Automizing the manual link in maritime supply chains? An analysis of twistlock handling automation in container terminals
Maritime Transport Research has produced an article that takes a qualitative and quantitative approach to the potential barriers, prerequisites and optimization potentials for automating the twistlock handling process in container terminals. The research report considers implementation strategies, their key to success and barriers that container terminals may face. This report signals how the PinSmart twistlock handling machine could help ports improve their container handling at the quay crane.
“Impacts on terminal efficiency, cargo handling speed and ship turnaround times are possible […] improvements in labour utilization are promising” Maritime Transport Research (15pg:2021)
CBH turning the tables
Problem: Eti Baker used a rotating tabletop frame system to handle pyrite concentrate at their Mazidagi plant in Mardin, Turkey. The tabletop system was temporary, slow and complex to use.
Solution: Eti Baker looked for a reliable, cost-effective bulk handling solution, which was quick to set up and use in their operations. The RAM Revolver ticked all these boxes, as well as providing minimal impact to the environment and zero loss of commodity when handled.
“Our revolver customer base has expanded from ship loading to now 50% of orders being inland bulk logistics” –
Cameron Hay, Head of Marketing & Sales
Award Winning Truck to Rail Bi-Modal Containerised Bulk Handling
Problem: At 4,000 meters above sea level, the elevated and remote location of MMG Las Bambas mine posed problems of transporting copper concentrate to market. The team had to find some innovative solutions to achieve a safe and effective method for transporting product to market.
Solution: Following a study, MMG worked with Matarani Port and chose RAM’s Containerised Bulk Handling (CBH) Bi-Modal solution. The solution enabled the transportation of concentrate in special sealed containers 443km by road and 286km by rail to Matarani Port, where it is offloaded from the containers by ‘revolver’ rotating spreader into hopper fed ship loaders.
MMG has indeed set the benchmark for CBH intermodal bulk logistics in South America and won the IBJ Innovative Technology Award in 2016 for a solution that integrated its copper concentrate loading requirements into an existing port infrastructure. Its only a matter of time when this innovative solution becomes common place.
Tandem Lifting Energy Saving Benefits
Problem: With the world transitioning to a sustainable future, the port industry is under pressure to be energy efficient.
Solution: Container terminals are opting for single hoist cranes as they are cheaper to build, weigh less and consume less energy when in tandem operation than dual hoist cranes. But what other benefits will follow?
- Capable of handling 2 x 20/40/45’ or 4 x 20’ containers
- 100 boxes in 50 moves – speeding up quayside operations
- Increased energy efficiency
- Lower crane intensity
- Allows up to 75% multi-lift with more than 40% in tandem
- Spreader change-over in less than 2 minutes without the need for manual intervention.
South American Grain Export Revolution
Problem: Around the world, the global population has continued to surge which reflects the increase in demand for grains like soya. Exporting these grain commodities are a real challenge, as terminals are already working at full capacity and investment for a bulk terminal will be costly.
Solution: A terminal in South America, adopted the ‘Revolver’ Containerised Bulk Handling (CBH) with sealed containers, as it’s cost effective, efficient and protects the value of their customer’s product.
- CBH system allows exporters to take crane to any container terminal
- Lowered logistical costs offsets higher inflation in some Latin American countries.
- No complex ship loading equipment necessary
- Flexible – containers can be re-located to other operation ports with ‘Revolver’ rotating spreader.
Trends in Tandem Lifting
Problem: In this day of mega vessels, tight frame times and endless competition, container terminals are under pressure to handle more whilst not overspending.
Solution: Many terminals have opted for tandem lifting using the SingFlex headblock, which is a cost-effective solution in comparison to a dual hoist STS crane. SingFlex tandem headblock improves productivity with faster ship operations, shorter berth stays and a more effective use of capital per container.
“We are pleased that the single hoist tandem has allowed DP World to work more productively and as such, attract more business”
Andrew Bowen, Head of Engineering – London Gateway
Low Capital for exporting copper concentrate using ships crane
Problem: The demand for copper is expected to remain high, especially in the electrical and electronics industries. If the right systems for handling copper concentrate are not in place, the quality of the commodity can become degraded, and be lost in the handling process.
Solution: For ports and terminals exporting commodities such as copper concentrate, the capital cost of building a bulk loading infrastructure can be a costly exercise.
“Patrick was able to utilize this new revolving spreader technology to export copper concentrate for our client with very little capital”
Adrian Howard – Commercial Director – Patrick Ports & Stevedoring.
Dust Free Containerised Bulk Handling
Problem: It has been reported that the production of minerals, such as copper, cobalt, lithium could increase by up to 500% by 2050, to meet the growing demand for clean energy technologies, but handing those minerals is not always the most eco-friendly way, with multiple transfer points, open wagons, open stockpiles and ship loading.
Solution: The award-winning Containerized Bulk Handling (CBH) from RAM is the perfect solution to dust free bulk handling. Providing a cost-effective way to protect the commodity from being exposed to the environment and reducing contamination during the handling process is the main focus of RAM’s CBH solution.
“Using RAM’s ‘Revolver’ rotating spreader, the commodity only sees the light of day immediately before being decanted by revolver, which lifts the lid of the container before rotating the container through 360 degrees ensuring all commodity is decanted”.
Comparison and Selection of RAM SingFlex for Twin 40 Quay Crane
Article by Shanghai International Port (Group) Ltd (SIPIG) compares dual hoist and single quayside cranes for tandem lift operations and the different types of tandem headblocks available – exploring how they operate, how they transition from single to twin, and technical features such as height, weight and flexibility. The paper also discusses why the industry is moving from dual hoist cranes to single hoist cranes.
Conclusions from the data gathered show single hoist crane tandem operation with the RAM SingFlex headblock is the preferred choice at Yangshan Port, with low capital cost, increased operational efficiency and quick and easy spreader change-over process.