Inside Logistics

Terminal operators turning to automation

Technology adoption seen as key to competitiveness


January 5, 2021
by

OAKLAND

Port of Los Angeles container terminals.

, California – Around the world, ocean container terminals are increasingly turning to automation to improve productivity and keep up with the changing ocean shipping landscape in an effort to stay competitive.

A new survey titled “Automation 2020: Perceptions, challenges and opportunities for Container Terminal Automation”, and released by Navis, provides insight into the benefits terminal operators anticipate automation will bring in the future.The survey is based on the comments of 54 Navis customers.

An overwhelming majority – 94 percent – believe it will be important for terminals to automate to stay competitive in the next three to five years, using technologies like artificial intelligence and machine learning.

The main benefits of container terminal automation are increased operational safety – expected by 82 percent – and lower overall terminal operation costs – expected by 73 percent.

Seventy percent of terminal operators surveyed believe automation could increase operational productivity by 15 percent or more.

Almost 80 percent of those polled have existing and/or future plans for equipment automation.

“Automation will play a pivotal role as terminals continue working towards more efficient and resourceful operations,” said Andy Barrons, chief strategy officer at Navis.

“Innovation in the shipping industry is becoming more widespread to keep up with changing demand and an evolving landscape.”