Peel Ports Group has committed £5.5m (US $8.5m) to introducing advanced infrastructure and AutoGates technology as part of its ongoing investment at the Port of Liverpool. With the £300m ($379m) deep-water Liverpool2 expansion due to be open next year, this latest development is set to strengthen the port-side logistics required to support increased cargo volume.
At present, a manual system is currently in place, requiring drivers to register at a site office, where they complete a form and wait for clearance before entering. Once installed, the AutoGates will provide a streamlined and fully-integrated process from entry to loading or unloading.
David Huck, port director for Peel Ports Liverpool, said: “We operate in an increasingly competitive market and our customers require logistics solutions that reduce costs, carbon emissions and congestion. The continuing success of our company has always been driven by its ability to be forward-thinking, operating at the centre of the supply chain and offering flexible, agile and cost-effective solutions to our customers.
“That commitment to innovation is nowhere better demonstrated than in our investment at Liverpool2 where we have a serious ambition to set new standards in port handling because we understand the effect that terminal productivity can have on supply chains. By focussing on clear service differentiation we will provide a win-win, with positive bottom line financial impact, happy customers and sustainable growth and development. That progressive approach is one of the reasons we were awarded ‘Port Authority of the Year’ in 2012 by Containerisation International.
“Haulier transactions will be fully integrated into our latest terminal operating systems, facilitating secure and efficient visits and minimising turnaround times at our terminals. Along with our other investments, this development will help ensure that our track record for innovation and customer service continue to be as strong landside as they are ship-side. The new AutoGates plaza will be capable of supporting the port haulage and logistics supply chains well into the future.”
The equipment is being supplied and installed by Kalmar Global and APS Technology Group.
Tommi Pettersson, VP Automation at Kalmar Global, said: “As a global leader in automation we are able to provide Peel Ports with a seamless and integrated solution to help increase throughput and reduce congestion. With its radio frequency identification tags and optical character recognition, Kalmar SmartLane can automatically capture information from all trucks and containers entering and leaving the terminal, cutting operating costs and improving efficiency for all users.”
Scott Skillman, senior vice president of APS Technology Group, a member of the ABB Group stated; “We are delighted to be a part of this exciting project. Automating the gates and transfer zones within the existing facility will help Peel Ports further enhance customer service, productivity and environmental sustainability. We share Peel Ports’ goals and values in this regard, establishing an ideal partnership as we grow together.”
How the system works
• Before coming on site the haulier registers their lorry consignment details on a simple and streamlined online system.
• On entering the port the system will scan a lorry, capturing all details (container number, container size type, hazard placards, bolt seals, container damage) automatically through optical character recognition. It will also scan the licence plate and take a photo of the driver.
• The driver proceeds to a kiosk, scans their biometric ID card (this is linked to the online account used to register the consignment) and answers a few simple questions on a touch screen monitor.
• On entering the terminal, the system will direct the driver and inform the crane that unloading/loading will take place.
The implementation is scheduled to be completed by early 2015.