Eurogate has partnered with Kalmar in order to test automated straddle carriers at its Wilhelmshaven terminal in Germany.
The company has ordered four automated four-high straddle carriers and an emulation system for the container terminal from Kalmar. The first Kalmar vehicles will be delivered in the fourth quarter of 2018.
Both the live equipment and emulation environment will utilise Kalmar’s Terminal Logistics System (TLS), which allows all automated items of equipment, process automation solutions and access control, security and failure monitoring devices to be controlled via a single platform.
In a statement, Eurogate said it chose Kalmar because of the company’s reassurance that it could provide a system capable of “Mega-Terminal” scale, as well as integrating equipment and terminal operation systems from any third party.
The straddle carriers will be trialled in an area of the terminal which is not usually operational in order not to disrupt the terminal’s usual workings.
The pilot project is designed to prove that automated straddle carrier technology is fully functional, safe and ready for roll-out.
After completion of the pilot project (expected to be the end of the 2nd quarter of 2019), the results will be made available to all project partners. Subsequently, Eurogate will decide whether and at which sites to deploy the automated straddle carrier system.
In a statement, Eurogate said that the growing size of container ships presents challenges. “Customers expect their vessels to be turned around quickly and efficiently,” the statement said, “this requires processes to be both plannable and reliable.”
“Advancing digitalisation and automation are changing the competitive situation. Eurogate cannot afford to ignore these developments if it wants to secure the future. For this reason, the company is placing a long-term focus on implementing digitalisation and automation technologies.”