当前位置:新闻动态

Delays in inland moves negate European automation gains

来源:    编辑:编辑部    发布:2018/05/17 14:50:55

THE efficiency gains from automated container terminals in handling mega ships are lost in some European hubs due to delays from inland-bound cargo moves from the quay to the intermodal connections.

Hub ports such as RotterdamAntwerpLe Havre and Hamburg have had little choice but to invest in upgrading infrastructure and deploying the largest available cranes to handle the giant vessels that can exchange 10,000 TEU in one port call. 

Developments in technology have allowed terminals in these ports to automate many functions that create faster and more efficient handling solutions.

But as technologically advanced as a terminal may be in the loading and off-loading process, having such large exchanges of containers from the mega-ships still creates significant bottlenecks that ports such as Rotterdam and Antwerp are finding difficult to solve. The problem is as much moving containers out of the port as it is unloading or loading a vessel.

Rotterdam and Antwerp have held meetings and workshops and plan to re-schedule barge calls, and reduce numbers of feeders that choke the terminals when mega ships call.

Shippers contacted by IHS Media said automated terminals did not factor into their supply chain planning. The transport and logistics manager for a large European wholesaler said an automated terminal did not determine his port choice when shipping more than 30,000 TEU a year from Asia into Europe.

"Yes, it may positively assist in improving the deliveries, but moving containers between terminals is the biggest issue we have in places like Hamburg and Rotterdam since the new alliances began," said one shipper.

Rogier Spoel, European Shippers' Council air transport policy manager, said accommodating the rising flow of containers through the deepsea terminals was not a specific terminal or port problem, but a supply chain problem, and one in which there was not enough coordination around the seamless transport of the containers.

"Ships are getting bigger, and with fewer calls the drop off is bigger and the stacks increase, causing issues with hinterland transport," Mr Spoel said. 

"Slowing the unloading of ocean vessels will keep the quay taking longer, which could also hurt barge and short-sea operation," he said.