- Ravindra Gandhi, Regional Director, Peel Ports Group
Could you throw some light on the Port of Liverpool´s proposed memorandum of understanding (MoU) with JNPT?
nder the LoI, JNPT and Peel Ports- which owns the Port of Liverpool- have agreed to foster the exchange of information and expertise on port operations, port management and hinterland connections. This is the first such association between ports in our two countries.
Do you see the lack of mechanisation as a major constraint in Indian ports sector? What kind of technology is being adopted in the UK, which can be replicated here?
Automation is something that the container terminal industry has been slow to adopt, despite the technologies being advanced, proven and capable of delivering reliable operational efficiency.
At Liverpool2, Peel Ports´ new deep water container terminal, we have invested in AutoGates to deliver faster haulage turnaround times through a streamlined process from landside or quayside entry to exit. The fully automated system, supplied and installed by Kalmar and its partners, APS Technology Group, uses state-of-the-art identification technologies to manage gate operations, ensuring that all containers and trucks are automatically identified before entering or exiting the terminal. We have also taken the decision to invest in Navis´ N4 terminal operation system, using Liverpool2 to drive change across the whole business, with the TOS planned to be introduced at all our container terminals, enabling us to standardise our group operations.
Liverpool2 will have eight STS mega max cranes and 22 CRMGs. Berth handling equipment will be capable of handling two 380m vessels simultaneously, and ultimately the terminal will have a capacity of over one million TEU.
With semi-automated remote-controlled operation, the cranes will reduce the time taken to transfer containers from port to road or rail. In anticipation of their arrival, we have introduced a +¦500,000 state-of-the-art ´virtual´ training simulator on site, designed to ensure all operators are ready to manoeuvre the giant structures from day one of installation.
How can turnaround time and the associated costs be cut down through Liverpool2?
There are three elements to this. The first is infrastructure as well as the new quay wall we have created. There will be eight giant ship-to-shore (STS) cranes, supported by 22 cantilever rail-mounted gantry cranes. The crane capabilities are underpinned by the second key aspect of our development: technology. The container terminal industry has been generally slow on automation, despite the technologies being advanced, proven and capable of delivering reliable operational efficiency. This summer we introduced the Navis N4 Terminal Operating System (TOS) and the ´intelligent´ AutoGates.
This combination of infrastructure and technology will reduce the time taken to transfer containers from port to road or rail, helping the Port of Liverpool to achieve targets of 65 per cent of haulage turned round in 30 minutes and 95 per cent of haulage turned in 60 minutes. However, such performance is only possible if other aspects of port management are efficient. Accurate forecasting, real-time exchange and building datasets can make a major difference to the efficiency of operations.