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Improving the efficiency of cargo flows on land and at sea

Cargotec Corporation
Cargotec’s brands – Hiab on-road load handling solutions, Kalmar solutions for ports and terminals, and MacGregor solutions for the maritime transportation and offshore industries – can be found in virtually every major cargo hub today.

Cargotec sees increasing regulation focused on averting climate change as an opportunity rather than a challenge. With the technology needed for solutions that reduce cargo handling-related emissions, Cargotec has a clear competitive advantage.

Cargotec uses the Pro Future™ label to identify those products and solutions in its portfolio that offer the greatest benefits in terms of the environment. All ProFuture™ solutions meet industry-leading criteria in areas such as power source, energy efficiency, carbon efficiency, local emissions, and recyclability; and help customers deliver more sustainable operations.

The new Hiab Multilift XR18S - Pro Future™ hooklift, for example, offers substantial improvements in efficiency, combined with lower fuel consumption. Efficiency and cost of ownership are key factors for a truck operator when choosing a demountable system. The new hooklift enables operating times to be cut by two-thirds, resulting in shorter turnarounds and more trips per day.

As the product’s new features do not require any increase in engine RPM, fuel consumption, CO2 emissions, and noise are all kept to a minimum. The hooklift’s lighter weight also increases payload opportunities.

Greater efficiency and sustainability have also been prioritised in MacGregor’s RoRo access equipment. The latest products in this area for pure car/truck carriers (PCTC) and pure car carriers (PCC ) are all electrically driven, by electric winches and actuators, eliminating the need for hydraulic oil.

The future might look something like this in 2060, a century after containerisation was first introduced – with automated lashing systems forming ‘packages’ of up to 64 containers that can be separated from ships and then picked up by vessels sailing onward.

Safer operations at sea and in port

Another area where Cargotec’s marine solutions can help customers achieve greater efficiency, safety, and reliability in their operations is ship anchor handling.

Replacing chain wheels has traditionally been carried out in port, as it tends to be risky and labour-intensive, but as subsea operations move further offshore, coming back to port costs operators time, money, and resources.

The MacGregor Chain Wheel Manipulator (CWM) changes all this, as it enables anchor handlers to change chain wheels safely at sea – thereby keeping crew members clear of potentially hazardous operations and improving a vessel’s profitability.

Automated systems at ports and terminals also improve safety, because they reduce the number of people in container handling areas. They also contribute to greater efficiency, through less downtime, fewer human errors, and more efficient handling operations.

Cargotec extended its already strong position in the automation area in 2011 with the acquisition of Navis, a major provider of terminal operator systems (TOS) that help customers coordinate and automate the movement of containers and equipment in terminal and yard environments more efficiently. Navis TOS systems were selected in March 2012, for example, for London Gateway, the UK’s latest automated deep-sea container port currently under construction. Cargotec has also been contracted to supply the new facility with automatic stacking cranes and straddle carriers.

Cargotec’s automated product portfolio was further augmented in 2012 with an automated platform for fully automated quayside twistlock handling. The system receives a container from a ship-to-shore crane on its platform, which then de-cones the twistlocks. It needs no external power for de-coning, generates zero emissions, and saves a significant amount of operating time as well.

The MacGregor Chain Wheel Manipulator enables anchor handlers to change chain wheels safely at sea for the first time.

Ports of the future

With its eye always on potential future developments, Cargotec launched a new initiative known as ‘Port 2060’ in 2011 – more than 50 years after the start of containerisation – to brainstorm what the ports of the future could look like.

An open forum was initiated at port2060. cargotec.com, with articles contributed by Cargotec experts on topics such as sustainability, future technologies, automation, and port security, and extending all the way to futuristic ideas such as flying spreaders.

While Cargotec believes that containers will remain in use, the real question is how cargo handling technology will deal with them in the future. Fuel cell and other environmentally friendly technologies could eventually replace diesel engines. Fully electronic solutions could also become the systems of choice, and when charging technology improves, we may see the emergence of fully electronic cargo handling systems. All in all, the changes that could take place over the next 50 years could easily be as big as those that took place during the first 50 years of containerisation.

All Cargotec products are designed to enhance productivity and meet the latest environmental requirements.
> Martti Henttunen
(Published in HighTech Finland 2013)