Georgia Ports Authority (GPA) is to extend its use of process automation technology from Identec Solutions to support the operation of new ship-to-shore (sts) and rubber-tyred gantry cranes (RTGs) at the Port of Savannah.
GPA will now install Identec Solutions’ automated container hand-off and job promotion system on 30 new RTGs and, for the first time, on four new super-post-Panamax quay cranes.
The port hopes to gain increased crane productivity, quicker turn times for street trucks and internal terminal vehicles and improved worker safety, removing staff from the ground. The project is due to be completed by late summer 2016.
The new cranes, supplied by Konecranes, will be delivered in 2015-2016 as part of a multi-million dollar investment in equipment, technology and infrastructure to handle expanding cargo volumes and prepare for the opening of the expanded Panama Canal.
Curtis Foltz, executive director of GPA, said: “Without using technology to gather and action data in a more automated way, we couldn’t grow efficiently. Radio frequency identification (RFID) and GPS are key enabling components that dovetail very well to our strategic development plan.”
Under the port authority’s Automated Terminal Asset Management System (ATAMS), street trucks calling at GPA’s Garden City Terminal (GCT) in Savannah are fitted with active RFID tags, enabling trucks to be tracked in real-time as they enter, move around and exit the terminal.
The system also aims to optimise the container hand-off process between street trucks and yard cranes, automatically identifying and locating trucks as they pull up alongside cranes and ‘promoting’ the correct job to the top of the list on the RTG driver’s in-cab screen.
GPA supplies RFID tags to the trucking community, with over 11,000 now fitted, linked to a web access portal to pre-advise container deliveries and collections.
The US East Coast port handled 3.34m teu in 2014, up 10.2% on 2013, and enjoyed double-digit growth in the first part of 2015 thanks in part to the West Coast labour dispute.