To achieve required increases in terminal productivity on a consistent basis to handle larger vessels and tighter schedules, terminal operators and shipping lines, and their customers, will need to work more closely together to streamline the process, according to APM Terminals’ Head of Design and Innovation, Ross Clarke.
“Disruptions and unplanned events need to be minimized” stated Clarke at the TOC Container Supply Chain: Europe 2012 industry event on June 13th, adding “If high productivity is paramount, the vessel exchange needs to planned and prepared prior to execution as best possible, and dynamic planning systems are NOT a substitute for careful pre-planning. Timely receipt of accurate data from shipping lines about containers to be loaded and discharged is essential to enable full productivity potential to be realized.”
Citing internal studies following performance data at 20 facilities over a three-year period on vessels with over 2,500 container moves, Clarke noted that some terminals achieve productivity of more than 40 mph. The challenge is for many more terminals to achieve that level of performance, and to deliver it consistently, time after time. In order for this type of productivity to be achieved “investment in further integration of systems will be needed to maximize productivity and efficiency of yard cranes and transport” said Clarke addressing the topic of “Terminal Efficiency: New Expectations and Responses”.
Vessels arriving in port within a two-hour window, for example, would contribute significantly to overall enhanced terminal performance. Missing a berthing assignment resulting in an unexpected shift in berthing location could have far-reaching consequences which directly affect productivity performance.
By way of illustration, Clarke described a situation in which a delayed vessel is compelled to dock two berths away from its planned berth due to late arrival. With 1,500 containers to be loaded, terminal tractors would then incur up to 700 meters of additional driving distance for each container. For 1,500 containers this would result in 1,000 kilometers of extra driving distance for the terminal tractors- extra time, fuel and safety risk directly affecting productivity and efficiency. Such delays are often the result of shipping lines’ operational issues, or even customer deliveries. By eliminating such issues overall productivity would be substantially improved.
With global container volumes projected to surpass 1 billion TEUs by 2025 the stakes are very high for all concerned. “APM Terminals is investing substantial resources and efforts into establishing what is required to lift the performance levels on a consistent basis” Clarke highlights and continues.
“We terminal operators cannot do it on our own – it has to be a joint effort with our customers and APM Terminals is taking the lead with a partnership approach to our global customers, which will enable us to adopt different behaviors that remove inefficiencies in the supply chain”.
Source: APM Terminals, June 21, 2012