available technology, but noticeably, little more than a third of ports and terminals claim to have experienced increased pressure from shipping lines to automate.
This is a worrying gap, and one which mustn’t widen. Developments such as Wartsila’s highlight how ports and terminals are only going to face increasing pressure to adopt smart technologies and to keep up with advancing on-board technology. They do not want to be left behind. Finding out how your facility compares to the rest of the industry in terms of digital automation is an important exercise and a useful first step. This is why Trelleborg has developed an online tool that allows ports and terminals to assess their digital maturity, quickly and easily, and to find out how they compare automation-wise against the industry standard. Have a go at the Port and Terminal Automation Audit here.