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How Ports Can Benefit From Technology?

By Logistics Tech Outlook | Friday, February 07, 2020

On the supply side, the reduction of the available workforce and record low unemployment levels in most industrial nations will make it even more difficult for ports to attract and maintain staff. At the same time, urban growth prevents amplified land allocation.

FREMONT, CA: Globally, port operators are facing an increasingly competitive and demanding operational environment. Weight on shipping lines for increased fuel competence has seen ships sailing slower that allows for less time in docks, while growth in global trade has improved total demand.

On the supply side, the reduction of the available workforce and record low unemployment levels in most industrial nations will make it even more difficult for ports to attract and maintain staff. At the same time, urban growth prevents amplified land allocation.

These factors come together to create a challenge universal to all port operators–how to boost the throughput rate for trailers or containers at the terminal and meet customer service levels while keeping expenses to a minimum. Addressing the issue needs a three-pronged approach using automation, coordination, and flexibility:

• Automation, through technologies like optical readers or robotic gantries, facilitates operators to streamline repetitive activities.

• Coordination, with technologies such as electronic messaging (SMS) or frequent data exchange, enables operators to orchestrate uninterrupted chains of events evading stop-start and idle time.

• Flexibility to increase operating hours potentially to 24/7, along with the situational flexibility to accommodate disruptions due to mechanical faults or weather, is needed to develop the advances of coordination technologies and automation.

Top Logistics Analytics CompaniesAdding personnel, along with equipment planning and optimization system to an existing IT infrastructure, can bring significant benefits and allow substantial increases in capacity, thereby maximizing throughput.

The complexity that demands an innovative approach

The assignment of work responsibilities at a maritime terminal is multifaceted due to the staff having different qualifications for different work preferences, tasks to be done, and the need for shifts that conform to the safety and labor regulation. Workload demand can differ dramatically, according to the season, days of the week, and across a given day. Delays in arrival of the ship, and on occasion freight, necessitate frequent, comprehensive and rapid re-planning of work and rosters.

The failure to balance funds to meet demand will affect delays in ship movements, loss of personnel goodwill because of late roster changes, overtime payments, excessive payroll expenses during idle periods, and labor overheads for manually re-planning.

See also: Top Workforce Management Solution Companies

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